Play and see the world through the eyes of a child !
Have you ever seen the world through the eyes of a child? If you take a few minutes to enter a child's world, you see them in a whole new light. Play is a child's natural language. It is the way they communicate their thoughts, feelings, hurts and fears. Think about it, you have been playing with your child since the moment he or she was born, and it didn't take you very long to develop a dance between the two of you. You would smile, your child would smile, you would laugh, your child would laugh and so on.
Until children reach the ages of between 10-12, play is how they communicate their feelings. They are able to play out their feelings much better than they can talk about them because truly they just can't. They do not have the vocabulary or cognitive reasoning ability/skills necessary to tell anyone how they feel or why they feel this way.
I have one of the greatest jobs in the world. I get to play with kids, observed, listen and help kids figure out their feelings. I get to enter the child's world and understand how things in their world are causing them to feel. How do I do this? I play. Really, I do, and kids love it. For the entire session, they have the opportunity to be in control and do things that they normally don't get to do. It's amazing to watch them experience new things and express how they feel. I then take this inforamtion and have meeting with the parents/legal guardians. I offer suggestios as to interventions that can be used to help the child in the home, school and/or community.
Play therapy is designed for kids around age 3 through age 10. Depending on developmental age and maturity.
For older kids, ages 10-13/14, I continue to use a play based type therapy, but something much more specific to the problems that cause them to be there in the first place. With older kids, I use a lot of sand tray, art, drawing activities and therapeutic games. We still get to have fun and talk about and process thoughts and feelings but we do it in a way that is much less threathening than the child sitting on the couch and me asking "and how do you feel about that?" Trust me, it doesn't work.
To find out more information on the benefits of play therapy, please check out the National Association of Play Therapy websit. www.a4pt.org
After you have read more about this amazing therapy for kids, give me a call and lets schedule some time to talk about your child's specific needs and develop a plan to help him/her. WE do this together, every step of the way.