When providing treatment to children and adolescents, one of the industry standards is play therapy. Play is a child’s language and has “been recognized by the United Nations Human Rights Council as a right of every child because it is critical to human physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development” (Senko & Harper, 2019, p. 38). Play leads to good brain development, helps foster attachment relationships with parental figures, and helps children learn how to navigate their world (Senko & Harper, 2019). In many cases, especially those of trauma, children able to communicate more effectively through play than words (Blalock, Lindo, & Ray, 2019). Play therapy can be utilized to treat a variety of mental health conditions and assess children’s social-emotional competencies (Blalock et al., 2019). It is also quite effective for children who are experiencing many complex issues (Boyle-Toledo, 2019). Why is play therapy so effective? Children are able to use play “…to communicate unconscious conflicts and feelings through displacement with the therapist. Play therapy allows children to directly or symbolically act out their thoughts and emotions” (Senko & Harper, 2019, p. 38).
If your child or teen is struggling, consider play therapy. Book your appointment at Mountainview Counseling today!
Blalock, S. M., Lindo, N., & Ray, D. C. (2019). Individual and group child-centered play therapy: Impact on social-emotional competencies. Journal of Counseling & Development, 97, 238-249. doi:10.1002/jcad.12264
Boyle-Toledo, K. (2019). Why play? Thoughts on evidence-based treatments and why play therapy is still relevant. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 35, 5-7. doi:10.1002/cbl
Senko, K., & Harper, B. (2019). Play therapy: An illustrative case. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, 16, 38-40. Retrieved from https://innovationscns.com/