For children I use play therapy to help children express what is troubling them when they don’t have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings and to teach them important skills and strategies for feeling better, improving self confidence, and coping with problems.

In play therapy, toys are like the child's words and play is the child's language. Play therapy differs from regular play in that I help children to address and resolve their own problems. Play therapy builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them. Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others.

Often, children who come to my office for help have used up their own problem solving tools. When this happens, they misbehave, may act out at home, with friends, and at school. I try to help children find healthier solutions to dealing with problems. Play therapy allows children to change the way they think about, feel toward, and resolve their concerns.

Even the most troubling problems can be confronted in play therapy and lasting resolutions can be discovered, rehearsed, mastered and adapted into lifelong strategies.

Research supports the effectiveness of play therapy with children experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning problems, including: children whose problems are related to life stressors, such as divorce, death, relocation, hospitalization, chronic illness, assimilate stressful experiences, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, and natural disasters. Play therapy helps children:

  1. Become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies.

  2. Develop new and creative solutions to problems.

  3. Develop respect and acceptance of self and others.

  4. Learn to experience and express emotion.

  5. Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others.

  6. Learn new social skills and relational skills with family.

  7. Develop self-efficacy and thus a better assuredness about their abilities.

Child Therapy