What is Play Therapy?
Having a good understanding of what your child will participate in is helpful in beginning the conversation. Play therapy is therapy for children between the ages of 3-10. Play therapy focuses on where kids are developmentally (language, cognitive skills, social emotional understanding). Play therapy uses the natural language of play to meet kids where they are which in turn supports their understanding,, healing,growth and development of coping skills. While in the playroom, children will have the opportunity to play with a variety of toys, color, paint, or build.
How do I talk to my child about bringing them to play therapy?
Play therapy is a place where a safe adult will help your child understand and communicate his or her feelings. You can tell your child about the playroom and give them a better understanding of this type of therapy by going to the provider’s website. Here you can show your child pictures of both the room and of the provider to help create an idea of who they will be working with and where they will be going. Your kiddo may have a lot of questions. That is normal! Answer as many as you can and be ready to say, “I’m not sure, we may have to figure it out together.”
How do I tell my child the reason for the session?
The overall concepts to share are consistent for whatever age your child is, however the depths that you will go depends on the age. . You want to be as honest and developmentally appropriate as possible – and your older kiddos may be very aware of why they are coming. While younger kids will take their cues from you. If you feel comfortable about the choice to explore therapy, this will help them feel more comfortable about the sessions..
Most importantly we don’t want them to think that coming to therapy is a punishment or feel like it is because they have failed. We want to say things like “We are working with Ms. Meagan to help our family get along better” or “We are going to work with Ms. Meagan to help learn skills so we don’t get so angry”. We want honest statements that are not blaming or condemning.
If you need help supporting your kiddo through these first steps, ask your play therapist. They should help support you in developing language and ideas for what would be best for your family during your first intake session.
Think you’re ready to bring your child in for Play Therapy? Contact us!