What is play therapy?
Play therapy is a form of counselling in which play is used as a means of helping children express or communicate their feelings. It also allows children to make sense of their world, learn new skills such as coping mechanisms and to improve their self-concept.
Play therapy uses tools such as the sand tray, art, puppets and dolls as modes of expression. It can be both directive (the therapist provides a structured activity) or non-directive in that the child (client) leads the way in play. From this, a therapeutic process occurs where the child explores and expresses their world.
How does playing help as therapy?
Play is the natural language of children. Often the hard things in life lack words and play allows for them to be expressed and re-worked in an emotionally safe way. The play therapy relationship with the therapist is also important in that it communicates an unconditional positive regard and safety which can be therapeutic.
What types of issues can you help with?
We can help with the BIG things, and the small questions and concerns as well. Anything from child development, learning how to deal with an age and stage, sleep issues, behaviour, coping and routines to the big stuff like trauma, grief, anxiety and depression. We believe in prevention and early intervention, so please never feel that your concern is too small or silly.
I am not sure we need therapy, but we need help with ____, what should we do?
This is something we often hear. We are not sure if the said issue is BIG enough, but we are feeling a tad lost, unsure and looking for ideas on how to handle it in the best way possible. We hear you! Parenting is hard work, confusing and often a guessing game. We have you covered for these types of things too. We value early intervention as we know how far it can go to making a difference in the long run. The huge positive on this is, maybe we just need a brainstorming session or two to help you feel empowered and on the right track.
Is this normal?
This is a very common one that we hear from parents about a certain behaviour or developmental age and stage question. We are happy to help with these types of questions too, because let’s be real, Googling parenting advice can be scary sometimes.
When I come, what types of things will my child and I be doing?
This really depends what we are working on. We will be upfront with you ahead of time and prepare you with what to expect. Some parents come alone to the first session to discuss their concerns and we collaborate on some ideas that can help. Some parents bring their child and we spend time just one-on-one with the child doing some assessment (playful of course) to try and determine what is going on. Sometimes we work with parents and children together doing playful exercises to enhance the relationship. So, it does really depend.
How long does play therapy take?
This again depends on what we are working on. For lower level issues, it may be just a few sessions or parenting consultations. For more intense issues, upwards of 20 sessions is recommended. At the time of assessment, we will always work to formulate a plan that works for you and your budget. We are committed to finding a solution.
Are your services covered by insurance?
Often yes. We are Registered Psychologists (R.Psych) so if you are inquiring with your benefits, this is the qualification you are looking for.
How do we start the process?
Simply, let’s connect. Call or email us to set up a phone conversation and we can see if our services might be a fit.
Are your services confidential?
100% yes. We abide by strict ethical codes under The College of Alberta Psychologists and the Canadian Association of Play Therapy. If you wish us to be involved in any type on conversations with others, we require signed permission to proceed.