“Toys are children’s words and play is their language” — Gary L. Landreth.
What is play therapy and how does it work? Important questions. Children are in the developmental process of language building and learning how to communicate. When a stressor occurs, children may use challenging behaviors to communicate, or stop communicating entirely. Often parents feel confused and out of options. Children’s behavior is a form of communication. Children are not able to use words to tell us exactly how they feel or where they are struggling or what’s up for them, therefore the play therapy room is a responsive environment for children to express, explore, and integrate. Play therapy involves being with children as they are sharing and expressing the truth of their reality. Play therapy allows children the time and space to integrate big emotional themes through co-regulation, observational statements, identifying themes, and working with parents to support the child’s growth and development.
I have received training in Synergetic Play Therapy. For more detailed information please visit www.synergeticplaytherapy.com. Below is a brief description of Synergetic Play Therapy from the website. Synergetic Play Therapy (2008) is a researched-informed model of play therapy blending the therapeutic power of play with nervous system regulation, interpersonal neurobiology, physics, attachment, mindfulness, and therapist authenticity. It grew from personal experience as well as research in neuroscience, Interpersonal Neurobiology, and attachment theory (see Badenoch, 2008; Porges, 2011; Schore, 1994; Siegel, 1999 for coverage of the ideas behind SPT). Preliminary research suggests that SPT significantly improves emotional tolerance and regulation (Dion & Gray, 2014; Simmons, 2020).