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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Ailyn Payan, Psychologist in Miami, FL

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 use video games, board games, and pop-culture to connect and teach. I set up problem solving scenarios and use games to help promote expression.

— Megan Johnston, Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Candidate in Gainesville, FL

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

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 - Healing Pathways of Houston, Licensed Professional Counselor in Houston, TX

Trained in play therapy for management of childhood anxiety, mood disorders and ADHD. Therapy includes game play, imaginative play and expressive art techniques.

— Heather Silivanch, Counselor in Morristown, NJ

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

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