Play is a child’s first language. They may not be able to look at you and say “I had a really bad day at school, this is how I am feeling, and this is what I need right now.” Instead, they act out and behave in way that parents don’t understand and eventually makes them feel frustrated. When a child goes to play therapy, they have someone who is trained to understand their language. Rather than a child needing to explain why they are behaving the way that they are, or explain what happened that has put them in a rotten mood; they are able to simply play with a therapist and work through it.
You’re probably thinking,“well, can’t my child just play at home?” The answer is of course yes, but if a parent cannot understand the language of play the child can still struggle. A therapist can also help parents learn to play with their children while building a stronger attachment to each other. Play therapy is more than just child’s play. It is giving a child the voice to express themselves, and the empowerment that comes from being understood.
- Tiffany Dillard, LPC-MHSP (temp), NCC
Tiffany is working through the certification process to become a Registered Play Therapist.
For more information on Play Therapy visit: http://www.a4pt.org