lay Therapy is a psychotherapeutic treatment approach specifically developed to help children between the ages of 3 to 12 years old. A play therapist, a trained mental health professional, works with a child to explore and resolve problems through the therapeutic use of play. The child and therapist work together in a playroom that is equipped with specially chosen toys that will encourage the safe expression of feelings and also support the development of healthier behaviors.
“For children, toys are their words and play is their language.” Children need the opportunity to play out what they experience. Children are capable of expressing themselves and resolving their experiences in the safe, free environment of a playroom with a therapist that they have come to trust. In the playroom, children speak symbolically as well as directly about their experiences, using sand play, art, clay, theatrical play, games, dollhouse play, music and story making. Their play speaks about where and how they feel unhappy, insecure, afraid, competent, and strong. In play, children experiment, improvise, and work through their problems, while getting to know their strengths and abilities, all with the help of the therapist who supports the child’s processing by being unconditional, non-judgmental, and offering acceptance with a playful, caring attitude.