What is Play Therapy and How Can It Help My Child?

Children, Anxiety, Depression, Keri Sawyer

Play Therapy is a specialized form of therapy that engages children in play to help them express and process their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. As children may have difficulty articulating their feelings or understanding their inner world, Play Therapy provides a safe and non-threatening environment for them to communicate and heal.

Hi, I’m Keri Sawyer, Child Therapist and owner of Bloom Child Therapists and in this article, we’ll explore how Play Therapy can help your child and explain a few key benefits.

1. Play Therapy Helps with Emotional Expression

Play Therapy encourages children to express their emotions through play, rather than relying solely on verbal communication. This approach can be especially beneficial for children who are too young to express themselves verbally, or those who struggle with language development or may have experienced trauma.

For example, a child may use dolls or puppets to act out scenarios that reflect their feelings or experiences. Or, they may use art materials, such as drawing or painting, to visually express their emotions.

2. Play Therapy Helps with Problem Solving


Play Therapy provides children with various examples of how they can develop problem-solving skills and learn alternative ways of managing challenges.

For instance, through imaginary play scenarios, children can pretend to be superheroes and find creative solutions to difficult situations. This allows children to explore, experiment, and discover effective strategies while building their resilience.


3. Play Therapy Helps Build Relationships


Play Therapy fosters positive connections between the child and the therapist. For example, during play sessions, the therapist may engage in interactive games or role-playing activities with the child, creating a sense of shared experience and building trust.

By providing a safe and supportive environment, Play Therapy allows the child to explore their feelings and emotions, leading to the development of healthy relationships.


4. Play Therapy Helps with Self-Exploration


Play Therapy offers children an opportunity to enhance their self-understanding and gain insight into their experiences. Through play, they can explore and express their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, fostering self-awareness and self-acceptance.


5. Play Therapy Helps Heal Trauma


For children who have experienced trauma, Play Therapy offers a safe outlet to process and heal from their traumatic experiences.

This can involve narrative restructuring, where, through play, children can change the outcome, introduce new characters, or explore different endings, empowering themselves and gaining a sense of control. It can also include self soothing and relaxation activities, such as sensory play or guided imagery, which can help children regulate their emotions and reduce anxiety.


Remember, Play Therapy is a collaborative and customized approach that integrates the unique needs of each child. Every session is tailored to the child’s interests, strengths, and therapeutic goals, ensuring a personalized and effective healing process.

If you believe your child could benefit from Play Therapy, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at Bloom Child Therapists today. We can guide you through the process and help your child discover the power of play in their journey towards emotional well-being.