As child psychologist, James L. Hymes, Jr. says, “Play is thinking time for young children. It is language time. Problem-solving time. It is memory time, planning time, investigating time. It is organization-of-ideas time, when the young child uses his mind and body and his social skills and all his powers in response to the stimuli he has met.”
Play therapy allows the child to express and process difficult emotions in the child’s most natural form of self-expression, play. Through the supported play in a safe space with the therapist, children can express and integrate emotional stresses and traumatic experiences. As these experiences are processed and worked through in the therapeutic setting, children gain a sense of empowerment and obtain the tools to cope with future stresses that may arise.
As a play therapist, my role is to provide a safe, nurturing and validating environment in which children are free to play as they wish. Through therapeutic play, metaphors emerge and feelings arise that represent the emotional struggles the child is internally experiencing. As these struggles (fear, anger, frustration, sadness, loss, etc.) are expressed and processed with the support of the play therapist, healing begins. When children feel safe, accepted and understood by the therapist, they internalize this experience and learn to feel safe, accepted and understood within themselves.
Each session consists of 45-minutes of Play Therapy for the child. I also provide regular 15 minute check-in phone calls after the child’s sessions. During this time we will discuss what your child worked on in his/her session and you will update me on how things are going at home. I will provide tools and strategies for supporting your child’s process and helping him be his very best self. I welcome parents’ questions and celebrate parental involvement in the therapeutic process. I strive to foster a collaborative approach to a child’s health and well being throughout this process.
Research shows that Play therapy is highly effective for children experiencing struggles with issues including:
• Behavioral Challenges
• Divorce or Separation
• Separation Anxiety
• Grief and Loss
• Social Adjustment
• Sleep Disturbances