Play Therapy

What is Play Therapy?

What is Play Therapy?

Play is a physiological phenomenon and as a psychological response (Ryce-Menuhim, 1992). Play therapy is “systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process in which trained play therapists use the therapeutic power of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development” (APT- Untied States). Play therapy promotes cognitive development, provides insights, and helps resolve inner conflicts or dysfunctional thinking of children (O’Connor & Shaefer, 1983). Play therapy allows children in self-expression, releases stress, regulates emotions, increases self-esteem, improves relationships, facilitates problem solving skills, supports development of self-control as well as stimulates creative thinking (Landreth, 2002).

Why Use Play?

Play is children’s language (Landreth, 2002). It is natural for children. It helps children express their inner feelings and provide a sense of security. Certified play therapist strategically utilizes play to help children express their conflicting and complicated inner struggling through multidimensional communications, provide healing as well as foster growing. A growing number of research evidences that play therapy is an effective method of treating children of various problems.

Who Benefit?

Play therapy is especially appropriate for children and adolescents. It applies to infants and adults as well. Children and adolescents with the following situations are especially benefited from play therapy:

Why Use Play?

Emotional difficulties and behavior problems:

  • Become irritated or anxious
  • Overwhelm with fears or worries
  • Experiencing low mood, sadness or depression
  • Suicidal tendency
  • Excessive anger or hostile
  • Problem of temper tantrums
  • Problems of sibling rivalry
  • Suffering from nightmares or night terrors or seeing ghosts
  • Fear of dark
  • Lip or nail biting, or other self- harming behaviors
  • Experiencing difficulties of going to school or refuse to go to school
  • Exhibiting frequent headaches, stomachaches or other body pains
  • Problem of toileting, bed wedding or soiling
  • Loneliness, isolation or having difficulty in making friends
  • Hyperactive, impulsive, or having difficulty of concentration
  • Physical or verbal aggression
  • Excessively clinching to parents

Stressful or traumatic events:

  • Parental separation or divorce or parent’s remarriage
  • Death of family member, friend, or pet
  • Termination of domestic helper/care taker
  • Adoption or foster care
  • Serious illness, injury or hospitalization of self or family member
  • Witnessing or being victim of household, vehicle or other accidences
  • Birth of sibling(s)
  • Starting or moving to a new school
  • Relocating to a new home or new community
  • Witnessing or being victim of frequent parental conflict or family violence
  • Bullying or being bullied
  • Physical, emotional or sexual abuse

Special Needed:

  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)
  • ASD(Autism Spectrum Disorder)
  • Developmental Delay

How Long Does Therapy Take?

One session is about 45 minutes. Number of sessions is various. Some clients find four to six sessions to be helpful, especially dealing with specific issues. Usually, it needs a minimum of eight to twelve sessions to be benefitted. More sessions may need for more serious difficulties. Play therapy does not only help children resolve their problems, but also pace them in a healthy growing path.