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Play Therapy

An Explanation of Play Therapy

Some children experience difficulties in making adjustments. Play therapy provides an opportunity for them to work through these problems in a permissive situation. Adults find relief in talking over their difficulties with an understanding therapist. Children typically cannot express their thoughts and feeling in words, but can find release through various forms of play.

When a child’s fears and anxieties have been built up during past experiences with significant other close persons (parents, teachers, brothers, and sisters) the child has very little opportunity to explore and examine these feelings in either the home or school situation. Play therapy offers a unique relationship with an objective and accepting adult who is not in a position to “use” any disclosures for or against the child in any way.

In order to ensure the privacy of this agreement, it is essential that the child not feel pressured to give an accounting of the events that occur in the playroom. This should be viewed as the child’s own private hour with the therapist. For this reason, parents are asked to refrain from questioning the child about playroom activities (asking how the child liked the session, if he/she had a good time, etc.) Drawing, painting or other projects made in the playroom may often have a hidden meaning of which even the child is not aware. When these such items are brought home it is best (1) not to question as to what it represents, (2) not to praise it as a “masterpiece,” or (3) not to criticize it or make suggestions for its technical improvement. If the child offers it to you, accept it casually and without much comment.

For the child’s first session, he/she can be told that they will be coming each week to play with Tom Stevens in the playroom. If the child has additional questions simply state that sometimes it helps children to have someone they can talk to and play with. Moreover, be honest in stating that you don’t have any other information about the specifics of what happens in the playroom.

What you need to know when your child attends Play Therapy

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