Child - Ages 3 - 9
Children show us what they think, and how they feel, experience and understand the world in which they live through their play. As adults, we usually benefit from talking things out, whereas children will play things out since they don’t have the verbal skills and understanding like adults do. Have you tried to talk to a child about a problem?
My work as a play therapist is to provide a wide variety of carefully chosen play and other expressive materials (costumes, art, sandtray, music) to help your child open up and express what they’re struggling with, whether it’s challenging behaviors or difficult feelings. It helps them feel seen and heard. The purpose of having them play is to give them a safe space that they can get it out. I explain it to kids that it’s like when you have a really big, yucky owie, that is infected. First it might really hurt and you see the Dr a lot about it, and it hurts to poke at it, and it’s uncomfortable. But then it starts to feel better and then you don’t have to go to the Dr as much, and it gets better and you see the Dr less. And then maybe you come back if it’s not feeling good again, or maybe you won’t need to because you know how to handle oweies better.
Play therapy is helpful for children who:
Are anxious, whether it’s about school, friends, family changes, anxiety is getting in the way of enjoying life
Are angry and acting out, it could be from anxiety, family changes, or from something that’s happened
Experienced trauma, whether from a car accident, medical complication or life event
Are withdrawn, sad, seem down and not enjoying life
Are struggling in their step-family with the introduction of a new partner, sibling or new home
After our initial meeting, play therapy is conducted either with you and your child or with the child alone, depending on what best fits the situation. Regular monthly meetings are also set up with the family to talk about progress, discuss concerns, and to help you support and enhance your child’s process.