How can play therapy help?
Play is vital for every child’s social, emotional, cognitive, physical, creative and language development. Play Therapy uses a variety of approaches, interventions, media and activities appropriate to the individual child’s needs.
Play is the natural language of children that enables complex thoughts and feelings, ideas and perceptions to be brought into focus. Children can work through traumatic or difficult life’s experiences. Through play they can make sense of their past and cope better with their future. Children may also learn to manage relationships and conflicts in more appropriate ways. It provides the child with emotional support while the child learns to understand more about their own thoughts and feelings.
Play promotes healthy brain development. Recent research (Sunderland 2006) ‘The activation of the brain’s PLAY system is key to living life well. When this system is optimally activated in childhood, it is likely to set vital foundations for the ability in later life to be able to bring fun and a sense of play into relationships.’ (p.108).
See Paris Goodyear-Brown's Ted Talk on Play Therapy to see how play therapy as practiced by psychotherapists with a specialisation in play therapy can help children who have been traumatised.