Play therapy is a form of therapy used primarily with children, because children may not be able to process their own emotions or articulate problems to parents or other adults.
While it may look like ordinary playtime, play therapy is much more than that. A trained therapist can use playtime to observe and gain insights into a child’s problems. The therapist can then help the child explore emotions and deal with unresolved trauma. Through play, children can learn new coping skills and how to redirect inappropriate behaviors.
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 fully experience and express feelings
Stronger social skills
Stronger family relationships
People of all ages (including adults) can benefit from play therapy and may be helpful in a variety of circumstances, such as:
Facing medical procedures, chronic illness, or palliative care
Developmental delay or learning disabilities
Problem behaviors in school
Aggressive or angry behavior
Family issues, like divorce, separation, or death of a close family member