You’re concerned about your child. Maybe he or she seems especially angry or sad, has tantrums, is defiant, struggles with panic attacks, or has some other issue. You’re ready to put your child in counseling, but you aren’t sure what that looks like for a kid. Do they sit on a couch and talk with an adult, like in traditional talk therapy?
What research has revealed is that children make faster, more significant progress when they are relaxed, and having fun.It makes sense! Play therapy builds resilience, self confidence, a sense of self-efficacy (or competency), and behavioral regulation while also diminishing anxiety, emotional reactivity, and impulsivity— just to name a few benefits. Contact Play Therapy with Jen today for a free consultation.
Traditional types of therapy often have the therapist sitting in a chair and the client sitting on a loveseat or couch in a room that looks a lot like a typical living room you might find in any American home. For talk therapy, this environment is appropriate and works quite well, but play therapy is something completely different.
Traditional talk therapy sends the implicit message that there is a problem; something is wrong or broken that needs to be fixed. In child-centered play therapy, this is not the case. In fact, children are excited to go to their play therapy sessions, because they know that they can play with any of the toys and other supplies in the room in almost any way they choose.
They aren’t sure why, but every time they come to that magical playroom, they end up feeling stronger, braver, smarter, more capable than ever before. There are quiet moments in play therapy as well— depending on a child’s mood on a given day—but many if not most play therapy sessions could be described as boisterous and stimulating, and from the child’s perspective, downright fun.
Rather than memorizing coping skills and then trying to figure out when to apply them in their lives, as an adult might do, children simply play, and the play therapist interacts with them in strategic ways that target the areas which need addressing.