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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Meet the specialists

 

Play Therapy is an evidence based treatment modality that centers on child centered play therapy, art, music and sand tray. The concept behind play therapy is that children heal through their own play. Themes of play are identified in the therapy session and processed.

— Dr. Aimee Harris, Licensed Professional Counselor in Glen Allen, VA

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
 

I utilize several approaches to play therapy, depending on the child. I have completed training in Theraplay and sand tray therapy.

— Imani Bowman, Counselor in Silver Spring, MD

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
 

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

Although I am not yet certified in Play Therapy, I received Graduate Training in Play Therapy as well as Supervision during Graduate training and during Post Graduate School clinicals. I have 130 hours of Play Therapy course work and 55 Play Therapy Supervision hours. I used Play Therapy for 2 yrs with children and parents exclusively at an Agency in Georgia as well as at Siskin's Family Developmental Center in Chattanooga where I worked children with special needs. I continue to see children.

— Alicia Bradshaw, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Chattanooga, TN
 

A few things I want you to know about play therapy: Children use play as means to process their world, it’s amazing. Play is for adults too. The therapeutic relationship helps to facilitate the play therapy process. Themes emerge from play. The foundation of safety and security, and ultimately healthy attachment are built and strengthened through play.

— Andrea Picard, Counselor in Chicago, IL

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 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 am constantly attending as many play therapy trainings as I can. I utilize play therapy techniques throughout my process with children and like to bring in play with adults when I can as well.

— Madeleine Cushman, Licensed Mental Health Counselor
 

Play therapy allows kids to receive the help they need to cope with life-altering trauma, all through the power of play. Just as adults enjoy a conversation in their native language, children can better relate to trauma therapy techniques using their first language – “Play.”

— Yanina Marti-Ramirez de Arellano, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Lancaster, PA

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
 

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 enjoy using play and art therapy techniques with adults and children alike. Non-traditional techniques help to give you a new perspective and some distance from the problems. This kind of therapy also helps with trauma and other experiences that are difficult to talk openly about. This is a non-structured approach that promotes a feeling of freedom and calm. It is one of the best evidence-based treatments for children's mental health issues.

— Daniela Childers, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in Gainesville, FL
 

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 Boulder, CO

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 a foundational experience. Especially for younger people, play provides an opportunity to make sense of one's world, assert a sense of safety and control, and develop self-confidence, and it's fun! I have found play to be effective in helping children act out experiences in their life that they are trying to make sense of and feelings that they are looking for words for as they develop their own emotional vocabulary.

— Kara Petersen, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Ventura, CA

I am experienced and trained in offering Play Therapy from renowned PT specialists. Play Therapy provides a dynamic way to interact with children in their native language of play to increase their emotional equilibrium and restore developmental processes. I am experienced helping children recover from grief, trauma, divorce and other difficulties- and am supervised by an experienced RPT-S (Registered Play Therapy Supervisor). I welcome working with your child and family.

— Amy Burley, Licensed Professional Counselor in Plano, TX
 

While working with children I utilize play therapy where they learn to manage their feelings and emotions as well as social skills. In 2016, I developed a play intervention program for children with autism and developmental disabilities.

— Samantha Levinson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Bryn Mawr, PA