What is Play Therapy?
Children make sense of the world through exploration, interaction, and play. They do not yet have the vocabulary to articulate their problems or process their experiences as adults can. As such, traditional talk therapy may not be an appropriate avenue for treatment. Because of this, I incorporate elements of play (i.e. reading, use of toys, drawing, games) into treatment. In the safety of play, children can move toward change and heal from experiences. Fostered through the relationship with the therapist, play therapy is a way for children and pre- teens
to cultivate problem solving and decision- making skills, hone memory and attention span, develop empathy, change behaviors, express emotions, and learn ways to relate to and interact with others. Often, but not always, parents or guardians are asked to be involved in the therapy process as well. Play therapy is an evidence-based approach and considered developmentally appropriate mental health treatment for youth. Play therapy has been shown to be useful regardless of presenting issues, gender, and age of the child.
Telehealth with Children
Telehealth has become increasingly common especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Play therapy may require some adaptability on behalf of the therapist and child, but can still be productive and rewarding. The effectiveness of virtual play therapy may depend on the presenting problem, treatment goals, age, and child’s ability to sustain focus during
appointments. Sessions may need to be adjusted to 30 minutes if the full 50 minutes duration is too long for the child to sit in front of the screen. Additionally, some children, under the age of 7, may not be appropriate for telehealth. We can determine whether telehealth is the right option during the initial 15-minute consultation.
Research and Resources
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