Play Therapy is our Passion!
Just like words are used by adolescents and adults to communicate, Play is the most natural way for children ages 3-10 to communicate! Toys are like words for them and PLAY is their language. Not only that – but words are not even necessary! Play therapy makes a difference. Play is an enjoyable, fun activity that elevates our spirits and brightens our outlook on life. Play relieves feelings of stress and boredom and, most importantly, helps us express ourselves.
What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy refers to a large number of treatment methods, all applying the therapeutic powers of play. Play therapy helps children to address and resolve their own problems and builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them.
APT defines play therapy as the “systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.”
Can any therapist practice play therapy?
Play therapy is about nurturing a child’s growth and development but requires specialized education, training, and experience. Our playrooms are brimming with toys, games, children’s books, and expressive art materials. All our therapists who practice play therapy work under the specialized supervision of Rebecca Muyres, Registered Play Therapy Supervisor. They continually receive play therapy training, expanding their creative and effective ways of working with children through play, expressive arts, Legos, sand, video games, and other modalities.
What does Play Therapy help?
Play therapy helps children:
- Become more responsible for their behaviors and develop more successful strategies
- Develop new and creative solutions to problems
- Develop respect and acceptance of self and others
- Learn to experience and express emotion
- Cultivate empathy and respect for the thoughts and feelings of others
- Learn new social skills and relational skills with family
- Develop self-efficacy and a better assuredness about their abilities
The Association of Play Therapy also describes What To Expect in a play therapy session.
Do therapists ever work with the Child and the Parent Together?
Absolutely, we offer Filial Therapy, also known as Child-Parent Relationship Training (CPRT). This approach is highly beneficial for children with attachment issues and parents who may struggle to connect with their children, understand them, or find themselves in constant power struggles. In the words of the Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) Treatment Manual by Bratton, S., Landreth, G., Kellam, T., & Blackard, S.R. (2006), CPRT is a specialized 10-session parent training program designed to strengthen the parent-child relationship. It involves structured 30-minute playtimes once a week, where adults discuss their experiences, thoughts, and feelings while children use toys to explore their own experiences and express their thoughts and feelings. Through CPRT, parents learn to respond empathetically to their child’s emotions, enhance their child’s self-esteem, promote self-control and self-responsibility, and establish therapeutic limits during these special playtimes.
For a deeper understanding of Play Therapy, check out these videos: