Play therapy is for children what talk therapy is for adults.
During a typical play therapy session, the child and therapist might use role play to explore a difficult situation, use the sand tray to try out a new way of coping with a situation, use the doll house to replay a difficult memory, or create an art project to describe their feelings. We use an approach that it integrative and tailored to the child's needs at the moment, by drawing on expressive and projective techniques, art and sand play, role and dramatic play, child-centered play therapy, cognitive-behaviour therapy, adlerian play therapy, and other techniques and approaches. At times, the therapist will be directive and choose activities or stories for the child, at other times, the therapist will be non-directive and will allow the child to choose.
Play therapy allows children to:
Become more responsible for their behaviour
Develop new and creative solutions to problems
Develop acceptance and respect for self and others
Learn to experience and express emotion
Cultivate empathy and respect for the thoughts and feelings of others
Learn new social skills and relations skills with family
Charlene is a Registered Play Therapist with the Association for Play Therapy and a Certified Foundational Theraplay Practitioner with the Theraplay Institute. She has completed training through the BC Play Therapy Association, Rocky Mountain Play Therapy Institute, and the Theraplay Institute.
Play therapy services are available for children aged 5-12 with concerns related to trauma, anxiety, depression, divorce, self-esteem, attention/focus, anger, autism, developmental delays, or other difficult life events. If you think your child might benefit, please call. The first appointment will be with just the parents or caregivers. This gives us a chance to speak openly about your child's strengths and weaknesses and to create a therapy plan together.
What To Tell Your Child
Many parents wonder what and how to explain psychological services to their child. We finds that most kids know they are having trouble and appreciate that something will be figured out to help them. Children usually have fun and like coming in. We suggest that you explain that a psychologist helps kids when things aren't going as well as they could.
If your child is coming for therapy, be open, honest, and developmentally appropriate with your child about the reason they are coming. For example, if your child struggles with anxiety, you might explain that we can help them with their worries. We can help you find the right words during our first appointment.