What is Play Therapy and What Does It Do?

Play therapy is the name given to the type of therapy performed with the help of games and toys so that children can understand their needs and express themselves. It is a frequently preferred method to follow the development of children and to understand their feelings and thoughts. In addition, during play therapy, the emotional problems experienced by the child are determined and studies are carried out in the necessary direction.

This method of therapy is usually applied to children between the ages of 2 and 11. At the end of the process, the child gets rid of the burden of troubles and finds professional support for the solution of problems. In play therapy, which is the version of the psychological support that adults receive for children, unlike adults, children reflect their feelings and thoughts with the help of games and toys.

Play therapy has many benefits for the child. In addition to solving the child’s emotional problems, he also learns to gain new skills and express himself. Although play therapy, which opens a door to the inner world of the child, is seen as an activity by the child, it is impossible not to notice the change in his behavior after a while.

The play therapist, on the other hand, tries to invite the child to his inner world by making the child feel in a safe environment throughout this process. During play therapy, he looks for ways to help the child by observing every move of the child and making correct inferences. In this process, the help of parents is of great importance. The cooperation of the therapist and family affects the health and quality of the process. When appropriate, the family is expected to participate in the game or to inform the therapist about the child.

Some cases where play therapy should be applied in particular include:

  • If there is violence or divorce in the family,

  • Abuse or loss of a loved one

  • separation anxiety,

  • Eating disorders and toilet problems in children,

  • Adaptation and communication problems,

  • Behavioral disorders in children

  • sibling jealousy,

  • It will be beneficial to apply play therapy for the healthy development of the child in events or situations that will cause trauma.

How Will Play Therapy Be Different From The Play My Child Plays At Home?

The main difference between the play your child plays in play therapy and the play he plays at home is that he will be observed by a specialist. In addition, items such as the games the child plays and the toys he chooses will be analyzed by the play therapist and the child will give the healing responses that they need. Play therapy, which is sometimes an unconscious process for the child, allows us to reach many blind spots about the child.

At the end of the process, the child who completes play therapy learns to cope with his emotions, find solutions to his problems, express his feelings and thoughts, empathize and take responsibility.

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