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Importance of Play Therapy

Importance of Play Therapy…

Landmark Family Counseling provides Play Therapy! The play therapy model is supported by research and is the treatment of choice for children particularly ages 3-12 years of age. Play is the natural way a child communicates. In play therapy the toys are like the child’s words and the play is like the child’s language (Landreth, 2002). When a therapist is trained in play therapy, this approach can be strategically used to help a child explore problems and find creative solutions.

Play therapy approaches can also be effective for teens and adults. It can be a fun and safe way to address difficult problems. A therapist may use playful interventions such as art, sandtray, music, sculpting and poetry to help a teen or adult make therapeutic progress.

Research shows that play therapy can be effective for children struggling with problems such as divorce, illness, stress, abuse, death, domestic violence, natural disasters and relocation (Reddy, Files-Hall & Schaefer, 2005). Play therapy is used to treat many problems including anxiety, depression, conduct disorders, ADHD, pervasive developmental disorders and social deficits (Bratton, Ray & Rhine, 2005).

The Association for Play Therapy (APT) identifies many potential benefits of play therapy for a child. Some of them are identified here:

Develop solutions to their problems

Become more responsible for behaviors

Stimulate creative thinking

Boost confidence

Cultivate empathy

Develop respect for self and others

Express emotion

Regulate emotion

Learn new social skills

Relieve stress

Resolve inner conflicts

Promote cognitive development

Improve Relationships

Sharlene Christensen is a Registered Play Therapist (RPT). This credential requires extensive education, training and experience. Sharlene Christensen has earned this credential through the Association for Play Therapy (APT). She is a registered APT play therapist and she is also a board member for the Utah Association for Play Therapy. She would be happy to help you and your child play today!