Young children communicate through play. Pretend play allows children to assume the control they so rarely experience living in a world run by adults. They are free to express their emotional experience—what it feels like to be them. With access to this internal realm, I, as a skilled therapist, can help the child discover alternative ways of coping with their worries. Play therapy is also effective in exploring the areas of domestic violence and trauma in children.
It is often difficult for young children to come into my office and talk which becomes futile. It has become more effective and comfortable for the children to enter my office as a “playground” zone and feel free to express themselves however they like. Play therapy helps children work through difficult emotions. It helps them feel heard and seen, and for children such as I’ve described, it often manifests in improved behavior at school or a reduction of overwhelming anxiety. Working through the threads of the underlying feelings in play therapy can be deeply reparative.