Play Therapy and Sand Play Therapy
Play Therapy is a structured, theoretically based technique whereby the child’s natural means of expression, namely play, is used as a therapeutic method to assist him or her in communicating and coping with emotional stress or trauma. It is effective with children that have an understanding level of a normal three to eight year-old and often utilizes a sand tray.
Play Therapy has been used successfully for the following issues:
- Distress due to family problems (parental divorce, death of a family member, sibling rivalry)
- Attachment issues
- Nail biting
- Bed wetting
- Aggressive acting out
- Social underdevelopment
- Victims of child abuse
The curative powers inherent in play are utilized strategically by the therapist to help the child express their thoughts and feelings. In Play Therapy, toys are like the child’s words and play is the language. Through play focused on developmental milestones children learn more adaptive emotional and social skills.
The positive relationship that develops between the therapist and child during the sessions can provide a corrective emotional experience necessary for healing and promotion of healthy attachment in future relationships.
Play Therapy requires continuing education and a special certification of the therapist.