Play therapy FAQ’s
What is play therapy?
Play therapy seeks to understand a child’s emotional, mental, and behavioral concerns through the language they understand best- play. Adults typically have the skills necessary to discuss what they are thinking and feeling when experiencing a problem. Children usually do not, and structuring a therapy session through play helps a child’s needs and concerns to be more clearly understood.
What concerns are appropriate for play therapy?
Play therapy is an appropriate treatment for a range of concerns. Children who begin play therapy may be needing:
- support with adjusting to life transitions
- education on coping skills
- help with learning how to interact with others
- tools for managing worry, sadness, stress and other emotions
Play therapy is not a replacement for psychological testing or other therapies. It may not be appropriate if other treatments (such as occupational therapy) have not first been explored. A therapist will discuss all options with you and can provide you with appropriate referral information if other services are necessary.
Will the therapist contact my child’s school, pediatrician, etc.?
If you would like for your therapist to contact your child’s school, pediatrician or another provider to coordinate care, then a release will be signed for this to happen. The purpose of care coordination is to attend to the client’s needs using a collaborative approach to provide a more comprehensive assessment and evaluation of progress towards treatment goals.
How long will it take before I see changes in my child?
Every child and their circumstances are different and unique to them as well as the ways that they demonstrate progress and change. This is also not always a linear process and parents and caregivers may need to engage in changes to facilitate progress. Some children may demonstrate more immediate changes while others may take longer. Despite these differences, both may indicate progress. If you have questions about your child’s progress, discussing these with your therapist can be helpful.
How much can or should I be involved in therapy?
Your therapist will share things with you that they assess to be beneficial in assisting your child to reach their goals. However, change is highly individualized and therapy is not always the only significant change that can happen. Your therapist may request parents, caregivers, or other important influential individuals involved in your child’s life to adopt changes as well. Change is best supported by your involvement. Therefore, your therapist may recommend the participation in therapy services, completion of homework or growth exercises, or other recommendations while requesting feedback and observations from parents on their perceived effectiveness.