Play Therapy

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A child's natural way of learning and expressing themselves is through play. While an adult might use 'talk therapy' to help them cope with difficulties, this method doesn't really work well for most children. This is because their cognitive abilities and verbal skills are still developing. Rather than focusing on talking, play therapy supports children's healing through creative and experiential means.

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During a session, Elena and your child will work together in the playroom equipped with therapeutic toys that encourage imagination. Through creative play, your child can express and explore his or her feelings, make sense of life experiences, and develop new ways of coping with stress. Elena uses the sand tray, puppets, art, role play, clay, and a variety of other methods as part of the therapy experience.  Each child is different in which modality they prefer.

Play Therapy offers children an experience of acceptance, non-judgement, encouragement and freedom. It supports a child's ability to work with their experiences through play, helping them grow towards healing, health and resilience.  

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"For children to play out their experiences and feelings is the most natural, dynamic and self-healing process in which children can engage," -Garry Landreth Ed.D, LPC, RPI-S, Director Emeritus of the Association for Play Therapy

Play therapy is a well-established and evidenced based approach founded on a number of psychological theories. It has been used widely for decades in the US and UK and is fast gaining recognition in Canada as an effective intervention and therapy.

As a child-centred, gentle and effective approach, play therapy creates a space in which children have the freedom to express themselves within safe boundaries. Through this process children learn to understand and cope with their experiences and emotions. Play therapy supports children through difficult times and helps them improve their confidence and develop resilience. It can also be used to improve family relationships by helping parents gain a better understanding of children's experiences. 

Watch this video by the American Association for Play Therapy to learn more about how Play Therapy works