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

Magic Moments Play Therapy specializes in fostering a space where emotional processes can be explored. Our mission is to provide children & their families with the opportunity to build communication, create connection, overcome fears & trust the intelligence within themselves so when it comes time to handle the hard things, they can be confident socially & emotionally.

— Jennifer Kubalak, Counselor in Boulder, CO

Your little one means the world to you. It is frustrating when you know they are struggling but you don't know how to help. In play therapy, children express themselves through their play. The toys they choose are their words. I strive to create a safe and warm environment where you and your child can express yourselves honestly. I offer parent consultations, one-on-one play therapy sessions, and family therapy sessions to best meet your needs.

— Christina Holyoak, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Pleasant Grove, UT
 

Play is so important! Play is the language of childhood. It's how kids process their emotions and their experiences. Children are still learning how to communicate about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with words. Play comes naturally. I utilize play therapy techniques to help your child process anxiety and learn how to self-regulate.

— Hanna Woody, Counselor in Asheville, NC
 

My experience working with young children in the school setting has helped me understand play as the natural language of children. Play is a major form of expression for children who have not yet grown their emotional vocabulary. I greatly enjoy putting myself on a child's level to learn about their world and their feelings through play.

— Brenda McGrath, Clinical Social Worker in Burlington, VT

Play is the natural language of children. It's the way they process and make sense of their world. And when they're faced with struggles that need attention, play is the best way to engage with them and help them. I am a Registered Play Therapist, which means I have extensive training and supervised experience utilizing the medium of play to help children work through loss, parents' divorce, and other issues.

— Brent Sweitzer, Counselor in Cumming, GA
 

Play Therapy is a research-based, developmentally appropriate way for children to work through feelings and problems they are experiencing. Because children may not have the verbal language to express themselves and process their experiences, play therapy provides an opportunity for them to communicate without words.

— Jeanine Rousso, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Santa Rosa Beach, FL
 

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, Licensed 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

Play therapy has been my primary specialization throughout my work with children over 20 years. I've worked in a preschool/Child Development Center for 10 years, in elementary school and in private practice. Play is an essential part of my treatment with children for all types of issues.

— Suzy Heltzel, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Los Altos, CA
 

Emotions and struggles can be integrated in the realm of true play. Children can become more integrated through the play therapy process. I am certified in Synergetic Play Therapy.

— Maria Arias, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

I use play therapy, sand tray , art, and other creative modalities for children, and teens, in groups, and with trauma survivors.

— Tina Ottman-Boykin, Counselor in Plymouth, 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 am a Registered Play Therapist who has presented on play therapy to refugee relief workers in Athens, Greece. Becoming a play therapist requires extensive, in-depth postgraduate training as well as extra supervision. Children naturally learn, solve problems, and make sense of feelings through play, and I believe almost every child in counseling could benefit from a play therapy approach.

— Katie Lear, Licensed Professional Counselor in Davidson, NC
 

Unlike adults, children often use other forms of communication, such as playing, to relate how they feel. I provide toys and art materials so that your child can express his or her difficulties. This play gives me the information I need to understand your child's troubles. I work with children to resolve their difficulties in a supportive and safe setting. I work collaboratively with parents to help them to better understand the specific needs and abilities of their child.

— Miranda Gabriel, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist in Campbell, 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 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 a Registered Play Therapist. 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 Theraplay, child centered play therapy and experiential play therapy techniques.

— Clara Rivers, Clinical Social Worker in Roseville, MN
 

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

Trained play therapists with additional training in Ecosystemic play therapy, Expressive Arts with Children and Adolescents and counseling children and adolescents! Our therapists have worked with children diagnosed with ODD, ADHD, Autism, Conduct Disorder, Depression and Anxiety.

— Anderson Counseling & Education, Licensed Professional Counselor in Fort Mill, SC
 

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
 

I completed my Play Therapy training at University of California, San Diego, Extensions.

— Jaimi Martin, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in San Diego, CA