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

 

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

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 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

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 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

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
 

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

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
 

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

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

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

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 ,
 

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

Play therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach primarily used to help children ages 3 to 12 explore their lives and freely express repressed thoughts and emotions through play. Therapeutic play normally takes place in a safe, comfortable playroom, where very few rules or limits are imposed on the child, encouraging free expression and allowing the therapist to observe the child’s choices, decisions, and play style. The goal is to help children learn to express themselves in healthier ways.

— Jacqueline Santana Sparber, Psychologist in Homestead, FL
 

I am a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, trained beyond my Master's degree with an additional 2 years of supervision and 150 hours of play-therapy specific training. Play is the language of children, and play therapy is clinically evidenced to help children to express emotions and improve their mental health.

— Elizabeth Reed, Clinical Social Worker in Charlotte, NC

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
 

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

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