Play therapy is a solution that many parents and health practitioners are turning to in an attempt to deal with a variety of difficulties that children can experience. There are many benefits to this type of therapy that parents are not always aware of. Here is an overview of what play therapy is and how it can be beneficial to a child.
What is play therapy?
Many children experience periods of difficulty during their childhood. At this age, many conventional therapies are not appropriate or successful. One of the reasons for this is that children may have limited means of communication and expression in comparison to an adult. Play therapy is an outlet for children to express themselves, cope with their difficulties and to communicate with others in a way that they enjoy and feel under a reduced amount of pressure when compared to other formal methods of therapy.
The play therapy is usually led by an appropriately trained and qualified play therapist who will adopt a person-centered approach in one-to-one sessions with the child. A variety of tools and resources are used so that the child can express themselves creatively.
What are the benefits
Play therapy has many proven benefits to those children who attend, though these vary from child to child.
Being in a safe place allows children the freedom to express themselves through their thoughts and expressions in a constructive way. This can help to develop their emotional growth and development, and also to enhance their creativity and growth.
Children have the opportunity to develop and practice a number of different social skills. Other skills that can be learned include problem-solving, concentration, decision-making, the ability to accept responsibility for their actions or mistakes, and coping skills.
Furthermore, children who attend play therapy often gain in confidence and are more likely to develop and sustain friendships as their social and emotional skills grow.
Play therapy in schools
There are also thought to be benefits to having play therapy in a school setting for both the students and for the school. Students learn about teamwork, relationships, listening, communication, and concentration. The school benefits from improved attendance rates and a reduction in exclusions from school.
Play therapy is a form of therapy used to support children through a difficult time. There are many benefits to the child’s personal and emotional growth in using play therapy, as it is an outlet for expressing themselves in a creative way within a safe environment. There is also evidence to suggest that group play therapy in schools can be beneficial for both the individuals and the schools.