Child-Centered Play Therapy

Child-centered play therapy was developed in recognition of the fact that young children express themselves better through play than through “talking it out.” Child-centered play therapy is an evidence-based treatment that is based upon this natural “language” and on children’s intuitive ability to select play that helps them to overcome and resolve challenges that they are unable to put into words.

Children in play therapy are provided with carefully selected toys and expressive materials in a safe and accepting environment. Young clients naturally gravitate towards play that allows them to express difficult feelings, process troubling experiences, and communicate deep needs. Play therapists are trained to facilitate this free expression and to respond with a wide range of child-centered therapeutic activities and interventions, drawing on fields such as child development, cognitive and behavioral theory, attachment theory, and family systems. Although play therapy sessions typically involve only the child and the therapist, parents and caregivers are always closely involved in the treatment process.

Play therapy helps children:

  • Strengthen self-confidence and mastery
  • Build flexibility and problem-solving skills
  • Release and relieve stress
  • Express big emotions and worries, while regulating behavior
  • Cope with transitions and disappointments
  • Enhance relationship bonds, empathy, and social skills
  • Process, resolve, and heal from upsetting and traumatic experiences
Play Therapy
Play Therapy

“Play is really the work of childhood.”

– Mr. Fred Rogers

Child-centered play therapy is my go-to approach for working with young children. Some of the other approaches I use to nurture caregiver-child relationships include: filial therapy, Theraplay, and parenting consultations.

In-Person Therapy & Virtual Therapy