Play therapy is a wonderful tool used in working with children to help them navigate and solve problems they can be facing. Children lack the verbal language to express emotions, feelings and conflicts. They have vibrant imaginations and what better way to aid them in achieving optimal development and growth then by allowing them to use their colorful minds through play.
Play is natural to children, thus play therapy creates a nurturing and comfortable environment where the child feels free to express themselves through the use of toys. Additionally, play creates a safe psychological separation from the issues and feelings a child may be experiencing. The toys used most often include dolls, dollhouses, miniature figures, sand/rice trays, and dress up clothes.
As the child plays, the therapist interprets themes that emerge from this play. These themes help the therapist to understand the child’s feelings, inner conflicts and experiences. It is truly amazing what can be learned from observing play. There are many benefits to play therapy some of which include: expressing feelings, developing problem-solving skills, taking ownership of behaviors, and modifying behavior. What better way to help a child then through playing and having fun!