Play therapy is a mental health modality typically indicated for younger children aged approximately three to eight. Unlike regular play, the therapist helps children identify and resolve their own problems through therapeutic activities.
In play therapy, a safe and caring environment is created that allows the child to play with as few limits as possible, but as many as necessary for physical and emotional safety. The therapists help children learn more adaptive behaviors when the child’s emotional or social skills may be lacking. Sessions typically last from 30 to 60 minutes and are conducted individually or in groups. Some play therapy activities include:
- Creative visualization
- Using dolls and dollhouses
- Therapeutic storytelling
- Playing with sand trays
The Association for Play Therapy believes play connects people in a positive way, stimulates creative thinking and exploration, regulates emotions, and boosts fragile egos.
Mount Saint Vincent’s play therapy room offers plenty of space in our safe, nurturing environment where children use toys, props, and tools in directive and nondirective play sessions. Even the most complex problems can be confronted, and lasting resolutions can be uncovered, practiced, and incorporated into lifelong coping strategies.