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Play Therapy

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
  • Self-respect
  • 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
  • Natural disasters or traumatic events
  • Domestic violence, abuse, or neglect
  • Anxiety, depression, grief
  • Eating and toileting disorders
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Dementia
  • Substance use
  • Trauma and physical abuse
  • Anger management issues
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Unresolved childhood issues