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Why Play Therapy?


Creative Commons License photo credit: Loyal O.A.K.
Why Use Play?

Most parents have had the experience of hearing their words (good or bad) reflected in their child’s play.  Here’s why: Play is the primary way that children:

  • Learn about their world,
  • Understand how things work,
  • Express themselves,
  • Develop new physical skills,
  • Develop new mental skills, and
  • Develop social skills and bonds.

We can understand our children better if we understand their play.  By watching children play, we often learn more about their thoughts, feelings, motivations, and struggles than by talking with them! Play has been called the “language of childhood” and if we learn (or relearn) that language, we can build more satisfying relationships with our children.

Therapists use play to assess the child and gain trust.  The therapist may lead the play or use non-directive methods to increase understanding of feelings. At Wasatch Family Therapy we use many types of play therapy: sand tray, art, dance/movement, bibliography (books), imaginary play, Filial therapy, etc.

Filial therapy (CPR) is a unique approach to therapy that emphasizes the parent-child relationship as a means of alleviating and preventing problems. The parent is involved in play therapy and taught how to implement methods in home.

 “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”  Plato

References: Innovations in Clinical Practice: A Source Book (Vol. 16) by L. VandeCreek, S. Knapp, and T.L., Jackson (des.)

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