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Play Therapy

What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy is an approach that utilizes a child's natural language and behavior of play to therapeutically treat emotional or behavioral issues.

Children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem solving skills and learn new ways of relating.

Play provides a safe psychological distance from their problems and facilitates developmentally appropriate expression of thoughts and feelings.

Why Play Therapy?

Research supports the effectiveness of play therapy with children experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning problems, including:

children whose problems are related to life stressors, such as divorce, death, relocation, hospitalization, chronic illness, assimilate stressful experiences, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, and natural disasters (Reddy, Files-Hall & Schaefer, 2005). Play therapy helps children:


  • Become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies.

  • Develop new and creative solutions to problems.

  • Develop respect and acceptance of self and others.

  • Learn to experience and express emotion.

  • Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others.

  • Learn new social skills and relational skills with family.

  • Develop self-efficacy and thus a better assuredness about their abilities.

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