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Signs That My Child May Benefit from Play Therapy

When a child is suffering from a behavioral, social, or mood disorder, an adult approach that relies heavily on verbal communication may not be the best solution. With play therapy, we interact with your child on their level, allowing us to better identify, and help remedy, the underlying issues.

At Southlake Counseling, under the compassionate and experienced leadership of Kimberly Krueger, MSW, LCSW, our team specializes in helping children with mental health and behavioral issues through various methods of therapy, including play therapy.

In the following, we take a look at what play therapy is and whether your child may benefit from this effective approach to mental health issues in the younger population.

Play therapy 101

Long before a child forms their first words, they interact with the world in a more playful way (think of playing peekaboo with an infant). It’s through play that a child learns about the world around them and, perhaps more importantly, their role in it.

Through play, a child learns how to:

So, when a child is suffering from a mental health or behavioral problem, therapists turn to the value of play as a tool to better communicate with the child, as well as assess their problem.

With play therapy, we work with your child in a special environment, where games and toys are the main focus. Each of the sessions last between 30-45 minutes and we tailor this time to your child’s unique concerns. This may mean that we direct the play, or we sit back and observe your child at play—or both.

Through play, your child can often tell us a lot more about their mental health than a conversation ever can, since we can overcome the verbal hurdles and remove any stress from the experience.

In fact, play therapy is so effective that we use it to diagnose and treat any number of issues, including:

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it illustrates the many conditions where play therapy can play a valuable role.

Signs your child may benefit from play therapy

Children develop at a dizzying rate, and there’s an awful lot to track, especially between the ages of 3 and 17. If you’re unsure as to whether your child may be struggling with a mental health issue, you should be on the lookout for:

You should also listen to your child carefully, and if you hear statements that suggest that your child feels invisible, take these as clear warning flags.

Every child is different and, as a parent, you know your child best. If you begin to notice behaviors that simply don’t “fit” your child, it’s a good idea to have one of our experts perform a full evaluation. Together, we can work towards helping your child develop a healthy relationship with themselves and the world around them.

If you have more questions about play therapy and its role in diagnosing and treating your child, please contact us at one of our locations in Charlotte, Hickory, and Davidson, North Carolina, to set up a consultation today.

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