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Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains

Child Therapy

       

For children, play is the most important approach for fostering learning and development.  Play is the normal communicative and learning processes of children.  Developmentally, children use play as their language to express their thoughts and feelings. The toys become the words and how they play becomes the child’s unique language.

Play Therapy is an evidenced-based, structured approach that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children (typically between the ages of 3 to 12). Play therapists strategically intervene in the child’s play to help the child express their thoughts and feelings when developmentally they do not yet have the verbal language to do so.  The difference between a child’s regular play and therapeutic play is that the play therapist’s interventions help the child address and resolve their own problems. This includes helping the child cope with difficult emotions and troublesome behavior and help turn this work into lifelong strategies. In play, the child can express themselves symbolically through the toys. The child processes a stressful or traumatic experience that may be out of their awareness and has been causing emotional or behavioral problems.

Play therapy can be used as a supportive or primary intervention for an array of problems, including:

  • Parental divorce
  • Trauma
  • Grief and loss
  • Anger management

Play therapy can also be used to target behavioral disorders including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety, Separation Anxiety, Social Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorders (Autism/Aspergers)
  • Social development
  • Conduct disorders
  • Learning Disabilities

Play therapy is a treatment of choice in hospitals, schools, residential, agency and developmental settings. Research has shown play therapy to have moderate to high positive effects, especially when parents are actively involved in the child’s treatment.

My treatment approach is drawn from my education and training in child and adolescent psychopathology, Family Systems, Nondirective Client-Centered Play Therapy, trauma research, Psychodynamic theory and therapy, and theories of attachment.  I will consult and collaborate with teachers, school counselors and psychologists, and other clinicians in order to find the most supportive path to help your child and family.