Why is Play Therapy Important?
Children often do not have the ability to express themselves with words like adults, play is how they communicate. It is even more default to talk about things that worry or bother them. Play Therapy is a medium which allows children to share their experiences through their play. Toys and games are used therapeutically to help kids to express what they are feeling, have expressed, or what they would like to be different. Play can help them process their experiences leading to a release of emotions and recovery.
Most children experience difficulties coping from time to time, adjusting to changes, loss, and sometimes just having confusing emotional experiences. Children may exhibit behaviors which concern parents, poor regulation, attention or concentration and peer relations problems. Generally, if you are concerned about your child's behavior or difficulties adjusting, following a thorough clinical evaluation Play Therapy might be recommended as part of treatment.
What Can My Child Expect?
The Play Therapy room allows more freedom than what is allowed in other areas of your child's life. This freedom helps your child feel accepted and safe, which allows them to trust so that their fears / problems can come to the surface. During therapy time your child's thoughts, feelings, and actions become evident during the play. This helps the therapist understand their world. The child therapist follows your child's lead, allowing your child to work through their problems at their own pace.
Children grow and do best in therapy with consistency and structure. Regular contact with their therapist is necessary for progress in treatment. Play Therapy relies on the trust built between the child and therapist - this may take time and varies from child to child. You, your child, and your child's therapist should determine when treatment should be reduced and eventually ended.
What Should I Tell My Child About Play Therapy?
You can say this is a safe place that has a special room with toys for play. They will be meeting a therapist in the play room that specializes in communicating with children. Also, it may be good to tell them that they will be coming often so they know this isn't just a one time visit. You can also help them understand that it is ok to talk about difficult things while playing.
How Can I Work With My Child's Therapist?
It is critical that the parent and therapist work together for the benefit of the child. It will be helpful to let the therapist know about notable changes in your child's behavior. Parent consultations can be initiated by you or the therapist every so often to review treatment. It is important to work with your child and their therapist to ensure each session is a special time for your child.
What Can I Do After the Therapy Sessions?
It is an important part of the therapy process to allow your child to initiate the conversations regarding the session. As parents, you can help your child by creating an open environment to talk about the things that may concern them. Your child's therapist can help you develop a healthy dynamic to facilitate communication. Behavior and mood changes are normal and accepted. If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact your child's therapist.