Female therapist with blonde hair using toys with a little girl during play therapy demonstrating what is play therapy

What Is Play Therapy and How Can It Benefit Children?

Child playing with therapist showing what is play therapy

Answering the question “What is Play Therapy and how can it benefit children?” is best answering by first understanding the need for therapy for children in general. In 2019, 13.6% of U.S. children between 5-17 years old received mental health treatment. Although there are many types of therapy that can help a child, play therapy is one of the best choices, especially for younger children. 

Traditional therapy can be difficult for children with childhood trauma, emotional problems, and development issues. In these cases, play therapy can serve as a great alternative and can allow therapists to communicate with children in an effective and non-threatening way.

So what is play therapy? In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at what play therapy is and how it can benefit children.

What Is Play Therapy?

Play therapy is a type of therapy that is most often used with children who are between 0-12 years old. It allows children to open up, discuss problems, and express their feelings authentically through playing.

More than just normal playtime, play therapy for kids allows them to express problems and explore emotions with the help of a licensed professional.

Just like adult therapy, play therapy comes in a variety of different formats. Some types of play therapy include Child Centered Play Therapy, Adlerian Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavorial Play Therapy, Reality Play Therapy and Theraplay just to name a few.

What is Play Therapy Going to help with?

Play therapy will help with a variety of issues including low self-esteem, difficulty regulating strong emotions, communication, behavioral issues, attention difficulties, peer problems, attachment problems, trauma, and mood disorders just to name a few.

Who Is Play Therapy For?

Play therapy can help children of all ages! There are many circumstances in which play therapy might be used to help children deal with problems they’re facing in their lives.

Play therapy could be used to help children who are facing serious medical procedures or chronic illness, children with learning disabilities, children with ADHD or ASD, or kids who are displaying aggressive or problematic behaviors in school.

It could also help children who are dealing with a traumatic event, domestic violence, family issues, and other difficulties as well. 

What is play therapy Going to do to help a Child?

There are many ways that play therapy benefits children. Here are some of the key points to understand.

Open Lines of Communication

A key advantage of play therapy is that it gives children a way to open up to a therapist in a way that’s comfortable and non-threatening to them.

Through the use of toys and play, a therapist can communicate with a child in a safe way. This can help them express their emotions regarding difficult situations such as childhood trauma or abuse.

One of the most important factors in any form of therapy is that a person feels safe and understood. In play therapy, the playroom, toys, and expert child therapist are the tools to create a safe space for children.

Additionally, child learn to label and communicate a wide variety of emotions, physical sensations and thoughts. This is a vital skill for children to express their feelings, needs, and difficulties to caregivers and loved ones so they can learn to cope and solve problems effectively.

Learn Coping Skills and Develop Self-Esteem

Play therapy is also beneficial because it helps children learn the skills of self-awareness, raise self-esteem, and cope with difficult situations. Play therapy helps children feel better about themselves and learn coping skills that can help them deal with problems in their lives.

Because it’s not a traditional therapy session, a therapist can use interactions with toys and play to support a child’s emotions. They can help them practice new skills and behavior in a free and open way.

Get Relief From Stress and Anxiety

Trauma and other emotional issues can be overwhelming to a child.

Fortunately, play therapy is a great way to loosen them up and help them feel more comfortable. With play therapy, they can get some much-needed relief from anxiety and stress.

Play therapy can serve as a distraction to children suffering from emotional issues and traumatic experiences. With this relief from stress and anxiety, it becomes easier for a therapist to communicate with a child and help them work through any issues that they’re facing.

Understanding Play Therapy

So what is play therapy and how can it benefit children? With play therapy, a therapist can put a child at ease and open the lines of communication with them more easily.

Play therapy helps children open up, learn skills for dealing with issues, and get much-needed relief from stress and anxiety.

Start The Healing Process Today With Play Therapy In Katy, TX. 

Hopefully you had the question of “What is Play Therapy?” answered. In summary, play therapy meets children where they are and allows for children to communicate in natural and familiar ways for them.  It can help children process traumatic experiences, express emotions, develop coping skills, and build resilience.  While play therapy may not fit every situation, it is a valuable tool for children to heal.

Want more information about Play Therapy and how it can help your Child? Visit the  Parents Corner at The Association for Play Therapy (a4pt.org). Or follow the steps below to connect with us at Katy Counseling:

Other Counseling Services Offered At Katy Counseling

In addition to offering Play Therapy, we also offer a wide range of services for adults, teens, and children. These services include Teen CounselingAdult CounselingCouples CounselingTrauma CounselingWomen’s Issues, and Lens Neurofeedback. Our goal is to meet you where you are and help guide you and your family.

 Contact us today to learn more about how we can help or to answer any additional questions your may have about what is play therapy..

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