Play is the natural language for children. Verbal expression often eludes young people, but they intuitively express themselves through their play activities. The Association for Play Therapy defines play therapy as "the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development."1
Play therapy is an effective mental health treatment approach for children ages 3 and up. It has also been shown to be effective for adolescents and adults.
1. "Association for Play Therapy." https://www.a4pt.org/. Accessed 24 Nov. 2018.
Many types of child clients benefit from play therapy. Children who have experienced acute or chronic trauma can learn to express their emotions in a health manner and regulate their emotions more consistently. Children with autism or other developmental disorders build social skills and problem-solving abilities. Children who live in stressful situations, or have difficulty dealing with change can find firm footing for themselves through play therapy.