The benefits of play therapy
There are a wide range of benefits when it comes to play therapy – firstly, play is the most accessible platform for children to express themselves and make sense of the world around them. Play is vital to all key aspects of a child’s development, such as:
Play therapy offers children the opportunity to work through their concerns and complex emotions in a way that feels completely natural to them. Where adults are more able to articulate their feelings verbally through counselling and other support networks, children can find verbal communication much more challenging, and very troubled children especially so. They simply may not have the words to say what’s going on in their mind, or feel too uncomfortable or scared to verbalise their emotions.
How can play therapy help?
Play therapy helps children in a variety of ways. Through the emotional support and unconditional acceptance they receive, they can ‘play out’ whatever is troubling them, helping them to understand more about their thoughts and feelings, relationships, hopes and fears. Through interacting with toys, creative activities and even role playing scenarios, children are free to put their experiences into terms they can relate to, sometimes even re-enacting specific traumatic or difficult life experiences.
In essence, the key aims of play therapy are:
- To provide them with the tools to deal with their past
- To help them create mechanisms that will help them cope better with their future
- To teach them how to manage relationships and conflicts in more appropriate ways
The outcomes of play therapy may be general or specific, including:
- Reduction in anxiety
- raised self-esteem
- Positive changes in behaviour
- Improved relations with family and friends
Please feel free to browse my pages on what happens at play therapy, the therapist’s role and reasons why a child may need play therapy for further information, or give me a call on 0330 900 0080 if you have any questions and I’ll be delighted to help.