Does my child need therapy (and will it really help)?

Does my child need therapy (and will it really help)?

I get this question so much from so many attuned, concerned and curious parents! As a fellow research-lover on the anxious end of the spectrum, I thought we all deserved an answer to this question! Here are my two cents about Play Therapy:

Does my child need therapy (and will it really help)?

 Play Therapy’s effectiveness has been measured with children with a variety of concerns including developmental trauma, anxiety, depression, ADHD, behavioral challenges, child sex abuse, developmental delays and differences, and changes in the family including divorce, a recent move, birth of a sibling, or moving to a new school.

 If your child’s behavior appears consistently out-of-control, more emotional than typical with a hard time calming down, or if behavior and mood shift dramatically over a period of weeks, it might benefit an assessment. A trained clinician who is well-versed in child development and psychotherapy such as a Registered Play Therapist can help you, the parent, figure out whether treatment will be helpful.

 Chances are, if you are seriously considering it, your parent instinct is telling you something is not right! Listen to that instinct and seek out professional advice and assessment!

 How does what the therapist does in the playroom help?

I work from a child-centered play therapy model (an evidence-based treatment model!) Plus, I am trained in interpersonal neurobiological approaches—this means am watching for sensory preferences, self-soothing, executive function skills, and working with you to fit together pieces of the puzzle when it comes to what supports your child’s health! We will talk about your child’s temperament, personality, and family interaction patterns that contribute to your child’s social and emotional health.

 My Playroom has a large selection of creative materials and open-ended toys. I will allow your child to enter the room and choose whatever they feel like playing with. I will follow your child’s lead, playing along, reflecting feelings, and assisting in finding solutions to the problems that come up in the play.

 Children work through real problems in this way, and they experience a sense of control and mastery since they are directing the play! In the playroom your child can play through a problem, see it from different angles and problem solve in a way that may be difficult when they are in the moment, overwhelmed by emotion. Children often leave play therapy with an air of confidence or self-assurance and the goal is to help your child bring generalize what happens in the playroom to their daily life. Self-Control, Responsibility, Self Esteem, and a Sense of Connection and Safety are all huge parts of the play therapy experience. Check out Garry Landreth for more on these outcomes!

 

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