Play therapy with a Registered Play Therapist can help your child overcome difficulty and thrive.
Being a parent is hard for all of us. It gets even harder during deployments, after a move, with divorce, and during times of grief. Or you may be struggling if your child has emotional, behavioral, or social difficulties.
In addition to normal life difficulties, children often don’t have the words they need to express their feelings.
Play therapy bridges that gap.
I am a Registered Play Therapist and a military spouse with four boys of my own. I work with children 3 and older. I offer sand tray, expressive arts, and attachment-based interventions. I work with children dealing with trauma, grief, and who are struggling to make sense and meaning out of the world around them. I also work with those dealing with moves, divorce, and other adjustments.
Registered Play Therapists are registered through the Association of Play Therapy and can help navigate:
Grief & loss
What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy is an established, research-supported form of child therapy. It helps children, especially age 3-12, express themselves, heal, and grow. It leverages the natural language of children — play — to help them overcome emotional, and behavioral problems. Whether children are having trouble due to divorce, a recent move, grief and loss, or adoption, play therapy can help! There are a variety of types of play therapy including child-centered, gestalt, Adlerian, and more! I use Child-Centered Parent Relationship Therapy, Theraplay, and sand tray therapy.
Child-Centered Parent Relationship Therapy
Child-Centered Parent Relationship Therapy is an evidence-based filial therapy that has been demonstrated to improve child-parent relationships. Filial therapy supports parents in becoming effective agents of change in their child’s life. Parents learn how to listen and respond to children in ways that support healthy growth and esteem. One of its basic tenets is that a child’s relationship to his or her parents is more significant and longer lasting than a relationship to a therapist. The goal of Child-Centered Parent Relationship Therapy is to give play therapy tools and skills to the family system. Thus, enhancing their warmth and connection for years to come. This way, the healing and growth extend beyond the child therapy sessions.
Theraplay is an evidence-based family therapy and play therapy that focuses on using play activities to facilitate a secure attachment between children and their parents. A foundational belief of Theraplay is that when the parent-child attachment bond changes, so too does the child’s view of him- or her-self. Once this view changes, negative emotions and behaviors change. Theraplay does not focus on the problem, rather on the bond as a solution. Theraplay builds on four basic qualities of a healthy parent-child relationship — Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge — to transform the parent-child relationship into a safe space and enhance a child’s sense of self. Theraplay is a very active and interactive structured form of child therapy.
The use of sand tray in play therapy is a nonverbal expressive form of child therapy that uses metaphor to help children share their experience of the world and change it. The sand tray itself represents a confined safe space for children to play, and ultimately heal. In the child therapy session, children use a variety of miniature toys to represent their inner world and subconscious in the sand. Sand tray bypasses words and language and engages the right brain to facilitate meaning-making and integration of difficult, even traumatic, material.
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