Yes, Play Therapy is a real thing and it’s extremely beneficial for children! You’re probably wondering what play therapy is and how there could be benefits of play therapy. But think about it… isn’t your child so much happier once you give them a toy after they were throwing a fit? Ok- that’s not exactly how it works in play therapy BUT our point is, kids enjoy play and play is a huge role in a child’s development. There are a variety of skills that a play therapist can work on while in session and they will tailor this completely to your child and what motivates them! February 2nd-8th is National Play Therapy Awareness Week, so we wanted to highlight this special week and let you know why it can be so beneficial for your child.
Top Benefits of Play Therapy
Play Therapy, like any type of therapy, is meant to target challenging areas for the child and promote positive behaviors. Some of the behaviors and skills that we can work on in Play Therapy at PediaPlex are:
- Acting Out
- Creating Schedules/Routines
- Decision-Making Abilities
- Following Directions
- Handling Disappointment
- Handling Noncompliance
- Reducing Emotional Outbursts
Working on these skills is extremely beneficial for your child because it will help them to understand and communicate better with you and others around them. Play Therapy can also help stimulate your child’s creative thinking, regulate emotions, and even improve self-esteem.
How It Works
Association for Play Therapy defines play therapy as “the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psycho-social difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.” Toys are a child’s words and play is their method of communication and expression. It gives the child a safe outlet to express what is troubling them and help them to work through their emotions and thoughts. Play can look different to each child so this might include puppets, building blocks, drawing, etc.
Many parents think that play therapy is just for children on the autism spectrum, but that isn’t the case. Any child can have behavioral issues and difficulty expressing their emotions. This is why play therapy is a great way to give your child some 1-on-1 time with a therapist who can help them understand their feelings and how to handle them!
Visit our Play Therapy section on our website to find out a little bit more and give us a call if you’re thinking your child might benefit from play therapy!
–The PediaPlex Family