Play therapy is a powerful tool for addressing emotional and behavioural challenges. During therapy, play (through toys, creative supplies and role play) is used as a therapeutic tool to assist clients better process their experiences as well as develop more effective coping mechanisms to manage their worlds. Play is a natural process in which children feel comfortable and are distanced from their problems, so not only can they express themselves more easily, but they can also see (visually and in understanding) how their emotions and actions affect them. The experience of a play therapy session should feel very validating for a child. A similar comparison is when an adult meets their friends for a coffee or a beer to “get a load off” or to “vent frustrations”. There is a sense of catharsis and validation in feeling heard with the added benefit of developing healthy coping mechanisms as well.
Play therapy is a natural process which:
Builds trust and a sense of mastery
Fosters learning and acceptable behaviours
Promotes creative thinking and problem-solving
Encourages open communication
Elevates spirit and self-esteem
Our approach to play therapy 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.