Play Therapy

Typically used as a therapeutic treatment for children, play therapy is a method of meeting and responding to the mental health needs of young people in a language they understand – namely, play. Play therapy is seen an effective and suitable intervention in dealing with children’s brain development. It is considered to be one of the most beneficial ways to help children who are experiencing emotional or behavioral challenges. A therapist specializing in play therapy will create a safe and comfortable space where the child can play (typically in a non-directive way) with very few limits or rules. The therapist will observe the child at play. The goal is to help children learn to better express themselves and resolve their problems. Think this approach might be right for a child in your life? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s play therapy experts today.

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Play is the universal language of children. I typically utilize Child-Centered Play Therapy which helps kids process a variety issues from anxiety, traumatic experiences, social difficulties, life changes & many more issues. Online child play therapy uses use expressive toys, drawing items, and age appropriate online games to help in the therapeutic process. I will build trust, and help with social and emotional regulation and improving communication skills.

— Aimee Perlmutter, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern

I have worked with children ages 5 and up for over 20 years and have learned to adapt play therapy to the different developmental ages. Younger children typically act their feelings out through play. Older children usually combine play and talk therapy to express themselves. I am able to adapt the sessions to each child in order to make the session appropriate to their age and personality. Additionally, I have attended multiple play therapy trainings in order to further enhance my skills.

— Julie Klamon, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Agoura Hills, CA

PCIT incorporates principles of play therapy that are taught to parents so they can provide daily play intervention and become their child's own therapeutic specialist.

— DC Hamilton, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Claremont, CA

I have received training in Play Therapy and utilize this modality when working with children ages 3-12.

— Arielle Emmett, Licensed Resident in Counseling in Blacksburg, VA

Completion of 2-year Post-Master's training in Play Therapy. 15 years of experience providing non-directive play therapy with children ages 3-12 yrs old.

— Robyn Holmes-Cannon, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

I have received specialized training in Synergetic Play Therapy and meet regularly with an SPT consultant.

— Lauren Krzyzaniak, Licensed Professional Counselor in Saginaw, MI

Play therapy is a wonderful modality and honestly it is not "just" for children. I have been doing non directive play therapy with people of all ages since 2015. Few things can't be helped by sticking your hands into some kinetic sand.

— Logan Druckman, Licensed Professional Counselor in Broomfield, CO

Play is the universal language of children. Online child play therapy is very much like traditional in-person counseling for children. Your child will use expressive toys and drawing items to help in the therapeutic process. As your child's therapist, I may implement age appropriate online games and digital sandtray therapy as treatment interventions. Depending on your child's age or your family's needs, parent-child therapy or parent coaching may be utilized.

— Dr. Dowtin, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

It is my belief that Play Therapy is the best treatment to use with a child. Through use of various therapeutic toys, games, and other tools (kid yoga!), I can enthusiastically and creatively help a kiddo learn healthy coping, emotion expression, self-mastery, and increased self esteem.

— Brittney George, Licensed Professional Counselor in , VA

For children, it might seems as though talking comes much too naturally. However, finding the words they need to say isn’t as easy during this time. Our belief as play therapists is that a child’s language is play and toys are children’s words. Toys are carefully selected for play therapy for children to play with so the therapist can search for themes and engage in play with the child which is their natural form of self-expression. Play therapy is more than just playing.

— Mallory Striesfeld, Licensed Professional Counselor in Houston, TX

Kids' brains are significantly different, and so therapy must be delivered in a developmentally appropriate way. In play therapy, kids come to accept themselves & others using imagination, trying out change in role plays, sometimes with art or metaphors for expression.

— Joy Cannon, Counselor in Austin, TX

I am a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S) with extensive experience and training in providing play therapy and supervising play therapists. I attended the University of North Texas for graduate school where I was able to learn play therapy from the true experts. I have been providing play therapy since 2012.

— Leslie Boutte, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX

I use video games, board games, and pop-culture to connect and teach. I set up problem solving scenarios and use games to help promote expression.

— Megan Johnston, Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Candidate in Gainesville, FL

Many therapists share they use play therapy in their practice with children, but have not taken further training on its use in therapy. I am a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, which means I completed 3 years and 3000 additional hours of practice after licensure, clinical supervision, consistent continued education courses, and significant focus in at least two play therapy evidence based practices.

— Kimberly Koljat, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Cleveland, OH

Play is the language of childhood. Play is used by children to explore their world and find meaning and understanding of the greater, more complex things happening around them. I utilize many forms of creative play to allow the child to use their imagination to play out how they are feeling inside, and together we work to find words to describe these feelings and develop skills to help regulate their emotions thereafter.

— Cristina Shea, Psychotherapist in New York, NY

As a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor who works via telehealth, I love being able to combine my Child-Centered approach with Digital Play Therapy. Using tools like the Virtual Sandtray App, whiteboards, Minecraft, Roblox, and digital versions of traditional board games I can bring the play therapy office to my clients, allowing them the power to speak in the language of play.

— Laura Morlok, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in ,

Play therapy is a great way to process through emotions and feelings that are hard to talk about. For this reason I have found that its effective for both children and adults! Sometimes play can help elicit feelings we didn’t even know we had associated to different events and process through how they are making us feel. It’s a great way to pin point how are emotions effect us, sometimes a drawing or a painting can show us something that you didn’t even know was affecting you! Plus its fun!

— Alisha Olson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Candidate