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Childs Play - Child Play Therapy

Dec 15, 2007
Living with emotional stress and anxieties is not uncommon for adults.

But what if the person suffering from some sort of fear or apprehension is a child? Too often, children are experiencing a negative reaction to events taking place in their environment. Parents become separated or divorced, a child may experience some sort of traumatic abuse or perhaps a child lives in a place that exhibits excessive amounts of violence.

It is hard to deny the fact the world is changing on a daily basis, and our children have to cope with issues their parents and grandparents didn't even consider. Immediate satisfaction from television newscasts and newspapers constantly bombard children with negative images of death and destruction, and violence in television programs, movies or video games have created a cacophony of aggressive behavior in adolescents.

Whatever happened to the days when children played with the innocence of their youth?

Child therapists are infiltrating a kind of therapy that can help children recapture a sense of tranquility by exposing them to play therapy. Child play therapy exercises not only help children develop a sense of creativity and imagination, but they also help children communicate various fears and anxieties they have about the world around them.

Child therapy sessions use various games and toys so children will be able to express how they feel about events taking place in their lives at the time. Much like talk therapy for adults, play therapy allows a child to act out certain scenarios by using clinically proven tools to encourage expression. The end result demonstrates to therapists where they need to focus on to help a patient cope with their feelings.

Children can address parental conflicts associated with separation and divorces, or they can act out how they are treated at school by their peers. Child therapy is beneficial for children who have been traumatized by some sort of physical or sexual abuse. And child play therapy is helpful for kids who have issues with self-esteem or who have experienced some type of loss in their lifetime.

Play therapy sessions use a variety of tools and can last anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour for each session. Some of the more common methods used are storytelling, clay building, art and drawing. Other practices, such as music, doll houses, and puppets have also been used to help children express themselves.

Not every child will need to use play therapy during their adolescent years. But if you are concerned about your child's emotional stability, there are certain warning signs to look for:

- Anger or fear
- Aggressive behavior
- Low self-esteem
- Behavioral problems among other children
- Change in sleeping and eating patterns
- Separation anxiety
- Interest in sexual behaviors
- Difficulty adjusting to family changes

If you notice your child exhibiting any of these abnormal behaviors, it is important to take the next step and look into some type of therapy or help. Even if play therapy is not the answer your child needs, some other type of help could be beneficial.
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