Play therapy invites children to use toys and art to express themselves and find creative ways of addressing their emotional, cognitive, and behavioral issues and challenges. This evidenced-based approach is more natural to them in expressing themselves and healing rather than relying on words and talking to address the issues in their lives. Play therapy incorporates specifically selected toys and items, such as puppets; “real life” toys such as cash registers, phones, and medical items; doll houses and family figures; and a range of expressive materials such as sand, water, paint, clay, and crayons, among many other toys and materials, to help children express their inner selves and find healing.
Registered Play Therapists must undergo specific play therapy training and supervision, in addition to what is required through their mental health licenses, to become credentialed in play therapy. Registered Play Therapists are regulated by the Association for Play Therapy, an international organization founded to promote the understanding and effectiveness of play therapy.
I incorporate child-centered play therapy, as well as more directive play therapy techniques, to find the right balance for each child and situation. I also work closely with parents and guardians to coordinate treatment strategies at home and in the school setting.
For more information on play therapy, please visit the Association for Play Therapy at www.a4pt.org, specifically the information included under “Why Play Therapy?”.