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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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 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
 

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

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
 

Traditional "talk therapy" just doesn't work with many kids. Why? Have you ever had an in-depth, emotionally-based verbal conversation with a child (ahem...or teen)? I know I haven't. It's not that children don't want to get these feelings out, but they aren't yet at the developmental level where they can do so through words. Think of it this way... if words are how adults communicate, then for children play is their language and Toys are their words!

— Adriana Scott-Wolf, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Rockville Centre, NY

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 therapy is a structured, theoretically based approach to therapy that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children. Play therapy strategically helps children express what is troubling them when they do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings. Toys are like the child's words and play is the child's language. Through play, we can help children learn more adaptive behaviors when there are emotional or social skills deficits.

— Claudia Mattox, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Magnolia, TX

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 ,
 

I have extensive play therapy training. With over 120 hours of continuing education and over 35 hours of supervision in play therapy, I am close to attaining the Registered Play Therapist credential. I have received training in Child Centered Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy, Gestalt Play Therapy, and play therapy based in Attachment Theory.

— Rachel Narrow, Clinical Social Worker in Chevy Chase, MD

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
 

Kids learn and express themselves best through play and art. As I move towards becoming a Certified Play Therapist, I am thrilled to see my clients empowered by the ability to get the big feelings out and feel stronger. Parents often tell me how appreciative they are to understand better what their child is feeling and thinking.

— Ariel Morado, Counselor in Austin, TX

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
 

In TheraPlay sessions, the caregiver and child will be navigated through playful, fun games, developmentally challenging activities, and tender, nurturing activities. These acts help the caregiver regulate the child's behavior and communicate love, joy, and safety to the child. Sessions are in person only.

— Mollie Yocum, Therapist in Pacifica, CA

When it comes to working with children I typically utilize Child-Centered Play Therapy. Play is a child’s natural language. Using Play Therapy provides a therapeutic approach that is child-centered & evidence based. It helps children process a variety issues from anxiety, traumatic experiences, social difficulties, life changes & many more issues. Through attuning with the child the therapist builds trust, helps with social and emotional regulation and improves communication skills.

— Jessamy Whitsitt, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Seattle, WA
 

This is the primary firm of therapy for children that I use.

— Ailyn Payan, Psychologist in Miami, FL

Play is one of the most inspiring ways to get to know one's self as it is a inherent means of expression and exploration. Children cannot tolerate traditional talk therapy like adults can, therefore I use Play Therapy. Through play we can dive into their subconscious mind, make meaning of their behaviors and feelings and allow them to get to know themselves and their own needs on a much deeper level. I am trained in Oaklander Play Therapy as well as DIR/Floortime and use both in practice.

— Kayla Tsongas, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, 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