Play therapists strategically use play to help children work through what is troubling them when they do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings.

For a child in play therapy, toys are the words and play is the language.” – Garry Landreth

In play therapy, children have access to art supplies, sand, puppets, and other toys for dramatic and fantasy play.  These carefully-selected items encourage children to access and play out the internal emotional experiences that are causing them difficulty.  In play therapy, a child can resolve even the most difficult problems through discovery, role-play, rehearsal, modeling and mastery.  As a result, children develop skills to understand the past and change their future.  

Benefits of Play Therapy

Gain awareness of emotions

Process difficult feelings

develop decision-making skills

Learn self-determination

Increase self-esteem

Grow confidence

Communicate effectively

Model self-acceptance

Accept limits

Tolerate frustration

Build perseverance

Develop kindness

Most importantly, play therapy improves children’s motivation to come to therapy and they ENJOY it!

Parents/caregivers are an important part of a child’s environment and integral in a child’s therapy.  They are included in the therapeutic process at FairView through regular communication, skill building, feedback, and support.

Play therapy is mainly used for children aged 3-12, but play therapy techniques can be used with all ages including teens and young adults.

What Is A Play Therapist?

The Association for Play Therapy is a national professional society established in 1982 to advance the play therapy modality and the knowledge and expertise of those mental health professionals engaged in play therapy practice, instruction, and supervision.

The Registered Play Therapist credential is awarded to licensed clinical mental health professionals to help consumers identify those with specialized training and experience in play therapy.  It requires:

· Master’s or Doctoral degree in a mental health discipline

· 2 years and 2,000 direct client hours

· 150 hours of play therapy education

· 500 play therapy client hours

· 50 hours of play therapy supervision

· 18 hours of play therapy education every three years

For more information visit http://www.a4pt.org