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.

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Play Therapy has been researched as the most effective modality for treating children. Children communicate through play, and in child-centered Play Therapy the therapist enters into the child's world, responding with validation and reflection to provide relief from the symptoms which brought the child to therapy. The therapist then models responding in a regulated way to the child's play, so that the child can acquire tools to support themselves in regulating their own emotions.

— Chana Halberg, Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate in Boulder, CO

Play is the universal language of children. I typically utilize Child-Centered Play Therapy which helps kids process a variety issues from anxiety, traumatic experiences, social difficulties, life changes & many more issues. Online child play therapy uses use expressive toys, drawing items, and age appropriate online games to help in the therapeutic process. I will build trust, and help with social and emotional regulation and improving communication skills.

— Aimee Perlmutter, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern
 

GAMING THERAPY, also known as video game therapy, is a form of therapy that uses video games as a tool to address various mental health issues. It involves playing video games that are specifically designed to promote mental and emotional well-being and to help individuals overcome a range of issues.

— Dr. Tim Hill, Licensed Professional Counselor in Arlington, TX

Play therapy is a form of therapy used primarily for children. That’s because children may not be able to process their own emotions or articulate problems to parents or other adults. I've been working with play therapy since 2016 when made aware of the benefits at the University of Southern California (USC).

— Eric Hall, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Fayetteville, 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 Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S) with extensive experience and training in providing play therapy and supervising play therapists. I attended the University of North Texas for graduate school where I was able to learn play therapy from the true experts. I have been providing play therapy since 2012.

— Leslie Boutte, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
 

I am a Registered Play Therapist and am constantly seeking out continuing education opportunities to learn more about how to better help the children I work with.

— Andrea Heston, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Houston, TX

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

Many therapists share they use play therapy in their practice with children, but have not taken further training on its use in therapy. I am a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, which means I completed 3 years and 3000 hours of practice, clinical supervision, consistent continued education courses, and significant focus in at least two play therapy evidence based practices.

— Kimberly Koljat, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Cleveland, OH
 

Play is the natural language of children, and in treatment, toys are their words. In treatment, kids use the natural language of play to make meaning of what they are experiencing and to explore new possibilities. Training: Cambridge Hospital, Harvard Medical School's practicum for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Currently pursuing Registered Play Therapist Credentials from the American Association for Play Therapy;

— Christina Borel, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Litchfield, CT

I use play therapy techniques to help youth learn self-trust, self-compassion, and process and heal from difficult life experiences. I love developing a relationship built on mutual respect and trust with my kiddo clients, and helping them learn that they are inherently strong and resilient.

— Eva Belzil, Marriage & Family Therapist in Fort Collins, CO
 

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 skilled with the ability to help the most challenging of children with research-supported non-directive Play Therapy, in which the child takes the lead in the session healing at their needed pace, while I closely follow and examine his or her play. I believe that children know what they need to work on and that their play will take them to where they need to go for healing. I have successfully worked with children since 2001.

— Karen Poynor, LPC, NCC, RPT, Licensed Professional Counselor in Tucker, GA
 

I use play therapy techniques to help youth learn self-trust, self-compassion, and process and heal from difficult life experiences. I love developing a relationship built on mutual respect and trust with my kiddo clients, and helping them learn that they are inherently strong and resilient.

— Eva Belzil, Marriage & Family Therapist in Fort Collins, CO

A few things I want you to know about play therapy: Children use play as means to process their world, it’s amazing. Play is for adults too. The therapeutic relationship helps to facilitate the play therapy process. Themes emerge from play. The foundation of safety and security, and ultimately healthy attachment are built and strengthened through play.

— Andrea Picard, Counselor in Chicago, IL