Play is a child’s way of exploring his or her world, practicing skills, trying on new roles and responsibilities, and communicating feelings and problems. Young children who do not have the words to describe scary or upsetting feelings and/or events can communicate their experiences by re-enacting events through play. Stress relief occurs when a child’s feelings are acknowledged and when a child is helped to understand him/herself better through the process and interpretation of play. The therapist can also offer more directive help for resolving situations that seem overwhelming to the child.
Treatment varies depending on the needs of each child. Your child’s therapist will consult with you about options available and assist in determining the best course of action. Issues that can be addressed in play therapy include anxiety, anger, social skills problems, behavioral issues, family conflicts, divorce, sibling issues, trauma and abuse.