Best Play Therapy Programs

How to find the best play therapy program? This is a question many parents ponder as they are trying to find the best solution for their child to move forward in confidence and care. Below are some facts and “must-knows” that will help you find the best program.

What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy is to children what counseling is to adults. These types of therapy programs utilize play to help children express their feelings more easily through toys instead of words. Play is a world they have mastered and can explore with vast detail and expression.

How do I know if my child could benefit from therapy through play?
Many children will go through a difficult time in their lives; the divorce of their parents, the death of a beloved grandparent, bullying at school, an unexpected move, and more. Some children are more affected by change and the unexpected than others and need a little extra help coping. If you, or others in your child’s life, are concerned about their behavior, then therapy through play can help give your child the tools they need to cope and you a better understanding of what they are going through.

Is this different than playing with my child at home?
Play therapy is not the same thing as playing; it is work in an environment a child can control. The therapy room is specifically designed and equipped to elicit an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding and to encourage children to “play out” their reactions to life situations. These programs help a child express their concerns and frustrations and learn the skills needed to build a sense of control or understanding of difficult situations.

Can I go with my child?
Typically, parents and/or caregivers wait in the waiting room and do not go into the therapy room with the child. Just as a counselor who works with adults keeps the information shared in therapy sessions confidential (although some exceptions may apply). That said the therapist will meet with the parents and/or caregivers periodically to discuss the child’s play in general terms and discuss any questions they may have related to the child’s progress.

How long does a therapy session last?
Session length can vary; however, most sessions are between 40-50 minutes depending on the age and needs of the child and will usually last 12-15 sessions. Wherever possible, the best play therapy sessions are the same time and place each week to promote consistency, predictability and routine; all of which encourage feelings of safety and security in the child.

Therapy through play offers countless benefits for helping children work through anxieties, change, uncertainties, and aggression. The amazing team at Centennial Counseling Services can make a difference! To learn more or schedule an appointment online or give us a call at 720-386-5131.

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