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

Children learn through play. By allowing them to playout their experiences in a safe, nurturing environment, children process and heal from traumatic experiences. Sandtray therapy (which is also used with teens and adults) allows children to make sense of their world through directive and non-directive means. Using the Nurtured Heart Approach during sessions also allows dysregulated children the space and control to help monitor and manage their own behaviors. Though not a registered play therapist, I have taken courses in graduate school and have seven years of continuing education and experience working primarily with children in the school setting.

— Tricia Norby, Counselor in Madison, WI
 

I use play therapy techniques to help youth learn self-trust, self-compassion, and process and heal from difficult life experiences. I love developing a relationship built on mutual respect and trust with my kiddo clients, and helping them learn that they are inherently strong and resilient.

— Eva Belzil, Marriage & Family Therapist in Fort Collins, CO

My office offers teletherapy play sessions with children and is also easily transformed into a space comfortable for adolescents, adults, and couples. For more than 15 years, I have worked with children, adolescents, and adults with behavioral and emotional challenges.

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

People use materials in the room to express their inner world and find new meaning with creative problem solving. Request intensives for faster progress.

— Chessie Snider, Professional Counselor Associate in Seattle, WA

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 hours of practice, 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
 

Children learn through play. By allowing them to playout their experiences in a safe, nurturing environment, children process and heal from traumatic experiences. Sandtray therapy (which is also used with teens and adults) allows children to make sense of their world through directive and non-directive means. Using the Nurtured Heart Approach during sessions also allows dysregulated children the space and control to help monitor and manage their own behaviors. Though not a registered play therapist, I have taken courses in graduate school and have seven years of continuing education and experience working primarily with children in the school setting.

— Tricia Norby, Counselor in Madison, WI

Children learn through play. By allowing them to playout their experiences in a safe, nurturing environment, children process and heal from traumatic experiences. Sandtray therapy (which is also used with teens and adults) allows children to make sense of their world through directive and non-directive means. Using the Nurtured Heart Approach during sessions also allows dysregulated children the space and control to help monitor and manage their own behaviors. Though not a registered play therapist, I have taken courses in graduate school and have seven years of continuing education and experience working primarily with children in the school setting.

— Tricia Norby, Counselor in Madison, WI
 

Children learn through play. By allowing them to playout their experiences in a safe, nurturing environment, children process and heal from traumatic experiences. Sandtray therapy (which is also used with teens and adults) allows children to make sense of their world through directive and non-directive means. Using the Nurtured Heart Approach during sessions also allows dysregulated children the space and control to help monitor and manage their own behaviors. Though not a registered play therapist, I have taken courses in graduate school and have seven years of continuing education and experience working primarily with children in the school setting.

— Tricia Norby, Counselor in Madison, WI

I love utilizing play therapy techniques in my work with individuals in couples. Depending on your level of interest and needs, we may draw, paint, play with clay, or utilize sand trays in session.

— Nic Sutherland, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR
 

Talk therapy just doesn't seem to cut it with children so they require a mode of communication and expression on their developmental level. I learned Play Therapy at Stetson University where I now teach it as a professor and use it daily in my private practice. Play is a child's natural language and toys, paint brushes, and crayons are their words. This is a well researched and evidenced based approach to treatment that allows children, and their caregivers, to be supported.

— Garrett Graves, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in DeLand, FL

Children learn through play. By allowing them to playout their experiences in a safe, nurturing environment, children process and heal from traumatic experiences. Sandtray therapy (which is also used with teens and adults) allows children to make sense of their world through directive and non-directive means. Using the Nurtured Heart Approach during sessions also allows dysregulated children the space and control to help monitor and manage their own behaviors. Though not a registered play therapist, I have taken courses in graduate school and have seven years of continuing education and experience working primarily with children in the school setting.

— Tricia Norby, Counselor in Madison, WI
 

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
 

Play Therapy has been researched as the most effective modality for treating children. Children communicate through play, and in child-centered Play Therapy the therapist enters into the child's world, responding with validation and reflection to provide relief from the symptoms which brought the child to therapy. The therapist then models responding in a regulated way to the child's play, so that the child can acquire tools to support themselves in regulating their own emotions.

— Chana Halberg, Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate in Boulder, CO

I am a Registered Play Therapist and am constantly seeking out continuing education opportunities to learn more about how to better help the children I work with.

— Andrea Heston, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Houston, TX