In therapy sessions, I often use play, art, and sand tray activities to help children learn and grow from the difficult events and feelings experienced in their life. I offer a supportive and safe environment for children to feel heard and understood. Typically, young children spend most of their time in play activities, while older children spend more time talking directly about their difficulties.
I also often engage in parent-child dyad sessions in helping repair and strengthen the parent-child relationship, which often becomes ruptured when children exhibit challenging and stressful behaviours. Parents are also more than welcome to request an appointment without their child to discuss parenting-related difficulties.
Play Therapy is a type of intervention that is specifically suited to children’s developmental level. As play is the primary way that children learn about the world and express their thoughts, feelings and experiences, they naturally turn to play when they are sad, mad, worried, or confused. By observing children in play, we often learn more about their thoughts, feelings, and struggles than by talking with them directly.
Play therapy can help children to develop more effective social skills, coping strategies, self-esteem, frustration tolerance, and problem solving skills.
When children experience events or life changes that are sad or traumatic, play also becomes an important part of helping them work through what has happened to them.
Play therapy helps children express what they are thinking and feeling, helps them explore relationships, and helps them to better understand and gain mastery over life experiences. Ultimately, it provides children with the opportunity to explore and heal in a way that feels natural and safe, and that allows them to distance themselves from events that are most difficult for them.
Specific play activities will differ depending on the child and their presenting strengths and difficulties. Your child will have the opportunity to direct and lead their play process. Other times, your child will engage in specific activities to help them learn and practice new skills, or to help them understand things better.