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Child / Play Therapy

What Is Play Therapy?

Play therapy is a counseling approach that uses play to aid children from ages 3 through 12 to more freely express repressed thoughts and emotions.  At Lifeologie Counseling Oak Cliff, we have created a comfortable, safe playroom for your child. In this room, there are very few rules or limits placed on your child. Our child therapists will observe the child’s choices, decisions, and play style.  The goal of play therapy is to help your child learn to express emotions in a healthy manner, to become more respectful and empathetic of others, and to discover more positive solutions to his or her problems.

When is Play Therapy Used

Play therapy is often introduced after a child has experienced or witnessed a stressful life event. These types of events could include serious illness, domestic violence, abuse, trauma, a family crisis, or a shift in the child’s environment. In addition, play therapy can help children struggling with a learning disability, behavioral disorders attention deficit disorder, anxiety, depression, grief or anger. Finally, children within the autism spectrum also can benefit from play therapy.

What to Expect in Play Therapy

You, as the parent or caregiver, play a very important role in play therapy. After the initial intake interview, the child therapist will prepare an assessment. This allows the child therapist to define the most appropriate therapy approach for your child.

In our counseling playroom, your child is encouraged to interact with specific types of toys. These toys have been shown to bring out more self-expression and facilitate the learning of positive behaviors within the child.  Arts and crafts, music, dancing, storytelling, and other tools also may be incorporated into the play therapy sessions. Sessions are usually 30-45 minutes long. Your child’s therapist will provide you with more detail on session lengths and how many sessions to expect. In the beginning, it’s a good idea to start with at least 1 session a week.

What makes play therapy work

Play therapy is a fluid process and each session will evolve organically in reaction to the needs of your child. It is an organic approach to therapy that results in natural reactions from children who frequently express themselves better through play than through verbal communications.

There are two primary approaches to play therapy, non-directive and directive. Non-directive play therapy is based on the principle that children can resolve their own issues given the proper conditions and the freedom to play with limited instruction and supervision. On the other hand, sometimes a more instructional process is needed. This is directive play therapy.

The approach used with your child will be based on your unique circumstances. Call Lifeologie Oak Cliff at 972.590.8030 to schedule a child therapy appointment or to get more information.