“It is in playing, and only in playing, that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self” D.W. Winnicott.
Play is perhaps the most developmentally appropriate and powerful medium for young children
to build adult-child relationships, develop cause-effect thinking critical to impulse control, process stressful experiences, and learn social skills. Play can provide a child the sense of power and control that comes from solving problems and mastering new experiences, ideas, and concerns.
As a result, it can help build feelings of confidence and accomplishment. Through play and play-based interventions children can communicate nonverbally, symbolically, and in an action-oriented manner.
Play Therapy is beneficial to a child who is experiencing difficulties in the home, school or community. It is a therapeutic approach that “provides an opportunity for the child to ‘play out’
his or her feelings and problems just as, in certain adult therapy, an individual ‘talks out’ his or
her difficulties” (Virginia Axline). A child’s self-understanding is one of the goals in this approach.
- Play therapy involves the use of play in the interaction between the therapist and child.
- Through the play the child is able to address and process difficult emotions in a non-threatening environment.
- Play allows children a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows for the expression of true thoughts in a way which best suits their developmental level.
- Play therapy helps children with a wide variety of emotional, behavioural, social and developmental problems.
- Play therapy also helps children deal with stress caused by divorce, grief, loss, trauma etc.