You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. -Plato
Child Centered Play Therapy
Imaginative play taps into the right side of our brains: the part of our brain that stores our earliest implicit memories and is the epicenter for our emotion center. Play is important to children because it is the way they learn about and explore the world. Through imaginative play, children are given the opportunity to freely express their thoughts and feelings. Doing so allows for them to develop physically, socially, intellectually and emotionally.
Play therapy is effective for resolving behavior problems at home and school, anxiety, depression, ADHD, trauma, loss and adjustment to family stressors and life transitions. Trauma is sensory based in that traumatic memories are encoded in both the body as well as the brain. The use of play therapy addresses the sensory component of trauma that can not be achieved through traditional talk therapy alone.
Research has supported the assertion that children need to play; it is one of the most critical elements in healthy child development. Play therapy is a method that uses the child’s natural language of play in a structured and healing manner. Using imagination, play therapy enables a child to work through difficult experiences which have caused their normal growth and development to be halted and weakened. Through play therapy the child is able to express themselves, learn adaptive skills, gain self-control and mastery, increase self-esteem and heal from trauma and loss. Play therapy interventions take place in a therapeutic playroom. The playroom is filled with a wide variety of toys, of which children choose to play with and are used in place of explicit words or conversation about their thoughts, feelings, fears, insecurities, anger, and resentments.