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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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

PCIT incorporates principles of play therapy that are taught to parents so they can provide daily play intervention and become their child's own therapeutic specialist.

— DC Hamilton, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Claremont, CA

As a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor who works via telehealth, I love being able to combine my Child-Centered approach with Digital Play Therapy. Using tools like the Virtual Sandtray App, whiteboards, Minecraft, Roblox, and digital versions of traditional board games I can bring the play therapy office to my clients, allowing them the power to speak in the language of play.

— Laura Morlok, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in ,

I use video games, board games, and pop-culture to connect and teach. I set up problem solving scenarios and use games to help promote expression.

— Megan Johnston, Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Candidate in Gainesville, FL

I am a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, trained beyond my Master's degree with an additional 2 years of supervision and 150 hours of play-therapy specific training. Play is the language of children, and play therapy is clinically evidenced to help children to express emotions and improve their mental health.

— Elizabeth Reed, Clinical Social Worker in Charlotte, NC

I am experienced and trained in offering Play Therapy from renowned PT specialists. Play Therapy provides a dynamic way to interact with children in their native language of play to increase their emotional equilibrium and restore developmental processes. I am experienced helping children recover from grief, trauma, divorce and other difficulties- and am supervised by an experienced RPT-S (Registered Play Therapy Supervisor). I welcome working with your child and family.

— Amy Burley, Licensed Professional Counselor in Plano, TX

I was raised to believe in the power of play. I love playing as a way of learning, playing through problems, seeing how things play-out, and playing with ideas. We can learn a lot about a child's functioning by observing their play, and we can do much to help improve it by using play. I believe play therapy is appropriate for all ages.

— Lindsey McGehee, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in San Antonio, TX

Kids learn and express themselves best through play and art. As I move towards becoming a Certified Play Therapist, I am thrilled to see my clients empowered by the ability to get the big feelings out and feel stronger. Parents often tell me how appreciative they are to understand better what their child is feeling and thinking.

— Ariel Morado, Counselor in Austin, TX

Play therapy is a great way to process through emotions and feelings that are hard to talk about. For this reason I have found that its effective for both children and adults! Sometimes play can help elicit feelings we didn’t even know we had associated to different events and process through how they are making us feel. It’s a great way to pin point how are emotions effect us, sometimes a drawing or a painting can show us something that you didn’t even know was affecting you! Plus its fun!

— Alisha Olson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Candidate

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

Play therapy allows kids to receive the help they need to cope with life-altering trauma, all through the power of play. Just as adults enjoy a conversation in their native language, children can better relate to trauma therapy techniques using their first language – “Play.”

— Yanina Marti-Ramirez de Arellano, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Lancaster, PA

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

I have many years experience and many hours training working with youth, especially youth with anxiety, depression and who are on the autism spectrum.

— Molz Wirtz, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Portland, OR

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

I utilize several approaches to play therapy, depending on the child. I have completed training in Theraplay and sand tray therapy.

— Imani Bowman, Counselor in Silver Spring, MD

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

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