Play therapy is designed to help children 3-12 years old to better cope with difficult life situations.
According to the Association for Play Therapy, "Play therapy is a structured, theoretically based approach to therapy that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children. Therapists strategically utilize play therapy to help children express what is troubling them when they do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings."
Research supports the effectiveness of play therapy with children experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning problems, including: children whose problems are related to life stressors, such as divorce, death, relocation, hospitalization, chronic illness, assimilate stressful experiences, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, and natural disasters.
Play therapy helps children:
Become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies.
Develop new and creative solutions to problems.
Develop respect and acceptance of self and others.
Learn to experience and express emotion.
Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others.
Learn new social skills and relational skills with family.
Develop self-efficacy and thus a better assuredness about their abilities.
For more information on play therapy, visit the Association for Play Therapy.