Pediatric Play Therapy Q&A
At Reaching Resolution, our trained therapists use playtime to observe and gain insights into a child’s problems from ages 3-12. Pediatric play therapy helps children in developing better problem solving and critical thinking abilities. Meet Tracy Masiello, Ph.D. LCMCHS, at our mental health clinic located in Matthews, NC. For more information, contact us today or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 9719 Northeast Parkway, Suite 100 Matthews NC 28105.
Table of Contents:
We all want our children to be happy and healthy and to go through childhood surrounded by rainbows and butterflies. Unfortunately, the seemingly uncomplicated and burden-free life of a child can sometimes take an unexpected turn. The sad truth is that many children will experience feelings, and live through situations, over which they have no control and because, in the case of younger children, their verbal communication skills are still developing, it is not always easy for them to express what is happening in their world. Play therapy is a way in which children can connect and communicate with a therapist and their parents to help them overcome this barrier.
Play therapy involves the use of toys, dolls, puppets, building blocks, drawings, and games Play therapy involves the use of toys, dolls, puppets, building blocks, drawings, and games which the therapist uses to observe and gain insight into a child’s problems. This helps the child explore and understand emotions and deal with unresolved issues. Through a combination of talk and play, the child is better able to understand and manage their challenges, feelings, and behavior.
The focus of play therapy is to allow the child to express and process feeling, thoughts and experiences through their natural form of expression – play. It empowers the child to overcome challenges without needing words, explanations, or adult reasoning.
It can also be used to help children deal with traumas, family issues, emotions, and developmental challenges.
Therapeutic play is typically used with children aged 3 to 12 and can be helpful in a variety of situations, such as:
⦁ when facing chronic illness, medical procedures, or palliative care
⦁ learning disabilities or developmental delay or
⦁ problem behaviors in school
⦁ aggression or anger
⦁ divorce, separation
⦁ death of a close family member
⦁ traumatic events
⦁ domestic violence, abuse, or neglect
⦁ anxiety, depression, grief
⦁ eating and toileting disorders
⦁ attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
⦁ autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
Some signs that your child may benefit from play therapy are:
⦁ They seem more sad than normal
⦁ They seem to be always angry and defiant and tend to overreact
⦁ There is a sudden, unexplained drop in school grades
⦁ You have noticed changes in their sleeping or eating patterns
⦁ They prefer to be alone rather than in the company of friends or family
⦁ They have an inability to sit still or concentrate
⦁ They are having regular nightmares
The purpose of play is to show a child how to interact with others in a competitive and co-operative way, communicate their needs and wants, interpret the intentions of others, and take turns … the kinds of skills that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) struggle with. Play therapy allows the child to practice communication and social skills in a relaxed and non-threatening environment, which they are able to develop at their own pace all while building on the relationships with the therapist and parent. Play therapy can be used in conjunction with behavioral treatments as things like attachment behaviors and spontaneous play can be more easily addressed using play therapy than with other methods. By allowing the child freedom of creativity and expression it can help the therapist and parent understand the child, helping the child to feel safe and build trust; over time the skills learned may be assimilated into home and school settings. If you would like to know more about the benefits of play therapy for children aged 3 – 12 years contact Reaching Resolution today! Call us today or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located 9719 Northeast Parkway, Suite 100 Matthews NC 28105. We serve patients from Matthews NC, Charlotte NC, Waxhaw NC, Midland NC, Fairview NC, Monroe NC, Mint Hill NC, Indian Trail NC, Pineville NC, and Stallings NC.