WHAT IS PLAY THERAPY?
We are often asked “What is Play Therapy?” “Will my child just be playing?” and “What’s the difference between play therapy and just playing at home?” There are all great questions!
Here at BPC, we believe in the power of PLAY! However, there is a distinct difference between regular play and play therapy with a trained play therapist. Play therapy is a specialized form of psychotherapy designed to meet the unique developmental needs of children. Rooted in the understanding that play is the natural language of children, this therapeutic approach utilizes various forms of play to help children express their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Unlike traditional talk therapy, where communication can be challenging for children, play therapy allows them to communicate symbolically, using toys, games, and creative activities as their words.
During a play therapy session at BPC, one of our trained child therapists creates a safe and supportive environment where children are free to explore and express themselves through play. The therapist carefully observes the child’s play, gaining valuable insights into their emotions, thoughts, and struggles. Through this process, our play therapists, help your child process these issues by utilizing play as the child’s language. We do this because children are often not able to use direct language and instead utilize metaphors in play to express themselves. Often, a large part of the healing occurs in the therapy environment where a child can safely reenact issues and form new responses. The good news is as your child overcomes their obstacles, their symptoms will decrease. This will bring greater harmony and understanding to your family as a whole!
The 8 Benefits of Play Therapy
- Emotional Regulation: One of the primary advantages of play therapy is its ability to equip children with tools for understanding and managing their emotions. Through various play activities, our child therapists help children learn to identify and express their feelings, promoting emotional regulation and resilience.
- Expressive Outlet: Play therapy at Brittani Persha Counseling offers a unique expressive outlet for children. In this setting, toys become the words, and play becomes the language. This allows children to communicate and process complex emotions, fears, and experiences that may be challenging to articulate verbally.
- Building Trust and Connection: The therapeutic relationship is a cornerstone of any counseling process, and play therapy excels in establishing trust and connection. By engaging in play, children naturally lower their defenses, making it easier for our child therapists to form a strong bond and create a safe space for emotional exploration.
- Problem-solving Skills: Play therapy encourages children to use their imagination and creativity to navigate scenarios and solve problems. This not only enhances cognitive abilities but also empowers them with practical problem-solving skills applicable to real-life situations.
- Enhanced Communication Skills: For children who may struggle with verbal expression, play therapy provides a liberating alternative. Our trained play therapists observe their actions and choices during play, gaining valuable insights into their thoughts and emotions. Over time, this process can improve a child’s verbal communication skills.
- Coping Mechanisms: As mentioned above, children encounter their world at an experiential rather than cognitive level. This is because the frontal lobe of the child’s brain – which is the rational part – is not fully developed yet. Because of this, children use symbols and metaphors when expressing themselves. In play therapy, it is our job to experience what it is like to live in your child’s world. Then we can reflect with words what feelings their play is expressing. This modeling can teach your child to learn that feelings have names. He or she can begin to learn that naming their experience helps others better understand and help. In other words, it is my job during play therapy, to be your child’s frontal lobe.
- Development of Self-esteem: Play therapy fosters a positive self-image by allowing children to make choices, solve problems, and express themselves in a non-judgmental environment. As they experience success and support, their self-esteem and confidence naturally grow.
- Support for Special Needs: Play therapy is adaptable and can be tailored to meet the unique needs of children with various developmental challenges, including autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, and learning disabilities. The sensory-rich environment promotes engagement and communication, making it an effective approach for children with special needs.
Play Therapy At Brittani Persha Counseling
As a leading provider of play therapy in Houston, TX, Brittani Persha Counseling is dedicated to the emotional well-being of your child and your family. Our experienced and compassionate child therapists specialize in tailoring play therapy sessions to meet the unique needs of each child, providing a safe and supportive environment for them to explore and express their emotions.
If you’re seeking a trusted partner on your family’s journey, Brittani Persha Counseling is here to guide and support your family every step of the way. Contact us today at 713-364-8645 or schedule a 20-minute free phone consultation below to learn more about how our specialized play therapy sessions can make a positive difference in your child’s life.