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Benefits of Play Therapy

The Association for Play Therapy defines play therapy as “the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development."

Children naturally communicate through play and sometimes do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings about issues in life. In play therapy, toys become words, and the positive relationship developed with the therapist provides a corrective emotional experience that facilitates change and personal growth. Play therapy gives children the space and creative avenues to change the way they view their situations, process feelings, and come to resolutions for what is concerning them. Research has shown it to be effective with a wide variety of childhood experiences including processing life stressors such as divorce, abuse and trauma recovery, and grief work.

Here are some specific BENEFITS of play therapy:

  • Become more responsible for behaviors.

  • Develop new, creative solutions to problems.

  • Develop respect and acceptance of themselves and others.

  • Learn to experience and express emotions.

  • Cultivate empathy and respect for the thoughts and feelings of others.

  • Learn new social skills and relational skills in their relationships.

  • Develop self-efficacy and a better assuredness about their abilities.

*Information taken from the Association for Play Therapy

Heather Lokteff, child counselor, lake oswego, tigard

#children #playtherapy #communication #relationships #counseling #counselor #therapist #therapy

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