What is Play Therapy?
Play Therapy is a form of therapy that is practiced with children, usually under the age of 10 years old. It can be challenging for children to identify specific feelings or recall certain experiences and the play becomes the children’s language. This therapy allows the child to communicate through their play while the toys represent their words and feelings. In this safe setting the child expresses their thoughts and feelings while working with a highly trained clinician that can explore with the child the meaning of their play. Their interactions will guide the child to new understandings, healing, a sense of mastery and autonomy, and emotional expression while learning adaptive coping skills.
Please read explanations of play therapy in the words of other experts in the field, as follows:
“Play is a fun, enjoyable activity that elevates our spirits and brightens our outlook on life. It expands self-expression, self-knowledge, self-actualization and self-efficacy. Play relieves feelings of stress and boredom, connects people in a positive way, stimulates creative thinking and exploration, regulates emotions, and boosts confidence” ( Landreth, 2002 ).
"Play allows us to practice skills and roles needed for survival. Learning and development are fostered through play” (Russ,2004).