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Treatment Approach: Play Therapy (Ages 5 to 12)


Play therapy builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them.  

Through play, children learn to:

  • Communicate with others

  • Express feelings

  • Modify behavior

  • Develop problem-solving skills

  • Learn a variety of ways of relating to others.  


Play provides a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows expression of thoughts and feelings appropriate to their development.  Play therapy allows children to change the way they think about, feel toward and resolve their concerns.  


Play therapy is especially appropriate for children ages 5 through 12 years old.  

Research supports the effectiveness of play therapy with children experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral and learning problems including:  children whose problems are related to life stressors, such as divorce, death, relocation, hospitalization, chronic illness, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, anger and natural disasters.  

Each play therapy session varies in length but usually last about 30 to 50 minutes.  Sessions are held weekly.  Research suggest that it takes an average of 20 play therapy sessions to resolve.  However, depending on the severity of the issue, it may take longer to resolve.  

Your child’s therapist will determine how often and when some or all members of the family should be involved in the play therapy.  At minimum, the therapist will want to communicate with the child’s parent, guardian or caretaker to develop a plan for resolving problems and monitoring progress.

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