As far back as Plato and Aristotle, play has been recognized as an essential part of human development. The overall learning and development of children are strengthened and enhanced through play. Play serves many fundamental human needs: creative thinking, the practice of skills, self-confidence, learning about the physical and mental self, and the ability to get along with others. Play therapy is a well-researched and time-tested way of providing the benefits of therapy through play. Play therapy involves various treatment methods designed to help children address and resolve problems, cope with strong or difficult emotions, and express themselves more appropriately. Play therapy is especially appropriate for the ages of about 3 – 12 years, but can be used with those younger and much older, as well. Play therapy is used to help children with a wide range of concerns, from the everyday problems of living to worries arising from difficult circumstances to serious emotional and behavioral disturbance. Play therapy can be helpful to children both individually, with siblings, and also in terms of relationship enhancement and attachment within their families.
Therapists at Compass Clinical Associates who work with play therapy each have at least 20 years of experience using play therapy. They are variously trained in Child Centered Play Therapy, Theraplay, Filial Family Therapy, Experiential Play Therapy, Circle of Security, Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, Attachment Theory, PCIT, EMDR, Sand Tray, Bibliotherapy and Mindfulness techniques. They incorporate approaches used in play therapy that are supported by current research from the field of neuroscience on child development, attachment, trauma and brain development.