Play has been used in therapy since the early 1900’s. You can learn more about the history and development of play therapy here. Or watch this video for a fun look at the play therapy process.

Here is my take on play therapy…

Life is full of challenges, no matter how old we are. Starting in our earliest years, each of us experiences successes and failures, proud moments, and deep losses. Naturally, our ability to cope with these challenges is different throughout the life cycle.

For adults, ‘talk therapy’ can help us get through life’s difficult times. However, children are still developing the skills they need for complex reasoning and communication. In most cases, traditional ‘talk therapy’ is not an effective approach to counseling with young kids.

This is where play therapy and the language of play comes in. In a play therapy setting, children are given age-appropriate therapy, centered around their natural language – PLAY! – which fosters their ability to express their inner worlds. The toys, structured activities, and gentle guidance of a play therapist become the vehicles for kids to make sense of that world.

It is through the process of play that children and their families begin to cope, heal, move forward, and thrive.