“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”- Plato (Greek Philosopher 427-347 BC)
Play therapy allows not only for young children, but people of many ages to express their experiences and feelings through a natural and self-guided process. Often, it is difficult to find the words we are looking for to express the things we need, the things we feel, or the things we have been through. Particularly in children, play offers a way to build positive relationships and communication skills, address psychosocial challenges, regulate emotions, and resolve traumas. The effects of trauma tend to reside in the nonverbal areas of the brain, therefore play therapy allows for processing on a subconscious level and gives opportunity for memories and feelings to shift to the verbal areas of the brain.
Play therapy can be directive or non-directive and incorporates a variety of modalities such as movement, role-playing, puppets, dollhouse, sandtray, storytelling, drawing, painting, listening to/writing/singing/playing music, poetry, books, costumes, and many other mediums. The treatment process is determined by the client’s goals and can incorporate the important people in the client’s life.
In adults, play therapy can be used to address issues surrounding loss and grief, emotional development and attachment, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and a variety of other concerns.
Play therapy can also be used in conjunction with other types of therapies.
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