What is Play Therapy?
Have you heard other parents talking about play therapy? Do you find yourself wondering if your child’s behavioral problems are beyond your control? Do you spend a good chunk of your day worried about your child’s emotional well-being?
We all know that children experience emotional challenges and play therapy is to children what counseling is to adults. Specifically, play provides a developmentally appropriate way for children to express what might be troubling them. Unlike children, adults are able to talk to others to help cope with the challenges we experience. Simply put, when children struggle with something, they often are unable to use their words to express these concerns.
Play therapy allows a licensed mental health professional to join into a child’s world to help express themselves through toys instead of words. To clarify, play therapy offers a unique opportunity for children to prevent and resolve their problems.
What are the Benefits?
Children begin play therapy for a variety of issues, including:
- behavior concerns
- impulse control
- expression of feelings
- school challenges
- peer and sibling relationship
- coping skills
- grief and loss
Through play, children can learn how to:
- express their feelings
- be creative and resourceful in preventing or resolving problems
- build self-esteem
- understand that their feelings matter and are acceptable
- make choices and be responsible for their choices
How Can Parents Help?
- First, find a therapist who has been trained in play therapy. Specialized knowledge and training communicates competence as a licensed mental health professional.
- Second, meet with your child’s therapist. Ask what to do when your child shows problems at home. Therapy works best when a parent, family member, or caretaker is actively involved in the treatment process.
- Lastly, understand that therapy takes time. It may take many visits for your child to feel comfortable and express concerns through their play. Change takes time.
How to Begin Counseling
My hope at Relational Family Therapy is to provide you with the knowledge and confidence as an individual, parent, partner, or family member. If you, or someone you know, is considering play therapy for a child in the New Braunfels area, contact Tarah to discuss how your needs can be met at Relational Family Therapy!
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