Play is vital to every child's social, emotional, cognitive, physical, creative and language development. It helps make learning concrete for all children and young people including those for whom verbal communication may be difficult .Play Therapy helps children in a variety of ways. Children receive emotional support and can learn to understand more about their own feelings and thoughts. Sometimes they may re-enact or play out traumatic or difficult life experiences in order to make sense of their past and cope better with their future. Children may also learn to manage relationships and conflicts in more appropriate ways. The outcomes of Play Therapy may be general e.g. a reduction in anxiety and raised self-esteem, or more specific such as a change in behaviour and improved relations with family and friends.
"If you have ever watched children play you can see many dynamics taking place including the expression of their personalities. A lot can be learned by watching children play and inevitably children will play out events in their own lives. If we understand a child’s play we can understand the child. So play may seem an odd way to help a child through their difficulties, but it is a comfortable process for children and it is extremely effective in helping children heal and grow in a healthy way.”- Alabama Association for Play Therapy