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Why do Children Come to Therapy?
Improve Problem-solving Skills
Improve Decision-making Abilities
Develop Impulse Control
Discover & Enhance Self-Esteem
Develop & Utilize Patience
Resolve Dilemmas of Family &/or School Life
As one of the primary activities of childhood, play is central to children's physical, social, and emotional learning and development. It can help serve as a medium for children to express themselves -- a window whereby the therapist can observe and assess, as well as enter for intervention.
Play therapy is a treatment modality that uses play situations in a therapeutic setting with children who suffer from emotional and behavioral difficulties that are preventing them from realizing their potential, who are adjusting to new circumstances, or who are undergoing life-altering changes. It utilizes the child's innate impulse to play out their fears, worries, and conflicts. Activities such as artwork, a variety of toys (e.g., dolls, puppets, figurines, boardgames, play-dough), role-playing, or sandtray have been selected to encourage expressive play.
In session, the therapist would observe the play, interpret its possible meanings, and reflect the feelings expressed back to the child without judgment. Children can then engage in a process or series of appointments with the therapist in which the conflicts are expressed and brought to resolution through play.
In my practice, I tend to carry out non-directive play therapy in conjunction with the broader goals of family therapy. I believe it is imperative to work with the family's concerns by regularly reviewing progress and collaborating on ways to progress towards positive change.
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