What is play therapy?
Play therapy is a form of therapy used primarily for children. That is because children may be unable to process their emotions or articulate problems to parents or other adults.
While it may look like ordinary playtime, play therapy can be much more than that.
A trained therapist can use playtime to observe and gain insights into a child’s problems. The therapist can help the child explore emotions and deal with unresolved trauma. Through play, children can learn new coping mechanisms and redirect inappropriate behaviors.
Benefits of play therapy
While some children might start with some hesitation, trust in the therapist tends to grow. As they become more comfortable and their bond strengthens, the child may become more creative or more verbal in their play.
Some of the potential benefits of play therapy are:
- taking more responsibility for certain behaviors
- developing coping strategies and creative problem-solving skills
- empathy and respect for others
- alleviation of anxiety
- learning to experience and express feelings fully
- stronger social skills
- stronger family relationships
- Play therapy can also encourage the use of language or improve fine and gross motor skills.