Before taking a child for play therapy, tell her that she is going to a play therapist who is going to help her understand her feelings while she paints, draws, tells stories, listens to music, plays with a ball or makes something out of clay. Explain that it helps to talk about feelings, because if feelings are all kept inside and ignored they might cause a feeling to want to boil over. Or a child might become confused, unhappy or even act in ways that feels out of control and frightening.
It can be intimidating to talk to someone they do not know, but the approach is non-threatening and the therapist does not force children to talk about something that they do not feel ready to talk about. If it is difficult for the child to separate from parents, they can sit in on the whole or part of the first session.