Play Therapy helps children in a variety of ways. Children receive emotional support and can learn to understand more about their own feelings and thoughts. Sometimes they may re-enact or play out traumatic or difficult life experiences in order to make sense of their past and cope better with their future. Children may also learn to manage relationships and conflicts in more appropriate ways.
Play is vital to every child’s social, emotional, cognitive, physical, creative and language development. It helps make learning concrete for all children and young people including those for whom verbal communication may be difficult. Rather than having to explain what is troubling them, as adult therapy usually expects, children use play to communicate at their own level and at their own pace, without feeling interrogated or threatened.
This type of therapy is used to address a wide range of issues and it can be offered as individual sessions or group sessions depending on the child’s needs . During the therapeutic process, children have the opportunity to develop valuable social skills, gain insight in other people feelings as well as their own, and increase their capacity for self-regulation.
Children that have experienced early attachment disruptions or any difficulty that may have interfered with various stages of development, have the opportunity to ‘catch up’ on what they have missed out through the process of ‘reparation’ which is an integral part of the therapeutic relationship.