Calgary Child Psychologist and Play Therapy
Play Therapy and Creative Sky Psychology
Play therapy is a method used by Child Psychologists that supports children to express their thoughts and feelings in a way that feels natural and safe to them. Children often have difficulties understanding how their thoughts impact their feelings. Many children can experience "big feelings" with little awareness or understanding of why. Play Therapy helps a Child Psychologist gain insight into a child’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Play Therapy can be used to help children with a variety of challenges including:
Emotional Regulation Challenges (outbursts, meltdowns, difficulty calming down)
Social Difficulties or difficulties with playing with other children
Play Therapy is used as a method to discover the underlying emotions, thoughts and feelings a child experiences and while creating healthy resolve to assist in a healthy growth and development. Play therapy is often used in conjunction with problem solving, emotional regulation skill building, and increasing resiliency.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does Creative Sky Psychology use Play Therapy with Children?
Creative Sky Psychology uses the principles of play therapy with children who benefit from this approach. We use play therapy techniques to work on goals related to problem solving, skill building, and emotion regulation. We have a dedicated play therapy room for children who are a good fit for play therapy. Often children who are younger will benefit from a play therapy approach. While engaged in play, a child will be learning the skills that will support their overall wellness and development.
Creative Sky Psychology runs workshops in Play Therapy for educators and health care professionals in using play techniques with children to manage challenges related to ADHD, Anxiety, ASD, Emotion Regulation Challenges, and Social Development. For additional information visit our page on Play Therapy Workshops.
What are the Benefits of Play Therapy?
Play Therapy is an outlet for children to express their inner world. Kids associate play with fun, and research shows that children learn 20x faster through play. Play Therapy can be used to teach children social skills, emotion regulation strategies, and increase problem solving abilities to cope with life’s challenges. Play therapy also has benefits of increasing self-esteem and learning relationship skills in a safe and healthy environment. Emotional expression often radiates from children while playing.
What are some Play Therapy Techniques?
Directive Play Therapy is a play therapy technique used in which a Child Psychologist is actively involved in encouraging a child to express their emotions, thoughts, and feelings associated with areas of challenge. This technique is often used as a teaching tool. Children may be taught flexibility, social skills, and problem solving through this method of Play Therapy. Children using this style of Play therapy can be supported to understand how their thoughts impact their feelings. During play therapy we are able to discuss how thoughts work and how to make them work for us - and feel good! Creative Sky Psychology supports children using a Directive Play technique to work on goals and skill building. Creative Sky Psychology uses play as a backdrop for building therapeutic alliance as well as working on goals in a way that makes sense for children.
Non-directive Play Therapy is a play therapy technique used where a child directs the play, while the therapist takes an observational role. This can be a helpful tool if a child has experienced trauma or can only engage in parallel play. This will help the therapist determine how a child is feeling and thinking without being intrusive. Non-directive Play Therapy can help a Child Psychologist in the initial session to help a child feel more comfortable.
At Creative Sky Psychology, we most often use a blended approach of Play Therapy and CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) to engage a child in play while learning about thoughts and feelings in a developmentally appropriate manner. Children are often very excited to learn and share their new skills with parents!
What ages are appropriate for Play Therapy?
At Creative Sky Psychology, we find that Play Therapy is most beneficial for young children. Play is a universal language that all children understand. Play therapy also provides a communication outlet for kids that have difficulties with verbal expression. Generally, children become more self-conscious as they approach the pre-teen years, at which age free expression though play starts to disappear. This is when children may respond better to art, games, or using strengths and interests in therapy. With older kids play therapy can be helpful to treat symptoms related to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Selective Mutism, and other anxiety or regulation related problems.
Child Psychologist and Play Therapy, located in Calgary, Alberta
We use Play Therapy as a therapeutic tool used to establish a connection with a child, and teach skills and tools for problems solving and emotion regulation. We use Creative Play, Imaginative Play, Sensory Play, and Constructive Play to support children with areas of challenge. Play therapy is especially helpful with children who are young or have symptoms related to Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Emotion Regulation challenges, Anxiety, or social difficulties.
Creative Sky Psychology is located in Calgary, Alberta and has a dedicated child Psychologist who specializes in Play Therapy, as well as a dedicated space with play materials to ensure a child is comfortable and engaged. If you are wondering if Play Therapy is a good fit for your child, please contact Creative Sky Psychology for additional information. We offer workshops in Play Therapy for Children with Social and Emotional Challenges as well as Anxiety, ADHD, and ASD. For additional information please visit our page on Play Therapy Workshops.