Without doubt, children love to play! Play has so many benefits, helping children develop socially, mentally, emotionally, cognitively, and physically.
Children learn about the world and how they fit into the world through play. When children learn to play with others of their own age or in a group environment, they imagine and create pretend worlds, they learn to negotiate and share, and they learn to solve problems.
They learn about themselves, what they capable of, and develop a self image, confidence and empathy.
Play-based learning is used in many school environments to encourage learning and cognitive development.
What is Play Therapy
Play therapy is therapy designed specially for children ages 6-12 years. Therapists use play therapy to help children relax, communicate with them, and help them to express themselves. It is also used to explore what’s going on in their lives, their emotions and any repressed thoughts.
Typically held in a playroom specifically designed for play therapy, the child is encouraged to play freely in comfort, surrounded by the things that children their age can relate with. The counsellor observes the child’s behaviours, decision-making processes and their emotions.
The goal is for the child to learn healthy ways of expressing themselves, learn how to relate and communicate with others, that they have choices and how to make good decisions, and learn to be able to regulate their emotions in healthy ways.
Counsellors often use play therapy to help children with behavioural, social or academic issues, and children with learning disabilities. Play therapy has also been beneficial in helping children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Play therapy is also used to help children process distressing or traumatic events, depression, anxiety, grief, or loss, abuse, illness, hospitalizations, family crisis or divorce.
Additionally, play therapy is often used in helping children diagnosed with ADHD or those on the Autism spectrum.
Does your child display behaviours that are uncharacteristic of them? Perhaps they have been isolating themselves and not playing with others. Perhaps they are quieter than usual. Perhaps they are expressing their anger by throwing things at their younger siblings, or breaking things in the house. Perhaps they are just not themselves.
Let our trained and experienced Play Therapists help your child explore what’s going on in their lives by helping them to access and understand their emotions, and learn healthy way to manage them.