Help for your most precious treasure.
Adults have the cognitive ability to think abstractly, use language, and talk with others about their problems. Children, however, have not developed these abilities yet. Instead, children use play as the medium for the expression of their feelings, thoughts, choices, and identity.
Dean Wisdom is a Registered Play Therapist. Play Therapy is a method of counseling we use with children ages 2-10 (developmentally) to help them with the problems they experience in their lives.
What is Play Therapy?
Play is to children what talk is to adults. As an adult, when you talk with a good friend who listens and cares you feel understood and in turn understand yourself and your situation better. When that is clearer you’re in a better position to make better choices with better outcomes. The same is true for kids. When they play they express their fears, hopes, and feelings. Just as adults “work out” their issues through talking so children work out theirs through play. And with a skilled play therapist the child feels understood and, in turn, understands themselves better. Once that is clearer for them, they too are in a better position to make better choices with better outcomes.
As a play therapist I interact with the child during their session using play therapy skills and techniques that help children identify their feelings, develop their awareness of choice, gain self-control by attending to appropriate limits in the playroom, enhance their self-esteem, take responsibility for things they can do, and most importantly play out the emotions and experience that brought them to therapy.
Benefits of Play Therapy
Play therapy has been shown to be an effective therapeutic approach to helping children across age, gender, populations and settings as well as most diagnostic categories (Landreth, 2002). Play therapy has been shown to have positive effects on children’s problems including disruptive behaviors, anxiety, trauma, multicultural issues, identified disability or medical condition, ADHD, language skills, moral reasoning, social behavior, homelessness, depression, and self-concept (Baggerly, Ray, Bratton, 2010).
- Landreth, Garry L. (2002). Play Therapy: The art of the relationship (2nd ed.). New York: Brunner-Routledge. 45
- Baggerly, Jennifer N., Ray, Dee C., and Bratton, Sue C., eds. (2010). Child-Centered Play Therapy Research. The evidence base for effective practice. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 4-5.
Play therapy has been shown to have positive effects
on children’s problems including:
Identified disability or Medical Condition
(Baggerly, Ray, Bratton, 2010).
Why is seeing a Registered Play Therapist important?
You want the most qualified and well-trained therapist for your child. A Registered Play Therapist is a licensed professional counselor who has taken specialized training, supervision, and clinical experience with children and been approved by standards of the Association for Play Therapy as a Registered Play Therapist (RPT). Our play therapy interns are also pursuing this certification and offer a reduced rate for families with budget constraints.
The Association for Play Therapy is a national professional society formed in 1982 to advance the play therapy modality and the knowledge and expertise of those mental health professionals engaged in play therapy practice, instruction, and supervision. Advanced education requirements include an additional 150 hours of play therapy specific instruction from an institution of higher learning or an approved provider.
Specialized clinical experience and supervision includes an additional 500 hours of play therapy specific client experience with concurrent 50 hours of supervision. This advanced training and client experience provides a unique exposure and learning experience for therapists who specialize in counseling children and their parents.
What is the Parent’s Role in their Child’s Therapy?
Parents are the biggest therapeutic factor in a child’s life, not the therapist. That’s why we include parents from the beginning. A struggling child can also create a struggle in the parent-child relationship. We understand. That’s why you will get the support you need as well. You will have the opportunity to meet privately with your therapist about once per month or once for every 4-5 sessions of your child. This is where you get updates on how your child is progressing in therapy, specific skills on how to help them at home and school, and a place to process your own parenting experience. We also offer a unique 10-week training program for those interested in developing a closer bond with their younger child through play. You can find out more here.
We would love to talk with you.
Schedule an appointment today, starting with a free 15-minute consultation.