“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child's soul.” ― Friedrich Froebel
Children are referred for Play Therapy to help them in becoming more responsible for their behaviors and develop successful strategies for everyday living. At Carolina Counseling, we work with children to develop new and creative solutions to problems, develop respect and acceptance of self and others.
Often, children have used up their own problem solving tools, and they misbehave, may act out at home, with friends, and at school. Play Therapy allows trained mental health practitioners who specialize in Play Therapy, to assess and understand children’s play. Further, Play Therapy is utilized to help children cope with difficult emotions and find solutions to problems. By confronting problems in the clinical Play Therapy setting, children find healthier solutions. Play Therapy allows children to change the way they think about, feel toward, and resolve their concerns. Even the most troubling problems can be confronted in Play Therapy and lasting resolutions can be discovered, rehearsed, mastered and adapted into lifelong strategies.
Play Therapy differs from regular play in that the therapist helps children to address and resolve their own problems. Play Therapy builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them. Play therapy provides a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows expression of thoughts and feelings appropriate to their development.
At Carolina Counseling, Play Therapy helps children:
- Learn a variety of ways of relating to others.
- Become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies.
- Develop new and creative solutions to problems.
- Develop respect and acceptance of self and others.
- Learn to experience and express emotion.
- Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others.
- Learn new social skills and relational skills with family.
- Develop self-efficacy and thus a better assuredness about their abilities.
Research supports the effectiveness of Play Therapy with children experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning problems. Children whose problems are related to life stressors, such as divorce, death, relocation, hospitalization, chronic illness, stressful experiences, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, and natural disasters benefit from this treatment modality.