Children are not ‘little adults’ and inherently approach the world in a vastly different way at every developmental stage, therefore need developmentally appropriate methods of therapy. With the help of a properly trained and credentialed Registered Play Therapist (RPT) or Registered Play Therapy Supervisor (RPT-S), children can find ways to express themselves and communicate often far beyond their verbal skills, explore their challenges or internal experiences in ways that comes most natural to them, through the language of play and age-appropriate activities. As one of the most respected child therapists of our time, Gary Landreth said, “Birds fly, fish swim, and children play” and children not play for fun, but also to process their experiences about the world around them. However, Play Therapy is not the same as regular, spontaneous play observed by parents or caregivers.
Play Therapy is defined by APT as “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. Play Therapy should only be provided by graduate-level mental health professionals who have met the required education, clinical licensure, and additional specialized training and supervision specific to Play Therapy.” (retrieved from Clarifying the Use of Play Therapy - Association for Play Therapy (a4pt.org)).
For more information about Play Therapy, visit Play Therapy Makes a Difference - Association for Play Therapy (a4pt.org) or check out these videos:
Source: Windsong Productions. Play Therapy - Andrew's Day. YouTube, 2 Oct. 2014, youtu.be/D8meTxxXeEw.
EMDR for Children
Children who experience stress, anxiety, phobia, or trauma may benefit from EMDR treatment that is provided in an age appropriate, engaging, playful way but yield the same efficacy as ‘adult EMDR treatment’. With the help of Play Therapy, EMDR can be adjusted to any developmental level and can be utilized as a stand alone or as an adjunct approach in treatment.
The FirstPlay Therapy Counseling & Storytelling® program combines simple storytelling together with playful nurturing touch activities. In FirstPlay Therapy® Infant Storytelling® sessions you will learn the Baby Tree Hug© story as taught by Certified FirstPlay® Infant Practitioners.