Play Therapy is a psychotherapeutic technique appropriate for children based on the idea of play as the natural language of the child. Through facilitation, reflection, emotional responding and the expanding of meaning, the therapist gains insight into the child’s world and facilitates insight and growth for the child as well. Initially developed in the turn of the 20th century, today play therapy refers to a large number of treatment methods, all applying the therapeutic benefits of play. Play therapy differs from regular play in that the therapist helps children to address and resolve their own problems. Play therapy builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them (Axline, 1947; Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002). Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others.
Play provides a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows expression of thoughts and feelings appropriate to their development. In Child-Parent Relationship Therapy, the parents become the therapist through a 10-week course led by the clinician wherein parents learn the skills and tools to have therapeutic playtime accessible at home, or wherever the family finds itself. This modality is especially helpful for families of multiple children with parents available to spend individual time with the child, but can be helpful for any caregiver interested in providing children with the tools of co-regulation, self-regulation, self-awareness, problem solving, and more.