Today’s post is a short introduction to play therapy for children.
There are different forms of treatment for childhood psychological problems, such as behaviour therapy, CBT, family therapy, functional family therapy and of course drug treatments. However, play therapy seems especially useful in children who are less able to express or communicate their feelings verbally.
Play Therapy is a range of play-based therapeutic and assessment techniques that can be used with younger children, usually aged 3-11 (Davey, 2008). Not only is play vital in child’s development but also it can help children understand feelings and upsets that they cannot cope with. Through play therapy a child does not feel traumatised or interrogated by having to explain difficult issues but instead can communicate the problems through play, re-enactments or playing out difficult experiences. Play in itself can help children feel less anxious or depressed. Through play, children develop a positive relationship with a therapist, learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behaviour, develop problem-solving skills and learn ways of relating to others (Davey, 2008).
Play therapy can help with problems such as loss, divorce, family problems, anxiety, ADHA, depression, and autism. Additionally, Play Therapy had been shown to have positive effects on children’s behaviour in general, their social adjustment and their personality.
If you find yourself looking for help for your child ask your GP about play therapy or search for a Play Therapist on the British Association of Play Therapists website (www.BAPT.info)