Children Grow, Heal and Learn Through Play Therapy
Play Therapy is a process in which we build on the natural way children learn about themselves and their relationships, their play, to help them process through the issues and struggles in their lives.
Play Therapy is based upon the foundation that play is the child’s natural way of self-expression. Play Therapy gives the child an opportunity to ‘play out’ their feelings and problems, just as adults ‘talk out’ their difficulties.
In Play Therapy, the child uses the whole self (mind & body) to express unconscious thoughts, fears, anxieties and wishes, which helps them process or resolve “stuck” thoughts and feelings. This often happens in subtle ways, with effects noticed in the child’s daily functioning. Children are encouraged to play as they wish while we create a safe and understanding environment to help guide them through the process.
The Play Room is viewed as the child’s “kingdom” where they are free to explore and express themselves through various mediums such as fantasy play, sandplay, puppets and miniatures. The toys are carefully selected to offer an opportunity to engage the child’s imagination and express various feeling states and experiences.
During the process of Play Therapy children play in a way that resembles the emotional experiences they are currently struggling with. These experiences cannot typically be expressed verbally, and often result in misbehavior or acting out at school or home. Children pick toys that help them to recreate issues in a safe way, and then their play evolves until they gain understanding, comfort, empowerment, and a sense of mastery over their emotions. This leads to higher self-esteem, increased enjoyment in activities, and an increased ability to control their disruptive behaviors and challenging emotions.