When parents sit with their children in a therapist’s office, a common question they have is, “How is play therapeutic?” That is a real and honest question because we as adults want results fast! So let me explain a little how play-therapy works.
The nature of play in general helps children express themselves and learn. If a therapy session is filled with only talking, a child will lose her or his desire to come to therapy. Learning for children happens during play. For example, when the therapist does not let a child win in a game, it is an opportunity to teach a child how to deal with loss. Another way a therapist might use play as a way for a child to learn is to proceed with the game in an unplanned way; that helps the therapist teach the child new ways to handle stress and disappointment. It is during play when children’s behavioral issues and thoughts about themselves and those around them can be addressed therapeutically.
It is important to work with a child where they are developmentally. So in my opinion……let’s play!