Play is an essential part of development in childhood.
As children grow, they use play to practice new skills, communicate with others, and relieve stress.
Play therapy uses what we know about how children use play to help clients process trauma, express their feelings, and practice coping skills. Play therapy lets children be active and engaged in the therapy process in a safe and accepting environment. When children are not able to express how they feel through words, they can use puppets, art, toys, and sand tray.
Play therapy also helps children begin to develop the words to tell us how they are feeling. Research suggests that play therapy is effective in helping a variety of issues (see Association for Play Therapy for more information).
Registered Play Therapists are mental health professionals who have completed additional training and supervision in play therapy and how to use play to help clients meet their therapy goals.