Play Therapy for Children “Expressing in small doses is the essence of play therapy.” – Violet Oaklander “Every child has a need to be noticed, understood, taken seriously and respected.” – Alice Miller Our children are precious to us. When a child experiences difficult or challenging life situations, he or she needs help to express and process their feelings. PLAY THERAPY CAN HELP. Through the use of play therapy, your child is given the opportunity to learn how to express their feelings in a safe and supportive environment. In addition, play therapy allows for your child to gain meaningful coping skills for the development of self-esteem. This aids your child in social skills and relationship building skills. Through our relationship and work together your child will learn to nurture and care for themselves and others. This creates and promotes resiliency for your child to carry throughout their life. Childhood symptoms and signs of distress: Excessive anger, sadness of fear Aggressive behavior (hurting others) Separation anxiety Behavioral regression Sleep, eating or elimination problems Difficulty in handling family changes and/or transitions Physical symptoms, such as headaches, or stomach aches that have no medical cause Play Therapy is Helpful for: Children dealing with parental conflict, separation or divorce Children who have been traumatized (sexual, physical or emotional abuse) Children who are adopted or in foster care Children who are dealing with a loss, such as illness or death of a loved one Children who have been hospitalized Children who have experienced serious accidents or disasters Children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD What is Play Therapy? “For children, toys are their words and play is their conversation.” Play therapy is based upon the fact that play is a child’s natural medium of expression. In therapy, your child will be offered many venues to “play out” his/her feelings and problems. Play therapy works especially well, because it reduces a child’s natural protective defenses. A child often cannot connect with their feelings when they are on guard. When engaged in play, a child’s defenses are reduced and they are more likely to open up and share their feelings and problems. The goal of play therapy is to help children become aware of and express their feelings; manage anger appropriately, reduce fear, anxiety and depression; increase empowerment and enhance problem solving skills.