Play Therapy 

Play therapy is a therapeutic practice that uses play to help people, generally children, to communicate and express themselves. Typically used on children ages 3 through 11, play therapy can help to resolve social problems and aid in growth and development. Play therapy provides a safe space for children to act out their fantasies and express their feelings and thoughts. Because a child’s emotions are often communicated through play, it is often easier for a child to express their feelings through toys, instead of words.

Local Experts in Play Therapy 

I am trained in a play-based model called Child Parent Psychotherapy, which focuses on treating young children who have experienced trauma or loss or attachment issues. The approach focuses on both the parent and child and allows the child to use the language of play while teaching the parent to read their child\'s cues and respond to the child.

Play is the medium for children to express themselves and to gain mastery over challenges in their environment. It is their \'language\' and their course of meaningful action. I have trained and practiced as a play therapist in support of children gaining full expression of themselves. It is also a way for me to learn about a child so that I can assist the parent(s) to find harmony with their child.

Children process emotion differently than adults do. They need customized methods to help them express their unique thoughts and feelings. That\'s why our child therapy specialist, Christy, uses creative approaches like art therapy, sand tray, and play therapy. This enables children to effectively process grief, trauma, and the feelings underlying anger.

Play therapy is an integral part of the work I do with children. Children learn, grow and heal through play. Also, it's fun! What kid wants to come to a therapist's office and sit on a couch and talk the entire time? I integrate a combination of child-directed and adult directed activities to support the child and family in meeting their stated goals.

Play therapy allows for children under the age of 9 to use play as an expression of words and emotions that developmentally they might not be able to articulate on their own. It is fun and interactive and scientifically proven to help kids process difficult challenges.

I have participated in multiple trainings through George Fox University on trauma-informed and child-centered play therapy. I utilize both of these in my work with clients.

Play therapy is a way of being with the child that honors their unique developmental level and looks for ways of helping in the “language” of the child – play.

I began learning play therapy 1978 in graduate school with analytic supervision using play technique to understand child\'s emotional and behavioral issues. Studied with the Child Therapy Study Group for over 10 years meeting as a group and weekly individual supervision. Also did 1 year child analytic training, Seattle, worked 8 years Child Psychiatry OHSU, 3 years residential treatment children.

I have extensively studied Play Therapy and consistently utilize a child-centered approach with young clients along with incorporating Child-Parent Relationship Training in my work with their families.

Play therapy is a specific and strategic way of connecting with a child and his or her inner world. Play therapy is engaging, fun, and effective, particularly for elementary school aged children and children who have been defensive and resistant to therapy in the past.

I enjoy doing play therapy with clients whether that is using sand tray, playing music, or doing art therapy. I try to incorporate whatever interests or talents my clients has into the counseling session. I have also had clients bring in their animals from home to play with while we have sessions.

Child Centered Play Therapy is a developmentally appropriate intervention for children. Play is the language of children and toys are their words. CCPT builds a relationship between child and therapist that creates a safe space for the child to express themselves. Through CCPT the child will build self-esteem and self-control. Research shows that this will lead to positive behavioral changes.

Trained in play therapy through Kinship House and an a Registered Drama Therapist.

Play therapy is a helpful therapeutic method that allows children to express a range of emotions and thoughts and learn how to cope with stress and trauma. Children's natural mode of expression is through play and this modality fits into their schema about self and the world around them. Play therapy can be directive or non-directive depending on the needs of the child.

I believe in the power of play! Words can be difficult to choose to describe our feelings. Sometimes they are even harder to speak. Play therapy allows us to express our feelings in a way that minimizes the fear of vulnerability.

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