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.

Meet the specialists

Play Therapy provides an opportunity for children to work through their problems in a supportive and safe situation. While adults find relief in talking over their difficulties with a therapist, children are often unable to express their thoughts and feelings in words. Children communicate their thoughts and feelings through play more naturally than they do through verbal communication. Please contact me today if you feel your child could benefit from play therapy.

— Sabrina Merz, Counselor in Nederland, CO
 

Using play to allow children to express their thoughts and feelings and process difficult experiences

— Karen Wolfe, Marriage & Family Therapist in San francisco, CA

Children learn through play. By allowing them to playout their experiences in a safe, nurturing environment, children process and heal from traumatic experiences. Sandtray therapy (which is also used with teens and adults) allows children to make sense of their world through directive and non-directive means. Using the Nurtured Heart Approach during sessions also allows dysregulated children the space and control to help monitor and manage their own behaviors. Though not a registered play therapist, I have taken courses in graduate school and have seven years of continuing education and experience working primarily with children in the school setting.

— Tricia Norby, Counselor in Madison, WI
 

Children learn through play. By allowing them to playout their experiences in a safe, nurturing environment, children process and heal from traumatic experiences. Sandtray therapy (which is also used with teens and adults) allows children to make sense of their world through directive and non-directive means. Using the Nurtured Heart Approach during sessions also allows dysregulated children the space and control to help monitor and manage their own behaviors. Though not a registered play therapist, I have taken courses in graduate school and have seven years of continuing education and experience working primarily with children in the school setting.

— Tricia Norby, Counselor in Madison, WI

My work with children, in both a clinic and school setting, is play-based and generally child-centered, with theoretical support from narrative and psychodynamic traditions.

— Jennifer Trinkle, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA
 

Children learn through play. By allowing them to playout their experiences in a safe, nurturing environment, children process and heal from traumatic experiences. Sandtray therapy (which is also used with teens and adults) allows children to make sense of their world through directive and non-directive means. Using the Nurtured Heart Approach during sessions also allows dysregulated children the space and control to help monitor and manage their own behaviors. Though not a registered play therapist, I have taken courses in graduate school and have seven years of continuing education and experience working primarily with children in the school setting.

— Tricia Norby, Counselor in Madison, WI

It would be silly to think that as a child is developing and just beginning to grow their knowledge in words and word meanings, as a therapist I would assume that words would be the avenue to process the issues and struggles which brings a child into therapy. With play therapy treatment, a child’s struggles become clear and play becomes the vessel for communication. Through play, a child can be heard and understood, can become self-empowered, and can ultimately heal. Play is essential to a child’s development and helps build trust, express feelings, and inspire creativity. Play therapy is useful for children and families recovering from trauma, struggling with parenting and children’s behavioral issues, coping with grief and loss, families of divorce and separation, recovering from abuse, school issues and academic struggles, as well as many other difficulties.

— Christy Livingston, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Healdsburg, CA
 

Children learn through play. By allowing them to play-out their experiences in a safe, nurturing environment, children process and heal from traumatic experiences. Sandtray therapy (which is also used with teens and adults) allows children to make sense of their world through directive and non-directive means. Using the Nurtured Heart Approach during sessions also allows dysregulated children the space and control to help monitor and manage their own behaviors. Though not a registered play therapist, I have taken courses in graduate school and have seven years of continuing education and experience working primarily with children in the school setting.

— Tricia Norby, Counselor in Madison, WI

Play is a child's natural medium for communication. I use play therapy, when appropriate, with my clients, both child centered (non-directive) for younger clients and more directive for older clients because play heals! My training in play therapy has allowed me to use play in a safe, supportive way to help young children communicate and to help teach skills in playful manner with older clients, too.

— Courtney Hart, Clinical Social Worker in Havre de Grace, MD
 

With over 300 clinical hours of supervised play therapy experience, I offer my work with children ages 3 to 11 years old as my area of expertise. I have clinical experience with kids who struggle with a variety of presenting symptoms including: aggression, impulsivity, attention issues, anxiety, attachment disruptions, depression, grief, difficult peer/sibling relationships, high-conflict parental relationships, school refusal, and poor academic performance.

— Jennifer Cobb, Associate Professional Counselor in Charlotte, NC

Children learn through play. By allowing them to playout their experiences in a safe, nurturing environment, children process and heal from traumatic experiences. Sandtray therapy (which is also used with teens and adults) allows children to make sense of their world through directive and non-directive means. Using the Nurtured Heart Approach during sessions also allows dysregulated children the space and control to help monitor and manage their own behaviors. Though not a registered play therapist, I have taken courses in graduate school and have seven years of continuing education and experience working primarily with children in the school setting.

— Tricia Norby, Counselor in Madison, WI
 

I am a seasoned child therapist who has worked with children in play therapy for almost 30 years. I use art, structured and unstructured play, and therapeutic games.

— Robin Knoblach, Clinical Psychologist in Herndon, VA
 

I use playing therapy when working with young children and families.

— Cynthia Cruz, Counselor in Chicago, IL
 

Children learn through play. By allowing them to playout their experiences in a safe, nurturing environment, children process and heal from traumatic experiences. Sandtray therapy (which is also used with teens and adults) allows children to make sense of their world through directive and non-directive means. Using the Nurtured Heart Approach during sessions also allows dysregulated children the space and control to help monitor and manage their own behaviors. Though not a registered play therapist, I have taken courses in graduate school and have seven years of continuing education and experience working primarily with children in the school setting.

— Tricia Norby, Counselor in Madison, WI

Play is the language of childhood. Therapeutic play uses open-ended, expressive tools to invite creativity, stories, wishes & worries into the room. Children making sense of traumatic events often find comfort in moving sand, building miniature worlds, and giving voice to puppets. My work is to see and understand your child's point of view. For kids who struggle with fears and feelings, big questions, or finding their voice, the playroom offers a safe space.

— MereAnn Reid, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Portland, OR
 

I am in the process of becoming a Registered Play Therapist, and am under the supervision of an RPT-S. I have completed hundreds of hours of play therapy sessions, and the concurrent supervision. I have also attended numerous trainings on play therapy techniques. I primarily use child centered play therapy and experiential play therapy techniques.

— Clara Rivers, Clinical Social Worker in Roseville, MN

While they play, I help your child work through intense emotions, worries and struggles by using a powerful type of therapy called Synergetic Play Therapy. In this style of play therapy, I name my own feelings that arise while your child plays. Using this approach allows your child to see me as being authentic, which gets them to trust me. Naming my own feelings also encourages your child to reflect within themselves and become curious about how they are feeling.

— Kathy Temple, Counselor in Broomfield, CO
 

As a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor I use play therapy to help people of all ages communicate their feelings, express their needs and learn skills necessary to manage their lives.

— Danyale Weems, Counselor in Carrollton, GA
 

Children learn through play. By allowing them to playout their experiences in a safe, nurturing environment, children process and heal from traumatic experiences. Sandtray therapy (which is also used with teens and adults) allows children to make sense of their world through directive and non-directive means. Using the Nurtured Heart Approach during sessions also allows dysregulated children the space and control to help monitor and manage their own behaviors. Though not a registered play therapist, I have taken courses in graduate school and have seven years of continuing education and experience working primarily with children in the school setting.

— Tricia Norby, Counselor in Madison, WI

Children learn through play. By allowing them to playout their experiences in a safe, nurturing environment, children process and heal from traumatic experiences. Sandtray therapy (which is also used with teens and adults) allows children to make sense of their world through directive and non-directive means. Using the Nurtured Heart Approach during sessions also allows dysregulated children the space and control to help monitor and manage their own behaviors. Though not a registered play therapist, I have taken courses in graduate school and have seven years of continuing education and experience working primarily with children in the school setting.

— Tricia Norby, Counselor in Madison, WI
 

I am a registered play therapist and supervisor (RPT-S) through the Association for Play Therapy. This credential requires several hundred hours of continuing education and practice with play therapy. I am a member of several branches of The Association for Play Therapy.

— Lacey Fisher, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX

I'm a Registered Play Therapist. This means that I have completed over 100 hours of Play Therapy training and spent at least 50 hours with a RPT Supervisor to discuss over 500 hours of Play Therapy sessions! I’m not just casually interested in Play Therapy - I’m passionate, invested and highly educated.

— Laura Morlok, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Damascus, MD
 

https://www.a4pt.org/page/PTMakesADifference/Play-Therapy-Makes-a-Difference.htm

— Melanie Taylor, Counselor in Fort Smith, AR