Children often cannot communicate effectively with words, especially when it comes to feelings and stressful events. These children utilize play – a far more comfortable medium – to express their internal and interpersonal conflicts.
Some play therapy is more or less directive, meaning that a therapist may be more of an observer and commentator on the play or be more concrete and direct about how the play may address a particular child’s concerns. We typically utilize a psychodynamic play therapy approach, in which the therapist listens carefully to the concrete details of the play as well as the underlying dynamics that may have their roots in the child’s experience. The therapist will watch and listen and slowly introduce the child to the underlying concerns which he or she had previously been unable or perhaps too frightened, guilty or ashamed to understand.