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 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

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
 

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 , CA

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
 

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

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
 

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

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
 

I have training in play therapy, expressive arts therapy, and sand tray therapy with children ages 4 and up.

— Stacy Marshall, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX

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 Associate in Plano, TX
 

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

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
 

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

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
 

I am a Registered Play Therapist. While play therapy is often used with children and adolescents, I believe that adults can benefit from a playful approach as well. Play isn't limited to toys or games. Play can involve expressive arts, imaginative exercises -play can be an attitude toward life. I hold a Child-Centered Approach (or client-centered with adults) that the child has the ability to reach his/her potential and as a therapist, I hold a safe space for the client to explore and grow.

— Christina Scott, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Portsmouth, OH

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