For many of us, play has been a fundamental part in our lives and it does not matter what age you. Play has the way connecting us to others, stimulates exploration and problem solving, helps relieves stress, gets us through boredom, and can help balance out our emotions. However, play for a child, is all of those things as well as their language as it helps develop their self-knowledge and self-expression.
Play therapy can be quite beneficial in the therapeutic process and I will often use it to help break the ice with a young client, to help facilitate discussion, and to help focus a distracted child as it gives them a familiar pathway to engage. Play therapy is also used to help children express difficult thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are troubling for them when they do not yet have the verbal skills or language to express what it is they are feeling or going through. Play therapy also helps facilitate rapport and builds a positive relationship between the child and therapist that can help promote change by providing a corrective emotional experience.
By building on the natural way children learn play therapy gives them a safe psychological distance from their negative experiences or issues and creates an opportunity for self-expression that is more appropriate to their level of development. I enjoy working with children through play therapy and I am continually updating my play therapy materials as it is important that I evolve right along with my clients in this area.