Play Therapy

Who Can Benefit?

  • Kids struggling with social or emotional deficits, behavioral disorders, anxiety, depression, grief, anger, self-esteem issues.

  • Children undergoing or witnessing stressful events (serious illness, domestic violence, abuse, trauma, divorce, foster family adjustments, family crisis, other upsetting changes in their environment).

  • Kids with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders or those on the autism spectrum.

How Does it Help?

  • Learn to communicate better

  • Change their behavior

  • Develop problem-solving skills

  • Relate to others in positive ways

  • Develop healthy attachments

  • Work through trauma

What to Expect

Before the Session

  • Parent/caregiver plays an important role. Any child age 10 or under will require the parent or caregiver to have a minimum 30 min session (virtual or in person) with the therapist, without the child present, to explain the situation and address concerns and goals. Then therapy with the child can proceed. This is important for the therapist to have all the relevant info to properly treat the client. 

 

 

In the Playroom

  • Usually weekly sessions (average = 20 sessions)

  • Sessions lasting 30 to 45 minutes each.

  • Child encouraged to play with very specific toys that encourage self-expression and facilitate learning of positive behaviors.

  • Arts and crafts, music, dancing, storytelling, and other tools may also be incorporated.

Directive vs. Non-Directive Play Therapy

Non-Directive

  • We give the child access to a Play Room to connect with them without giving any directions (besides safety/not breaking toys). Children will usually play scenarios to relive, understand and process important moments in their lives. We observe how they play to understand what is happening.

Directive

  • This approach is based on games, rules and directions. (Example: act a story together and then ask questions about the story, or give a child crayons and ask them to draw).

Not Just for Kids!

  • Others can benefit from Play Therapy too! Even teenagers, usually in forms of stories and art. It can be used in Family Therapy, Couples Counselling, siblings, etc.

  • Example: Sand trays can be used from any stage of life from toddlers to seniors. Sand trays can also be used in groups, families, couples and individuals. The possibilities are endless!

 

Reach out for more information on how play therapy can help your child, or to book your session.

Play Therapy is an approach that has been used for a hundred years!

© 2021 Laura Gatien, M.S.W.