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


Just as children learn about life through play, in play therapy, they heal and resolve issues through play. A common misconception about play therapy is, “So you play with them so that they feel comfortable telling you what is going on with them?” No. The play is used in a strategic way, and conversation is not required for healing. Play therapy’s philosophy is that the child already has everything they need to solve a problem. The therapist is the guide who facilitates the breakthrough.

— Ofra Obejas, Clinical Social Worker in Redondo Beach, CA

Supports children in using play to express themselves, explore thoughts and feelings, and find ways to manage stressors.

— Christine Brent, Clinical Social Worker in Rochester, NY

My first play therapy course changed my mind about ever working with children; I trained extensively in play therapy modalities and I remain a big believer in the power of play for everyone. I use play therapy techniques such as reflecting, encouragement, returning responsibility, and therapeutic limit-setting to successfully relate to children. This foundation has also influenced my work with adolescents and adults.

— Hilda Lopez, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor in Berkeley, CA

As a Registered Play Therapist, I am trained in translating the language of children, PLAY. I offer a carefully selected variety of toys to aid children in communicating and expressing their emotions and needs in order to decrease challenging behaviors. I provide a caring, safe, and non-judgmental space in order to help them learn how to co-regulate so they can learn better ways to express themselves. I provide Parenting Support to aid in strengthening Parent-Child connection.

— Isabel Decian, Counselor in Auburn, WA

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 Theraplay, child centered play therapy and experiential play therapy techniques.

— Clara Rivers, Clinical Social Worker in Roseville, MN

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

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

I believe that everyone can benefit from play. Research has shown that children learn the most while playing because of the way that their brains take in information. I don't think that stops when you turn 18. For that reason, I try to incorporate play therapy techniques when I can, which may mean playing games, doing art, or simply trying fun movements to demonstrate my point.

— Evan Wilson, Social Worker in Baltimore, MD

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 Boulder, CO

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

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

Play Therapy is also offered in our dedicated Play Therapy room for children 3 & up. Play Therapy allows young children to express their feelings, thoughts, and needs through creative play with a trained therapist. I work closely with parents/caregivers to address their child's emotional, behavioral, & cognitive needs through Parent Consultations & Coaching.

— Ronda Wegman, Licensed Professional Counselor in Houston, TX