About Play Therapy:

Play Therapy is the developmentally appropriate form of individual and group counseling for children ages 3-9 years old.

Children find it difficult to express their feelings using words, and instead find the language of play to be a much more comfortable form of expression. Play is the child's natural form of communication. Developmentally, children need play to take their concrete experiences and connect them to abstract thought. 

Many people view play for children as "fun", but play in a play therapy session may not always be that way. Much like adult therapy sessions, children use play as communication to re-experience recent events, interactions, and feelings which may not always be happy. The play therapist then supports, encourages, and lends insight to the child through the language of play in the same way as he/she would speaking with an adult.

Play Therapists meet with their clients in a therapy room full of toys such as dollhouses, puppets, toy kitchens, etc. Children use these toys to show therapists their story, feelings, and/or perceptions of events in their lives.

Helpful Resources About Play Therapy and Children:

1) The Association for Play Therapy:

      http://www.a4pt.org/

2) Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child: The Heart of Parenting by John Gottman, Ph.D.

3) The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell

4) Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Mary Hartzell, M. Ed.

5) The Science of Parenting by Margot Sunderland