“In Play Therapy, toys are like the child’s words and play is the child’s language.” – Landreth, 2002
What is Play Therapy?
The Association for Play Therapy (APT) defines Play Therapy as a “systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.” In other words, a therapist who has been trained in the use of play therapy fosters a safe environment and relationship with the child. The therapist provides the use play materials and toys to help the child explore and express their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors and helps the child communicate them through play.
Unlike adults, children and most teens do not respond well to “talk” therapy. They respond to a fun and safe environment where they can be free to express themselves in any way they can, especially through play, art, role-play, etc.