What is Play Therapy?



     Play is children's natural language.  Children play to discover and explore their world.  They play to understand roles and learn social skills.  It's also a great way for them to connect with other children and important adults in their lives. 


     Children play out events they have experienced.  It is their way of "talking" about it.  Toys and drawing can give them the necessary distance they might need to explore and work through distressing events.  A trained play therapist can help your child tell stories about issues they might be struggling with. Often children don't have control over situations that take place in their lives and play therapy can help them gain mastery over the event.  They can learn new skills by using puppetry, figurines, and even themselves!


     Play therapy is also very useful for teens and adults.  Distressing issues can be hard to talk about, and, actually it is shown that there are few neuropathways from part of our brains where upsetting memories are stored to the talking part of our brains.  Art, poetry, music, psychodrama and sandtray are all helpful interventions that are in the same hemisphere as the one where trauma is stored.