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Play Therapy: The Language of Children

What is Play Therapy?


Play is the language of children. Since playing is the most natural medium of expression for children, play therapy allows kids the ability to express their feelings through toys and art instead of words. The therapeutic powers of play allow therapists to get on the same communication wavelength as children to assist them in resolving psychosocial issues and reach optimal growth and development in a developmentally appropriate way. 


child playing with toys in psychotherapy office

The relationship between the child and therapist has inherent therapeutic value. As described in Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship (Landreth, 2023), an active mutual relationship is formed between a child and a therapist by providing handpicked play materials and facilitating the development of a safe space for the child to fully explore and honor their self (feelings, thoughts, experiences, and behaviors) through play. 


Through play therapy, kids learn to appropriately express their thoughts and feelings, develop empathy for the thoughts and feelings of others, learn ways of controlling their own behavior, and increase their creative problem-solving skills. Additionally, play therapy can benefit children in alleviating anxiety and developing stronger social skills and stronger family relationships. 


Play therapy is generally targeted to children ages 3-11 who have social, emotional, or behavioral difficulties, although anyone of any age would benefit from the therapeutic powers of play. 


If play therapy seems like a match for you and your child, or you are interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Starks Therapy Group. 


This post contributed by Reign Erickson, LSW, staff therapist at Starks Therapy Group; with a Master of Social Work from Loyola University Chicago and Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology from Indiana University Bloomington. Reign uses the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, a developmentally-informed and biologically-respectful approach, when working with children.

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DISCLAIMER: The sole purpose of this post is to keep individuals informed of Starks Therapy Group's events, provide useful information related to mental health issues and provide thoughtful content related to self care and mental health. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any mental illness. This post is not monitored daily and is used for information sharing only. If you wish to communicate directly with someone at Starks Therapy Group, please call (708) 689-3055 or fill out our Contact form‬. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911.

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