Play therapy is a unique approach to therapy that’s used to support children who are navigating difficult situations. Many young children aren’t able to communicate well enough to benefit from traditional talk therapy. Instead, play therapy creates a way for them to communicate safely and effectively, allowing a counselor to get to know them better. You can learn more about play therapy on this page or by reaching out to the Benchmark Counseling team.
What Is Play Therapy?
Play therapy is more than just a therapist playing games with kids. It may look like that from an outside perspective, but it’s not simply playing. Instead, it’s a systematic approach to develop safe, interpersonal connections between play therapists and their clients, giving young people the ability to communicate and make connections with their therapist as well as providing a resource that allows them to work through, resolve, and heal following challenging life situations.
How Does Play Therapy Work?
During play therapy sessions, a trained therapist will observe the child at play to gain insight into the child’s thoughts, emotions, and any potential issues they’re dealing with. They can also utilize play to help the child develop skills to cope with difficult situations, process traumatic experiences, and curb problematic behaviors. While play therapy looks like regular playtime, a skilled play therapist uses specific, guided play strategies to better understand children.
What Are the Benefits of Play Therapy?
There are numerous benefits associated with play therapy, including:
- Increasing self-confidence
- Reducing feelings of stress and anxiety
- Improving communication skills
- Helping the child develop strong social skills
- Creating better relationships
- Expressing feelings in healthy ways
- Strengthening gross and fine motor skills and language skills
- Curbing behavioral issues
- Processing difficult emotions or traumatic events
Should I Schedule Play Therapy for My Child?
Play therapy is most often beneficial for children over the age of three and younger than 12. In some situations, we may utilize play therapy techniques to support older or younger clients. Some of the situations when play therapy can be helpful include:
- Addressing behavioral problem at school or home
- Working through family issues like parental separation or divorce or the loss of a loved one
- Healing from trauma like abuse, neglect, natural disasters, or car accidents
- Navigating life transitions like moving or changing schools
- Helping a child understand and cope with anxiety, depression, and other mood
- Gaining insight into developmental delay, learning disabilities, attention-
deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- Supporting a child as they come to terms with chronic illness or medical procedures
- Assisting parents who have young children with disordered eating, toilet training issues, and other concerns
Get Started Working with Benchmark Counseling
If your child is having a tough time or you just want to make sure they are doing their best, play therapy at Benchmark Counseling may be a good option. We are here to answer your questions and schedule your child’s session whenever you’re ready. You can get in touch with us by calling at (219) 213-6730, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org , or completing our contact form.