Why Play Therapy?

27 Apr

Can you imagine what it would be like to have such STRONG feelings in your body and NOT have the language or understanding of EXPRESSING what was going on inside? This is often how children may feel because they lack the capacity of processing their feelings through verbal language. Their SMALL little bodies can experience BIG emotions and a child who acts out or withdraws really is telling you that they are feeling something they can’t explain.


I had the opportunity to attend the Annual Idaho Play Therapy Conference a few weeks ago and noticed some perplexed faces when I described to my friends what conference I had just been to.  It then occurred to me that YOU also may not know exactly what and why “Play Therapy” is used with children.

Play Therapy allows children to manipulate their world from their perspective on a smaller scale, something that cannot be done in the child’s everyday big and COMPLEX environment. By playing with specially selected toys and with the guidance of a person who reacts in a designated manner, the child plays out his/her feelings. Bringing these hidden emotions to the surface, the child learns how to recognize and cope with their feelings in a SAFE place.

Kiddos who have these signs may benefit from
play therapy:
· Excessive anger, worry, sadness, or fear
· Aggressive behavior (hurting others or self)
· Separation anxiety
· Excessive shyness
· Behavioral regression
· Low self esteem
· Learning or other school problems
· Sleep, eating, or elimination problems
· Preoccupation with sexual behavior
· Difficulty adjusting to family changes
· Physical symptoms such as headaches or stomachaches that have no medical cause



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