I provide Play Therapy for ages 4 - 11. What is play therapy and how can it help my child? Great question. Play therapy is a form of play facilitated alongside a trained mental health professional that helps children to “address and resolve their own” struggles. It helps them make meaning and sense of their world and the events happening to them and around them. You as a parent or guardian may have noticed kids have pretty big feelings that can be hard for them to understand and manage. You may often find yourself in frustration trying to figure why your 5, 8, or 11 year old is so afraid to get on the school bus, afraid to go to school, afraid to go make a new friend, trashes their room in a fit of anger, just can’t get along with their sibling, is refusing to do their school work and the list goes on. Play therapy is a great life-changing tool that “builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationship in the world around them. It allows children to “learn to communicate with others, express feelings, [change] their behavior, [build] problem-solving skills” and learn how to relate to others. (A4PT).
In other words, it helps them feel better about themselves on the inside so that they can show the world a more confident, creative, expressive, problem-solving, better choice maker, version of themselves. A bonus is your children's journey towards change can help you feel less like you're going crazy.
Still not sure about play therapy?
Research since the 1970s on play therapy has given this method more than four stars when it comes to successful treatment outcomes. “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 (Bratton, Ray, Rhine, & Jones, 2005; LeBlanc & Ritchie, 2001; Lin & Bratton, 2015; Ray, Armstrong, Balkin, & Jayne, 2015; Reddy, Files-Hall, & Schaefer, 2005)". [A4PT]
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 the 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.
- And more…
What Play Therapy treatment I specialize in:
- Child Anxiety
- Child Grief & Loss
- Child Trauma
What can I expect for treatment?
The first appointment is the Parent Clinical Intake (80 to 90 minutes). This is where parents/ guardians (no kids allowed) and I will take a deep dive on what the goals are for treatment, what’s been going on, what does your child and family seem to be struggling with, and completion of assessment diagnostic tools. Next comes 3-4 play therapy assessment sessions with the child. This allows me to bond with the child, enter their world and look for clinical “themes”. “Clinical Themes” are patterns of play that give me an idea of what the child is struggling with. Child assessment sessions are followed by a Parent consult session to debrief assessment, revisit treatment goals, provide education, provide therapeutic guidance/ challenges (homework to be done in the home with the child) to continue growth in between sessions. This will include parenting guidance as well. Throughout treatment, this pattern will continue 3 sessions with the child followed by a parenting session. Recognizing that not all family needs are the same I may include parent-child sessions, family sessions, and or increase parenting sessions.
Cited by: (https://www.a4pt.org)
What About Online Play Therapy (Does it work?)
It can and it does work. As a play therapy clinician, I myself was skeptical on whether virtual play therapy could provide the same or similar benefits as play therapy in person. Since I am the type of therapist who is willing to take the risk and try, I jumped in there, started attending online trainings on implementing virtual play therapy and started applying my play therapy skills virtually with my current clients. I was pleasantly surprised with the fact that, yes, my child clients as young as 5 years old were engaged and participating in sessions virtually. Not only were they engaged and participating they were still changing, growing, healing and thriving. Parents were pleased and grateful that online play therapy was really working. Parents loved being able to pop online with me for parent consult and more. My kids' clients were thrilled they could still see me and show me their life at home. Now over 50% of my child & teens clients are virtual. Full disclosure, online play therapy is not a one size fits all. Keep in mind every child is different and has different needs. I would be happy to talk more to you about how virtual play therapy is conducted.
Video about Play Therapy
Why Choose Me? (Video)
(Adolescent Content Coming soon)