What is play therapy? Why play therapy for children?

Play therapy is to children what counseling is to adults. When adults have a problem, it helps to share it with a trusted friend or therapist. Children’s ability to express themselves in words is not like adults’.

That’s why it’s hard for them to put into words what is bothering them. Play therapy gives children the chance to communicate their thoughts, feelings, needs and desires through play (their most natural form of expression). With a trained Play Therapist, children learn to better understand themselves and their world, work to solve their problems, and develop the skills necessary to better cope with life.

Why Does My Child Need Play Therapy?

At some point in the growth process, many children have difficulty coping with their life experiences. Or they exhibit behaviors that worry their parents or teachers. If you, your child’s teacher or doctor, are concerned about your child’s behavior or find that your child is having trouble coping, the recommended approach to helping your child is play therapy.

When it comes to children, the most natural and comfortable environment in which they can express themselves is games. The special function that focuses on children’s expressing their needs through games and toys is called play therapy. With a trained play therapist who creates a safe environment, children are encouraged to play however they want. In this function, a wide variety of toys were presented to children to help them express their emotional problems.

children; they have the chance to express themselves by using various tools of play therapy such as art, sand and imagination. Play therapy provides access to the emotions of children who have had traumatic experiences. It teaches them how to fight. The most applied technique is role games.

Speech is also performed in children older than 6 years. Play materials: puppets, playhouses, miniature theaters, play dough, paper and colored pencils. Difficult experiences and situations are reenacted or illustrated with figures and pictures. In this way, children relive their negative emotions and have a chance to work on them with the help of the therapist. Psychotherapy-based play therapy helps children over the age of 5 who have had severe experiences such as the death of a parent, divorce and sexual abuse.

Why play therapy for children?

Children love to play. Children cannot understand their feelings like adults, nor can they talk about their feelings like adults. That’s why the therapy with adults is not suitable for children. When the game is used as therapy for children, the child finds an environment to express their experiences and feelings. During play, children recreate their anger, fear, sadness, and disappointment that affect their behavior as part of their experiences. The advantage of play therapy is that children can create therapeutic play appropriate to their development. The therapeutic relationship between the therapist and the child is the most important element that makes children feel safe when they create a game that reflects their stressful and intense emotional experience.

What happens in play therapy?

With the help of play therapy, children can create a game that brings together the emotional events they struggle with in their inner world. Usually, the child cannot express these experiences verbally. The child chooses toys that reflect the emotional problems appropriate for the game he will create and creates his game. The game that starts with this statement develops as the game progresses and continues until it provides understanding and comfort with the problem.

How does play therapy help the child?

In the process of play therapy, the child can change their perspectives and behaviors about events and gain pleasure from their relationships with others. The child has the opportunity to change these experiences during the game by recreating the events that they have experienced disappointments during the game, so that they can enjoy both the game experiences and the relationship exchanges in life.

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