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

I have training in play therapy, expressive arts therapy, and sand tray therapy with children ages 4 and up.

— Stacy Marshall, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
 

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 additional hours of practice after licensure, 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

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
 

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 additional hours of practice after licensure, 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

I have worked with children ages 5 and up for over 20 years and have learned to adapt play therapy to the different developmental ages. Younger children typically act their feelings out through play. Older children usually combine play and talk therapy to express themselves. I am able to adapt the sessions to each child in order to make the session appropriate to their age and personality. Additionally, I have attended multiple play therapy trainings in order to further enhance my skills.

— Julie Klamon, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Agoura Hills, CA
 

For children, it might seems as though talking comes much too naturally. However, finding the words they need to say isn’t as easy during this time. Our belief as play therapists is that a child’s language is play and toys are children’s words. Toys are carefully selected for play therapy for children to play with so the therapist can search for themes and engage in play with the child which is their natural form of self-expression. Play therapy is more than just playing.

— Mallory Striesfeld, Licensed Professional Counselor in Houston, TX

Although I am not yet certified in Play Therapy, I received Graduate Training in Play Therapy as well as Supervision during Graduate training and during Post Graduate School clinicals. I have 130 hours of Play Therapy course work and 55 Play Therapy Supervision hours. I used Play Therapy for 2 yrs with children and parents exclusively at an Agency in Georgia as well as at Siskin's Family Developmental Center in Chattanooga where I worked children with special needs. I continue to see children.

— Alicia Bradshaw, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Chattanooga, TN
 

It is my belief that Play Therapy is the best treatment to use with a child. Through use of various therapeutic toys, games, and other tools (kid yoga!), I can enthusiastically and creatively help a kiddo learn healthy coping, emotion expression, self-mastery, and increased self esteem.

— Brittney George, Licensed Professional Counselor in , VA

We work with children as young as 18 months with a variety of play therapy interventions, including sand tray therapy. Through the use of storytelling, role play, and movement we help children express themselves in the ways most natural to them. We frequently involve parents in child play therapy sessions to promote strong family bonds and help caregivers understand the messages their child is communicating through their play.

— Catherine (Katie) Fries, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Philadelphia, PA
 

I integrate play therapy with children and adolescents to help them understand their emotions and gain social awareness

— Sheena Shukla, Social Worker in ,

I am a Registered Play Therapist. While play therapy is often used with children and adolescents, I believe that adults can benefit from a playful approach as well. Play isn't limited to toys or games. Play can involve expressive arts, imaginative exercises -play can be an attitude toward life. I hold a Child-Centered Approach (or client-centered with adults) that the child has the ability to reach his/her potential and as a therapist, I hold a safe space for the client to explore and grow.

— Christina Scott, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Portsmouth, OH