Play Therapy Meets Kids in the Space They Naturally Learn & Communicate
Children develop through the process of play, so this form of therapy meets them where they’re at to help them form connections, process big feelings, and make progress.
Imagine Not Having the Verbal Skills to Express Yourself
With traditional therapy, an adult may come in and express their key areas of concern and engage in verbal conversation with a therapist in order to make progress in their lives. But for children, they don’t have that developed vocabulary to be able to express themselves yet.
The primary way children learn and express themselves is through the process of play. Play therapy helps us take big ideas and meet kids on their level to help them make sense of the world around them and the feelings they’re having.
Kids Need Therapy to Meet Them
Play is Critical for Learning & Development
It has been clear for a long time how important the role of play is for children’s learning and development. In the instances of trauma or abuse, play continues to have a critical role in helping them express their emotions and overcome.
At Living Well Therapy And Coaching, we use both directive and non-directive play therapy to help children.
- Directive Play Therapy involves the therapist taking the lead in what kinds of play your child will engage in to help create specific scenarios for learning and insight.
- Non-Directive Play Therapy lets the child have open access to a variety of games and toys and let’s them take the lead in kinds of play they are drawn to. The therapist then works within the play scenario the child creates.
“Enter into children’s play and you will ﬁnd the place where their minds, hearts, and souls meet.”
Common Traumatic Experiences for Children Can Include:
- Physical, Sexual, or Psychological Abuse
- Sudden or Violent Loss of a Loved One
- Natural Disasters
- Accidents, Life-threatening Illness, or Other Medical Events
- Military Family-Related Stressors (like deployment, parental loss or injury)
- Family or Community Violence
- Drug or Alcohol Abuse by a Family Member
Symptoms of Trauma in Children Can Include:
- Increased Thoughts of Death
- Increased Thoughts of Safety
- Terror, Helplessness, or Fear
- Heart Pounding
- Loss of Bowel or Blader Control
- Problems with Sleeping
- Problems with Eating
- Frequent and Intense Anger
- Problems Paying Attention
We’re Here for You
Lisa was born and raised as a child of missionaries in East Africa, where she grew up among multiple cultures and spent most her life until she was 18.
Lisa is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and a Registered Clinical Social Worker Intern (RCSWI). Lisa has been working in children’s mental health for over 10 years in a variety of settings. Lisa started her career as behavioral (ABA) therapist for children with autism. Later in graduate school Lisa worked in community mental health and in an acute mental health hospital, working as a therapist and case manager primarily focusing on art and play therapy.
Lisa is an eclectic therapist, using modalities and interventions from multiple theories of intervention, including play therapy, cognitive processing, cognitive behavioral therapy, expressive therapies, anxiety management, and more. Lisa assesses each client as they come and uses whatever intervention is most appropriate for each client.
Frequently Asked Questions About Play Therapy
Is it possible to actually make progress in therapy through play?
Yes! Play therapy is more than just playing. It requires specific training and certifications to be able to peform. Play is the primary way children learn and connect ideas, so it is critically important for helping in the therapy setting.
Our family plays all the time - can't I just do this at home if I'm a good parent?
Play is the primary way children learn, but not all play is therapy. Although constructive play may be happening in the home setting, play therapy is done in a clinical setting with trained therapists.
Am I allowed to be in the room with my child?
At Living Well Therapy & Coaching we strongly encourage parents to not be present in the play therapy. Often, even unintentionally, a parents presence in the room can create feelings in children that they need to behave a certain way, which can create a barrier in the therapy process.
Is my child too old/too young for play therapy?
Play therapy is most often utilized in children as young as 3 and as old as 15, though the kind of play therapy will vary based on the areas of concern, the child’s age, and their cognitive development.
Is play therapy only for children or is it for adults too?
Play therapy is most often a technique for children, though it is sometimes used in adult settings.
Rates & Insurance
It’s important that you understand the process and payment details for your sessions. That’s why we’ve made our rates highly transparent and documented. View them here so when you reach out to us, you’ll have a clear idea of next steps.