"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood". Fred Rogers
It is often difficult for children to verbally express their problems or feelings like adults do with words. However, play therapy is a powerful therapeutic approach that allows children to use their natural language, “play” to express themselves. Children use the toys in the play therapy room much like adults would use words to express themselves. The trained Play Therapist is careful not to interpret what the child says or does in sessions, but rather “seeks to understand” by asking the child questions and clarifying the meaning of their play sequences or patterns.
Play Therapy uses evidence informed practices and evidence based treatment modalities to help children work through emotional and/or behavioural difficulties. Play Therapy is beneficial for children experiencing emotional and/or behavioural difficulties in their home, school or community environments. It is a developmentally appropriate therapy that allows children to play or act out their feelings and problems. Through the play, guided and assisted by a trained Play Therapist, the child is able to gain insight into their feelings and problems and make sense of them. With the guidance of a trained Play Therapist the child is able to problem solve and gain mastery over their feelings and learn new, healthier ways of coping and communicating in their daily lives. A trained Play Therapist uses a therapeutic Play Therapy room, specifically designed by Play Therapy Principles. The Play Therapy room and the items in the room, along with the therapist’s presence give the child the opportunity to re-enact their feelings, problems and conflicts within a safe environment. The Play Therapist and child use the items in the room to establish the trust, safety and rapport necessary to allow the therapist to understand the unresolved feelings or wishes of the child. Items in the room include but are not limited to; sandtrays, dollhouses, figures, puppets, and expressive art materials that help the child tell their story from their perspective.