top of page

Play Therapy

"Play Therapy is based upon the fact that play is the child's natural medium of self-expression. It is an opportunity which is given to the child to 'play out' his feelings and problems just as, in certain types of adult therapy, an individual 'talks out' his difficulties"

                              Virginia Axline

What is play therapy and how does it work?

The Association for Play Therapy (APT) defines play therapy as "the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development."


Play therapy is a structured, theoretically based approach to expressive therapy that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children and has been shown to help them

•    Become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies.

•    Develop new and creative solutions to problems.

•    Develop respect and acceptance of self and others.

•    Learn to experience and express emotion.

•    Learn new social skills and relational skills with family.

Play therapy can also be used effectively with some teenagers and adults to optimize learning, enhance relationships, improve health, and enhance social well-being.



Mental health professionals can add a set of skills to their repertoire that improves care for children and adults without the ability to verbally express their thoughts and feelings.

Children often communicate their thoughts and feelings more naturally through play than they do through verbal communication. In Play therapy toys are like the child’s words and play is the child’s language. Through play interactions the therapist provides a safe and comfortable way for children to express thoughts and feelings.

This approach helps children share what is troubling them and to understand their own experiences and the outside world. Play therapy uses a variety of play and Creative Arts techniques such as drawing, coloring, drama/role play, puppets, music, movement and therapeutic storytelling.

The therapist uses play therapy to help the child to learn how to communicate with others, express feelings, modify undesirable behaviors, learn problem solving, develop coping skills, increase self-awareness and learn how to control their emotions. Play therapy allows children to fully express themselves and increases their self-esteem.

Play therapy techniques help children process traumatic events and to heal from it. Children become more confident, secure, resourceful and resilient to deal with the on going challenges of life.

Watch this fun video of our friend Andrew below.... I wish adults could communicate that well! 

bottom of page