What Exactly is Play Therapy and What Does It Have To Do With Counseling?

Play therapy isn’t just about play. Play therapy is about the relationship between a trained mental health professional and a client. Notice I used the generic word “client” here because most people think that play therapy can only be of use with working with children. That’s actually far from the truth. In fact, play therapy can be defined as a method of therapy whereby a trained mental health professional utilizes play and various mediums to help individuals resolve conflicts that may be interpersonal and/or intrapersonal in nature. The Association for Play Therapy defines play therapy as the following: “the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.”

As a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, I espouse the following beliefs about play therapy:

  • Play therapy, when utilized by a trained professional, can be an effective means for preventing or resolving academic, vocational, and/or personal social difficulties of clients
  • Play therapy is a general term that encompasses a broad spectrum of interventions, ways of understanding client problems, and ways of “being” with clients
  • Play therapy is a collaborative, growth-oriented approach that can be very effective when combined with consultation, skills-based training, psychoeducation, and/or medication management
  • Play therapy is an effective means for addressing diverse client needs
  • Play therapy is encassed in an ever-evolving, scientific world that thrives off of the development and implementation of evidence-based practices and approaches

If you would like to learn more about play therapy and new developments, visit the following Link

Why Play Therapy

Play Therapy Reference Guide

If you are starting play therapy with me and would like to know what to expect, please refer to the following Play Therapy Reference Guide