Play Therapy

What is Play….

Play is the work of children!  Play facilitates the child’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social development.  In healthy play, children grow and learn, building a strong brain that is necessary for healthy adult living.

When children experience difficulties, they will play out the difficulties, reworking the issues until there is resolution of the problem.   The play process is similar to adults talking out problems with friends and peers until they have developed a solution to their problem.  If children are unable to play out their problems (perhaps they do not know how; the environment may prevents them; there are child-specific factors) the child becomes stuck and is unable to resolve the problem.  In this situation parents will typically see a variety of negative emotional responses and behaviors as the child’s internal system becomes increasingly overwhelmed.

Childhood is hard work!

There are many struggles that children experience in their school and social lives that challenge their abilities to cope. Children may show temper tantrums, explosive/moody behavoir or headaches, stomach aches, sleep difficulties, heightened fears and clingy behaviors over a period of time. Some children and families are able to resolve the problems and the symptoms go away.  If a child, with the help of parents and significant others, is unable to deal with their struggles then the child is usually referred  to a therapist, specifically a Play Therapist.


Who is a Play Therapist…

A Certified/Registered Play Therapist has a Master’s Degree or higher in Clinical Social Work, Psychology or Counselling and has completed post Master’s training and Certification in Child Psychotherapy and Play Therapy.  The Play Therapist is specifically trained to therapeutically play with children at different developmental stages to help children overcome and/or work- through serious issues using playful techniques.


What is Play Therapy….

Play Therapy developed half a century ago with therapists using interventions directed at the play (language) of children to help the child work through problems.  Different styles and approaches of Play Therapy have evolved over the last few decades.  Research has shown the effectiveness of different types of play therapy to help children with a variety of different issues.   For more information on play therapy see the links.


What Play Therapy can help with….

  • Divorce and Family conflicts
  • Bereavement, grief and loss issues
  • Health related issues and chronic illness
  • Family Violence
  • Trauma
  • Physical, Sexual and Emotional abuse
  • Bullying and peer related issues
  • Low Self-esteem
  • Fears and Anxiety
  • Sadness and Depression
  • Anger and Oppositional Defiant Behavior
  • Attention Deficit and Compulsive Behaviors
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders
  • Attachment related issues
  • Social-Emotional Issues


If you, friends/relatives, or other professionals assess your child to have problems in his/her physical, emotional, intellectual and/or social development, or someone has diagnosed your child with a mental health disorder,  please contact me to set up a confidential appointment.

Dr. Bruce Perry, Dr. Russel van der Kolk and Dr. Daniel Segal are leading researchers in the field of children’s development. They state that the earlier we intervene to help children, the more effective the outcome.



We delight in the beauty
of the butterfly
but rarely admit the changes
it has gone through
to achieve that beauty.
~ Maya Angelou

You can learn more about
a person in one hour of play
than you can in
one year of
- Plato -