Play therapy is often used to help enable children understand and communicate confused feelings and upsetting experiences, which may remain unprocessed, at their own level and at their own pace. Adults experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties often seek talking therapies while Play Therapy acts as a non-threatening and indirect way for children to be assisted with excessive anger, fear or worry.
The significance of Play Therapy and Play
Play therapy is generally aimed towards children and during the session the therapist will encourage the child, through play and language, with exploration life events which may continue to effect their current circumstances or behaviour.
Play therapy can assist children, and even adults, with exploration of repressed thoughts and emotions, with addressing trauma, with communication and with steps towards personal growth. This form of therapy is seen as an effective and appropriate mental health treatment during a child’s development. Play is commonly regarded as a form of relaxation. However, research has shown play to be a critical part of a child’s healthy development. Studies have seen that although newborn babies possess billions of brain cells the cells do not yet have the complex neural interconnectivity which is seen in mature brain cells. Neuroscience research has shown that the first five years of a child’s life is when the majority of these neural interconnections are made and that playing contributes significantly this development. Neural interconnections are critical for learning, social and emotional development as well as memory.