Communication between children and families is critical to a happy, healthy lifestyle. It enables family members to express their wants, needs, and concerns, and without proper communication, issues are likely to arise. For children, this can cause problems in the long-term when it comes to social and mental health.
At Thrive, we understand the importance of healthy, frequent, which is why we offer play therapy to our patients. Learn more about what play therapy is and the benefits it offers and schedule an appointment with Thrive in Southern Illinois today!
What Is Play Therapy?
Play therapy is a structured, theoretically based approach to therapy that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children (Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002; O'Connor & Schaefer, 1983). The curative powers inherent in play are used in many ways. Therapists strategically utilize play therapy to help children express what is troubling them when they do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings (Gil, 1991). In play therapy, toys are like the child's words and play is the child's language (Landreth, 2002). Through play, therapists may help children learn more adaptive behaviors when there are emotional or social skills deficits (Pedro-Carroll & Reddy, 2005). The positive relationship that develops between therapist and child during play therapy sessions can provide a corrective emotional experience necessary for healing (Moustakas, 1997). Play therapy may also be used to promote cognitive development and provide insight about and resolution of inner conflicts or dysfunctional thinking in the child (O'Connor & Schaefer, 1983; Reddy, Files-Hall, & Schaefer, 2005). -Association for Play Therapy, www.apt.org
Play therapy is a way of being with a child in order to promote their unique developmental and look for personalized ways to help them. It is most commonly used with children ages three to 12. It is most effective when there is a safe relationship created between the therapist and the child. At Thrive, we take the relationships with our patients very seriously, and our experienced professionals always strive to make each of our patients feel comfortable and relaxed. We want each child to be able to freely express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas to better resolve their problems and understand their feelings.
Play therapy is used in many circumstances, including:
Behavioral issues that may arise from things such as anger management, grief or loss, divorce, neglect or abandonment, crisis, or trauma
Disorders such as depression, anxiety, ADD and ADHD, autism, physical or learning disabilities, and more
Typically, studies have shown that play therapy is most effective when a member of the child’s family or a close caretaker is present throughout the process. Reach out to our team at Thrive to learn more about what you can do to be involved in your child’s play therapy journey.
Professional Play Therapy in Southern Illinois | Thrive
When it comes to your child’s development, you want to make sure you’re doing everything to ensure they are developing at the rate they should be. If your child is having issues with communication, showing signs of mental or physical illness, or is experiencing other issues, play therapy might be the answer.
Our team of highly trained and qualified therapists and counselors have the knowledge, experience, empathy, and skills necessary to provide your child with the best care possible. We can help identify issues within your child’s development and provide proper treatment to help ensure they are on the right track.
To learn more about the benefits of play therapy or to schedule an appointment with our team in Southern Illinois, reach out to Thrive today!