Play Therapy

Play Therapy FAQ’s

What is play therapy?

Play Therapy is a form of counseling geared specifically towards children. It is evidence and research based and found to be effective for children ages 3-11.

Does my child need play therapy?

Only you can answer that question. I always suggest play therapy if you are experiencing behavior in the home that is impacting your family functioning, if your child has experienced trauma, or if your child is healing from a death loss.

How will play therapy help my child?

Children do not have the capability to sit and talk through their problems with a counselor like adults do. Oftentimes, they are also not able to verbalize their feelings to caregivers. This means their emotional challenges are expressed through behaviors such as tantrums, hitting, isolating, or regression. Children undergoing play therapy use toys or art mediums to communicate their challenges and worries. This provides the therapist an insight into their world. Therapists then use two way play communication to help a child resolve these psychological challenges, while also teaching emotional regulation and self-awareness.

Is my toddler ready for Play Therapy?

Play therapy can be beneficial for children as young as 2-3, depending on their needs and developmental level. To participate, they will need to be potty trained and able to separate from their caregiver. I do not accompany children inside the restroom if they need to use it. Instead I will stand next to the outside door with the door propped open, communicating with them so that they know they are safe and not alone. Please keep in mind, if your child needs assistance during toileting, I am unable to physically assist them.

How is play therapy different that the normal play my child does every day?

The toys in a play therapy room are selected with specific purposes in mind. The room may include dollhouses, homemaking items, puppets, art supplies, and costumes. These toys allow the child to use imagination and expression. You will not see video or electronic games, non-therapeutic games, or branded items such as Barbies/ Cartoon based figures.

Do you have weapons in your play room?

Because many of the children I work with are recovering from trauma and grief, play weapons, handcuffs, hospital/doctor kits, and law enforcement/firefighter costumes are an intricate piece of my play therapy room. These toys allow the child to “act out” or communicate traumatic events. If your child is undergoing play therapy for something other than trauma or grief and you do not feel comfortable with these items, please let me know.

What should my child wear to play therapy?

I often use paint, crafts, markers etc. in session. Everything used will washable. However, just in case, I recommend they not wear anything irreplaceable.

How long does play therapy take?

That largely depends on your child, your family’s dedication to the therapeutic process, and the reason you are seeking therapy. Some families see marked improvement in as little as 8 sessions, other children may have a need to attend therapy for a year or more.

How will I know what’s happening during session?

Either before or after each session, I will speak with you to give you a synopsis of the focus of that day. I also like to have an adult check-in with caregivers once a month to discuss progress and goals, and to get your input on what is happening at home. If your child discloses that they are being harmed, harming themselves, or have the potential of harming someone else, you will be immediately notified. If other specific information arises during session that I feel is important for you to know, I will work with the child to facilitate a conversation with you or I will speak with you myself. I leave this choice (in an age appropriate manner) up to the child.

Should I ask my child what happened in therapy?

It can be difficult to not know a play by play of your child’s session, but please keep in mind that the therapeutic relationship is different than other adult relationships your child has. For the process to be effective, it’s important that your child feels that they can be open with their counselor and have some privacy and control with the information discussed in session. Due to this, I recommend not asking specific questions about the therapy session; i.e “Did you talk about ____?” Or “When you were doing _____ activity did you feel sad?”. If you feel the need to, try asking general questions; i.e “What was your favorite part of session?” Or “Is there anything that happened today that you want to talk with me about?”.

What do I do when my child is in session?

You will not be directly involved in the session. Please feel welcome to stay in the waiting room where coffee, tea, and reading materials are available. If you would like to leave, I ask that you stay within 5-10 minutes of the office and have a cell phone with you so that you are quickly available in the case of emergency.



6767 S Spruce Street
Centennial, CO 80112

AngRiceLPC@gmail.com
(720) 550-0704

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