mental health, therapy, counseling and psychology terms glossary

Play Therapy

Children tend to have a difficult time understanding and articulating their strong emotions. Play Therapy is used to gain insights into a child’s problems. Because children don’t feel pressure while at play, they tend to be less guarded and share what’s on their mind. Toys can act as symbols and have greater meaning. Children may use the toys to act out fears and past events or to self-soothe and problem-solve.

Through Play Therapy, a child can be taught more appropriate behaviors and coping skills. They can learn social skills and respect for others – and themselves. Play Therapy is also fantastic for improving both verbal and fine motor skills.

This modality can be used to treat behavioral problems, learning challenges, and struggles with grief, loss, separation, abuse, or traumatic events. Family members are often encouraged to join the play sessions during the course of treatment. Play Therapy is traditionally used for children aged 3 to 12, but it can also be used with adults, similar to Art Therapy, as a way to relax and begin to identify layered emotions.

Would you like to discuss how Play Therapy may work for your child?