Some children respond well to a traditional therapy environment in which they sit down and talk with a counselor, but this structure can be too formal for others. In an effort to help children open up, many therapists offer play therapy. There are numerous variations of this concept, but the general premise is that your child gets to play in the therapist's office while he or she observes and asks questions here and there. You'll usually find that children respond well to therapy, so this might be the best choice for your son or daughter if you're looking to put him or her in counseling. Here are some reasons that play therapy works well.
Kids Will Often Open up While Having Fun
Even as a parent, one of the best ways that you can get your child to open up and communicate with you is to do something fun together. Kids often love talking when they're happy, and play therapy can provide them with a suitable environment. In this type of therapy, the counselor isn't in a rush to get your child talking. Instead, the therapist will encourage the child to play and will often sit nearby and may also play along. Over time, the counselor will start to offer questions to the child, who may be ready to open up.
They Don't Feel as Though Something Is Wrong
When you send your child to counseling, one of the main messages that you need to get across is that the child didn't do anything wrong. Counseling isn't punishment, but sitting across a table from an adult may be akin to your child of being in trouble at school. Play therapy focuses on fun and quickly drops any suspicion that your child may have that he or she has done something wrong. This mindset can be instrumental to your child feeling more comfortable in therapy, and thus, getting more out of it.
They May Start to Look Forward to It
Most kids are always interested in any sort of playing, even if it's in a therapist's office. Whereas you might have trouble getting a child excited about going to a traditional type of therapist, he or she may count down the days until the next play therapy session. This is an ideal scenario for you because you can trust that when the child is eager to attend therapy, things are going well.
If you feel like child therapy with an emphasis on play is the best option for your child, speak with a team like The Center for Family Counseling, Inc. to learn more.