What is Play Therapy for Children?

Play therapy is a psychology method used help children express their thoughts and feelings in a way that feels natural and safe to them. Children ­­­often have difficulties with articulating their thoughts and feelings. Play Therapy helps a Child Psychologist gain insight into a child’s relationships, thoughts, feelings, and experiences.  Play Therapy can be used to help children with a variety of challenges; including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Emotional Difficulties, and Selective Mutism. 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.

creative sky art 1.jpg

What are the Benefits of Play Therapy?

Play Therapy benefits a child as it is an outlet 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, regulation, and develop successful strategies to cope with life’s challenges.  Play therapy also has secondary benefits of increasing agency, self-esteem, and acceptance in self and others.  Emotional expression often radiates from children while playing. This expression of thoughts and feelings is crucial in making a connection between a child’s behavior and insight. 

What are some Play Therapy Techniques?

Non-directive Play Therapy is a technique used where the child directs the play and the therapist operates from an observational role.  This is a great tool to determine how the child is feeling, thinking, and what real life situations a child may be re-enacting.  This Play Therapy technique can help a Child Psychologist develop strategies for the child to grow and flourish in life. 

Directive Play Therapy is a technique used where a Child Therapist is actively involved in encouraging a child to act out situations and express their emotions, thoughts, and feelings associated with areas of difficulty.  This technique is often used as a teaching tool.  Children may be taught flexibility, social skills, and problem solving through this Play Therapy technique.

What ages are appropriate for Play Therapy?

Play therapy can be used for children of all ages. Playing is a universal language that all children understand. It also provides a communication outlet for kids that have difficulties with verbal expression. Generally, children become more self-conscious as they approach the teen years, at which age free expression though play is often muted. Play Therapy, however, can be used by experienced Therapists throughout the lifespan. With older kids play therapy can be helpful to treat symptoms related to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Selective Mutism, and other Anxiety related problems.  

Play Therapy and Creative Sky Psychology

The use of Play Therapy is an excellent therapeutic tool used to establish a connection with your child. Whether your child hasn't developed language, has symptoms related to Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety, or has Social or emotional difficulties, Play Therapy may be a solution. If you live in Calgary or southern Alberta and want to find out if Play Therapy is right for your child, please contact me for additional information or book a session online.