The many forms of Play Therapy
The two forms I practice are Child Centered and Prescriptive. Please read about them below. Fortunately, there is enough space in my office to have a separate area dedicated to both.
Child Centered Play Therapy
In Child Centered Play Therapy, the child chooses from an array of toys that are presented in a carefully planned way. The child then chooses what area to focus on and certain themes emerge for the therapist to observe and later address with the child. For instance, it is common for children to feel intense anger if their parents divorce. Child Centered Play Therapy offers them the opportunity to work with the aggressive toys, kept in a distinct area from the nurturing toys, the dollhouses, the sand tray, and so on. As they work through their feelings using the materials provided, the therapist is an active participant, helping the child feel safe, heard, and supported. Using the above example of the child whose parents are in the process of divorcing, other themes will become apparent, including containment and grief. During this phase the child might use the dollhouses to depict two homes with a figure of a child going between the homes and engaging in fun or everyday activities like sharing meals or driving carpool. By the end stage of treatment, the child will usually have a calm demeanor, a transition from the typically agitated state an angry child will exhibit.
“YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT A PERSON IN AN HOUR OF PLAY THAN IN A YEAR OF CONVERSATION”