APT designates this week as a time to recognize the importance of Play Therapy and Registered Play Therapists.
WHAT IS PLAY THERAPY?
It's a mental health treatment approach for children 3-12 years of age that uses a child’s natural tendency to “play out” their reactions to life situations. Toys in a play therapy room include games, puppets, art supplies, and sand trays. All toys are carefully selected to facilitate creative and emotional expression from children. In play therapy children learn how to identify and recognize their feelings. It improves their self-concept, reduces anxiety and initiates behavioral changes. By making appropriate choices in the play room children find solutions to problems and learn self control.
Play therapy is facilitated by a highly trained and skilled play therapist who provides an environment where a child feels safe to play out their concerns. As a result, the therapist can assess the play and make recommendations to parents for resolving problems.
Children who are dealing with death, divorce, abandonment, or abuse can benefit from play therapy. Children who are experiencing difficulty adjusting to moving, starting school, the birth of a sibling or a chronic illness can find emotional support in play therapy. Play therapy can also help children who are experiencing problems with anxiety, ADHD, autism, attachment disorders, and learning disabilities.
With advanced play therapy training, experience, and supervision, a mental health professional can earn the Registered Play Therapist, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, or School-Based Registered Play Therapist credential. APT is a national non-profit professional society that provides research, training and credentialing programs to assist and enhance the expertise of mental health professionals.
If you think your child could benefit from play therapy contact Pam Dyson for more information. Mental health professionals who are interested in learning more about play therapy can find training and supervision information at the DFW Center for Play Therapy Training.