One of the trickiest things about play therapy is explaining it to others. This includes parents, teachers, school professionals, pediatricians, lawyers, daycare providers, other mental health providers, and even colleagues. It is valuable for important people in the child’s life to get a sense of what you are doing in the playroom and why. The better the relationship you have with important adults in your client’s life, the easier it is to be successful in the playroom.
Here is the general spiel I give:
“Play therapy is a non-directive, developmentally appropriate intervention for children ages 3 to 9. Children are unable to communicate in the way that we are able to as adults. However, children are able to communicate through play. Play is their language and toys are their words and I happen to be fluent in the language! I am trained in understanding what children are communicating through recognizing themes. Throughout therapy, I will discuss with you what I am seeing through themes and additionally consult with you regarding any safety concerns if applicable. Within the session, I reflect, track,and additionally set limits and boundaries when necessary. Play therapy is an evidence-based intervention which has been proven through research to increase children’s confidence, self-esteem, and emotional identification while decreasing problematic behaviors.”
I encourage you to develop your own play therapy spiel that works for you and your clients. After giving the spiel, I ask if there are any questions. If you or anyone you are working with have additional questions, check out my post on Play Therapy FAQ’s!
Until next time, play on!