Play therapy is a form of psychotherapy for children and adolescents. While adults talk during therapy, play is children’s language. It is different from simply “playing” since therapists utilize different theory-based approaches to conduct the therapy. Children then “play” out their problems and difficulties. Play therapy can be done individually or in a group.
What is play therapy and why does my child need it?
Play therapy is a form of psychotherapy for children conducted by trained psychologists/ therapists. It is different from simply “playing” since the therapist utilizes different theory-based approaches to conduct the therapy. Your child can communicate and eventually “play out” his/her difficulties, overwhelming experiences or feelings through play in the safe and affirming environment established in the playroom.
How long should my child be in therapy?
With your child’s developmental level and reasons for referral in mind, you and the psychologist identify specific goals your child needs to achieve while in therapy. The child’s own pace to progress towards these goals will determine how long he/she will be in therapy. Regular (usually weekly) individual and group play therapy sessions are offered.
How will play therapy benefit my child?
Among others, your child will have the opportunity to:
- Experience acceptance;
- Learn appropriate ways of relating and behaving;
- Express intense emotions and find relief from troubling feelings; and
- Feel affirmed and confident
Likewise, your child also learns to:
- Build self-esteem;
- Cope with fears and anxieties;
- Gain a sense of control over his/her world;
- Identify and manage emotions appropriately; and
- Socialize and interact with peers in appropriate ways.
What is my role as a parent or guardian?
As a parent or guardian, you play a very important role in your child’s progress in and outside therapy. Your cooperation in bringing your child to weekly sessions is most valuable. With the support and collaboration of the school and other professionals working with your child, you can be guided to ensure your child copes well with the difficulties he/she faces. In addition, parenting conferences are conducted to address your concerns, chart progress, and give tips on parenting.
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