Hi this is Terri Borman, child care provider and author of the children’s book “Shapes Go to School.” This book teaches children shapes, colors, and diversity. It helps children to understand that everyone is different.
Last week I blogged about children with Autism and how service animals are making a difference in their lives. This week’s blog is about children that have conduct/behavior disorders that cause them to act out in school, child care or at home and how play therapy is helping the children to cope and to learn better problem solving solutions.
According to The Association for Play Therapy, “play therapy is a structure based clinical approach to therapy that builds normal communicative and learning processes. Through play therapy children communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem solving skills and learn ways to relate to others.”
The most worrisome of problems can be addressed in play therapy. By confronting the problem in a play therapy setting, children learn better solutions for that problem. Play therapy is directed by a play therapist, a licensed mental health professional with a Master’s or Doctorate degree in the mental health field.
Play therapy is appropriate for ages 3 to 12 and it can help children with anger management, grief or loss, divorce, crisis, trauma, anxiety, depression, ADHD, Autism, and conduct disorders. Play therapy sessions are once a week and take between 30-50 minutes. It takes approximately 20 sessions to start resolving the child’s problems. Some children will improve faster while more serious problems may take longer to resolve.
Play therapy has positive results! The child becomes more responsible for his/her behavior, learns new solutions to problems, and develops self-respect for his/herself plus respect for others. The child will learn appropriate social skills and relational skills with family.
Masks, hats, zoo and farm animals, building blocks, puppets, sand tables, role playing costumes, and arts and crafts are all examples of toys that can be used during play therapy, but any toy that involves the imagination to play will work. Children love Super heroes like Batman, Spiderman, Superman, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles making them very effective to use in play therapy.
For more information on play therapy please visit The Association for Play Therapy website: http://www.a4pt.org