Children cannot verbally express emotions and feelings until they have developed abstract reasoning skills (about the age of 12).

Have you ever sat across from a child at the dinner table and asked them “How are you feeling?” or “What do you think about…?” You probably don’t get a lot of feedback, do you? Therefore, sitting in a room, on a couch, simply talking to a counselor is not the most effective way of handling a child’s issues. A child’s natural language is play, often using toys as his or her words. By having a skilled play therapist work with your child in a state of play, your child reaps the benefits of therapy without having to verbalize any concerns unless he or she is able, or chooses to.

Children are expected to process conflicting and confusing messages, and often suffer from behavioral issues as a result. They are also sometimes affected by divorce, remarriage, death or life changes that can be overwhelming to handle without appropriate interventions. Sometimes having a grown up besides mom or dad to help process big feelings can be helpful.

Play Therapy is designed to give your child freedom to grow and explore values, skills and beliefs in a safe and healthy environment. They can work through confusion, anxiety, anger, grief, and many other common childhood emotions. Child-Centered Play Therapy allows the child to heal in his or her own manner and time. Children in play therapy emerge resilient and resourceful, with better coping skills and a healthy worldview.

The following behaviors might indicate when to consult with a child therapist:

  • Long crying spells
  • Prolonged sullen, distant periods
  • Difficulty forming friendships
  • Problems connecting with a teacher
  • Physical aggression towards others or self