In play therapy, toys are like the child’s words, and play is the child’s language. For children, play is a serious and purposeful activity. In a safe and supportive environment, children are able to express themselves when they are unable to find the words to communicate their thoughts and feelings.
Play helps the child:
- » Identify and express feelings.
- » Learn and practice appropriate social skills and language.
- » Develop new and creative solutions to problems.
- » Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others.
- » Learn and practice new ways to self-soothe and regulate emotions.
- » Develop respect and acceptance of self and others.
The experiential activities that happen in play therapy provide a unique opportunity for children to regulate, practice, communicate, express, and experience a sense of mastery and self confidence. The time spent in play therapy offers a child place to fully express and accept themselves in a way that the world around them doesn’t always offer.
For more on Play Therapy see the Association for Play Therapy at: