Therapeutic use of play therapy allows trained professionals to better communicate with and help children to achieve optimal mental health. Why play therapy? Play therapy is a structured, theoretically based approach to therapy that builds on normal communicative and learning processes of children. We strategically use play therapy to help children express what is troubling them when verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings fail or are not available for a small child. A positive relationship develops between therapist and child. This provides a corrective emotional experience necessary for healing. Involving the parent with the child in the play is therapeutic this is called “filial therapy” and emphasizes the “fun factor” in healing. Parents can learn the techniques and then do it themselves. Over the past 40 years, laughter’s effect has been documented. To quote Mark Twain, “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”
Who benefits from play therapy? It is the treatment of choice in mental health, school, agency, developmental, hospital, residential and recreational settings with clients, especially children from 3-12. However teens and adults also can and do benefit from this accepted treatment protocol which is covered by mental health insurance for clinically diagnosed conditions.