Often children are not equipped to verbally explain the kinds of feelings or difficulties they are experiencing. As a result of this, even though a child may be having strong feelings, he or she may not be able to use “talk therapy” as effectively as more expressive therapies such as play therapy, art therapy or music/dance therapy. One highly effective avenue toward working with children is Play Therapy.
A therapist trained in play therapy works with a child in the child’s natural developmental state: their desire to play. Play therapists can work with children by allowing them to play, while still intervening in and exploring the many mixed emotions a child may be experiencing, but unable to explain with words. Play therapy can help children of all ages, and especially allows younger children to receive help, because they can express feelings in play, which they might otherwise not be able to explore or explain verbally. Children can often express and act out their feelings in play during a play therapy session, thus giving the therapist insight into how to best help the child. Although a child may leave a session saying, “All we did was play games,” the play therapist is often able to allow the child to experience healing, and express otherwise inaccessible feelings.
Kasey Best, MC utilizes play therapy with children.