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The benefits of play therapy

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

You may have seen a lot of promotions about play therapy services for your child, if you are still baffled if it fits your child or not well we have laid out the details with the hopes that it can help you solidify your decision. So what is play therapy?

Play therapy is a form of counseling or psychotherapy through play that enables the child to freely express himself or herself. Although play therapy caters to people of all ages, it’s typically used with children between the ages of 3 and 12. Play therapy may be helpful in a variety of circumstances or patient picture such as:

1. developmental delay or learning disabilities like little no so speech

2.problem behaviors in school like having troubles making friends or complying with school tasks or instructions

3.aggressive or angry behavior like bullying or inflicting pain to oneself or to others issues like divorce, separation, or death of a family member

5. traumatic events

6.domestic violence, abuse, or neglect

7.anxiety, depression, grief

8.eating and toileting disorders

9.attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

10.autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

What are the benefits of play therapy?

  • taking more responsibility for certain behaviors

  • developing coping strategies and creative problem-solving skills

  • self-respect

  • empathy and respect for others

  • alleviation of anxiety

  • learning to fully experience and express feelings

  • stronger social skills

  • stronger family relationships

Since the child has challenges in communicating one’s emotion, the therapist will join the child’s” world “through play therapy so that he or she can gather insights from the child. What typically happens during the first session is that the therapist will gather information about the child by observing the child on how he/ she plays, what toys does that child like, how does he/ she uses them? how does the child react to each type of game or toy? how the child behaves when the parents are around versus they are gone may sometimes need an interview with the child, the parents, siblings, teachers, and carers. After the information has gathered, the therapist will then set some therapeutic goals in reference to the needs of the child.

Ideally, play therapy runs for 30 minutes to an hour every week but still, it depends on the needs of the child as each has his/or her own phase that the therapist needs to work on. There are three primary modes or techniques employed during play therapy:

· Directive Play Therapy: the therapist is like the “game master” as he/ she directs the way of how the “play” goes. The therapist will then introduce games, characters or play scenarios he or she thinks will be helpful to the child. The therapist will then observe and make an assessment in terms of the child’s level of engagement

· Non-Directive Play Therapy: In this type of play therapy, the child is the “ game master”.The child will have the freedom to choose which toy or what game will they be playing or using while the therapist will simply follow, keep the play grounded in reality, and create a safe, nurturing environment while encouraging self-expression

· Blended Play Therapy: Blended play therapy is a combination of the Directive and Non-Directive play therapy. The child and the therapist may switch roles at a given time.

Play therapy gives a plethora of benefits for your child as it fosters self-expression, awareness, and confidence. If you think that this will benefit your child and would want play therapy to be included in your child’s plan, you may speak with your LAC or Support Coordinator and explain how this will greatly impact towards achieving your child’s goals.

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