Play Therapy

Play is a child’s natural form of communication just as talking is an adult’s natural way of communication. Even children who are quite talkative express themselves more fully through their play.

For children, emotions are often difficult to understand and even more difficult to express. Play provides a non-threatening way for children to express themselves.&

Defining Play Therapy

Play therapy refers to a large number of treatment methods, all of which make use of one or more of the natural benefits of play. Play allows children a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows them to express their true thought and feelings in ways best suited to their developmental level. Insight’s trained therapists in Edmonton, Red Deer, and Calgary can assess and understand children’s play and use play to assist the child in coping with difficult emotions and find solutions to their problems.

How do I prepare my child for Play therapy?

You may tell your child that she “will be spending time with (the therapists name) in a special playroom every week where there are toys to play with”. If your child want to know why he/she is going to the playroom, you may say something like, “when things are hard for you at home (or at school), sometimes it helps to have a special place to play”. It is important for the child to feel safe in play therapy.

The therapist will maintain “confidentiality”, which means that what children specifically say and do in play therapy will be kept private (except in some situations including allegations of abuse or harm to self and others). Confidentiality allows children to fell secure enough to fully express themselves without being inhibited by concerns over their parents’ reactions or feelings. The play therapist will involve the parents by sharing general themes, helpful responses and progress in therapy with the parent.

The play therapist may meet with the parents on a regular basis and may also facilitate family therapy in which all or some family members participate to work toward therapeutic success for the child.