Play Therapy

A Play Therapist will use a child’s play for more than just play

A Play Therapist will use play to help children and teens to communicate in their most natural language…PLAY! Just like adults, children need help coping with and explaining their feelings, concerns and experiences. Adults usually use talk therapy to communicate and process how they are feeling, but children communicate and express themselves more easily through play. Play Therapists are trained to interpret the meaning of the play of children and teens by observing how they express their play in a safe and consistent environment.

While playing, children often reveal their thoughts and what is bothering them, as well as their unconscious worries, concerns and fears. Children oftentimes work through their experiences by developing meaning, learning to manage stress and their behaviors in the context of play, while optimizing healthy development.   In essence, toys become the child’s words, and provide a way to communicate their thoughts and feelings in a non-threatening way.

Play therapy is useful for helping to strengthen bonds between children, their siblings and their parents, resolve traumatic events, including abuse and domestic violence, and an effective way to process through strong emotions, such as anxiety and depression. Benefits include social-emotional competency, problem solving ability, developing coping skills and increasing self-esteem and self-concept. Some modalities that might be use include various games and fun toys, sand tray and expressive art therapy. Play therapy is not just for children, it has been proven effective for teens and adults, as well!

If your child or teen is experiencing any emotions or behaviors that you do not understand, or do not know how to handle, please do not hesitate to contact us to schedule an initial consultation with one of our Play Therapists.  Appointment availability in the Northland Location and Lenexa Location.

Teresa Paterson, LPC, LCPC, RPT, CCTP  (Not accepting New Patients at this time)

Julia Vulic, MA, CRC, PLPC, CPT – Northland Location only

Jimmarie Stinson, MA, PLPC, LPC – Both locations

For more information and research on Play Therapy, click here.

When you have scheduled an appointment for Play Therapy, please read the following tip sheet to help you and your child or teenager prepare for the process.

Play Therapy Tip Sheet