Children differ from adults in making sense of their emotions or expressing themselves. Therefore, therapy methods performed with adults are not suitable for children. The place where children can express themselves in the most comfortable way is games. The child’s first and at the same time universal language is play. game for children; It is a reflection of the real world. The child, who has been trying to exist and find himself in the real world since he was born, finds the opportunity to experience many social-emotional-cognitive skills such as expressing his feelings, discovering his relationships, and realizing himself in the world he creates thanks to the game. The child tries to make sense of his real-world experiences by repeatedly performing them in the game. This is where the healing side of the game comes from. The child, who re-establishes his daily life and relationships in a controlled way through the game, confronts the problems that he cannot face in his daily life through the game he has established, and overcomes the problems that he cannot overcome with the game he has established. The game is instructive and reinforcing for the development of the child. In this way, the child prepares for life. Play is an indispensable and natural process for the child to gain a sense of self, develop his personality, make sense of events he cannot understand, learn about life and establish relationships.
play therapy; It is a method that allows children to express themselves comfortably through games and toys. Reflecting and managing the child’s own world using the game is a process that includes the ability to process their experiences. Cognitive, emotional and behavioral are one of the most effective tools used in the face of difficulties. Play therapy, like other therapy methods, is based on a relationship of trust. Although the trust between the child and the therapist is very important in terms of the process, it develops gradually and over time. Communicating and expressing himself with someone who is unfamiliar and does not know at all is a process that can be quite difficult for the child. In the first few meetings, the child does not communicate and spends time only observing the environment and toys. With the ongoing negotiations, the child is now in the environment he knows and knows. With the developing sense of trust, the child is now ready to express himself. Now, the child begins to express his experiences and feelings, and reflects his inner world, in the play environment that he is used to and trusts. Now the child, who is in contact with the therapist, plays the same game over and over and starts to take steps for recovery. Recovery in play therapy is about setting the child free, understanding him and making him feel understood. In this method, the room and toys are specially prepared. Various toys are used for children to express their emotional problems. Various toys, which have different meanings from each other, allow the child to express himself freely.
The purpose of play therapy; It is to create a safe environment where the child can reflect his/her own world by making use of the power of the game. When children have the opportunity to clearly express every positive or negative event/emotion they experience through the game they have established, they can develop the ability to solve their own problems on their own. It should not be forgotten that the language of the child is play. The child expresses himself through play, and he recovers through play.
Play therapy is a method that can be applied from the age of 2 to the age of 12, when children begin to play symbolic games (plays like 2-2.5 years old/-as). The duration differs from child to child. It should not be forgotten that every child’s problem is unique to him. Each child’s development process, way of expressing himself, problems and experiences differ. It is recommended to meet regularly, usually once a week. However, since the course of therapy varies, an exact time cannot be given.
Play therapy can offer solutions for many emotional and behavioral problems that the child has experienced. In this process, they re-experience their negative emotions by re-enacting how they can cope with the emotions they cannot cope with, and they take a step towards recovery by developing a new perspective on these emotions. Play therapy is especially concerned with anxiety/anxiety, fear, shyness, introversion, aggressive behaviors, sibling jealousy, social adjustment problems, communication problems, sleep, eating and toilet habits problems, divorce, adoption, loss/mourning, trauma and exposure to abuse. It is a widely used method for children with disabilities.
Play therapy aims to enable the child to form a positive self-perception by accepting himself, to develop his ability to take responsibility, to make independent decisions and to act more autonomously, to increase his self-confidence, to improve his ability to cope with the problems he encounters, and to gain self-confidence. In this process, children increase their sense of self, learn to communicate, solve problems, and make their own decisions. They learn to accept and express their emotions, regulate and deal with their negative emotions.