Children at play are not playing about. Their games should be seen as their most serious minded activity.
Michel de Montaigne, 1533-1592
Over the last fifty years play therapy has evolved to become one of the most frequently chosen and effective methods of mental health treatment for children. Children, particularly those under the age of ten, lack the abstract language ability and cognitive development to benefit from traditional talk therapy — in lieu of talking children naturally use play as a medium for self-expression, problem-solving, and coping. Research supports play therapy efficacy through several published meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, observational studies, and case studies.
A primary component of my practice with children involves play therapy. I am one of a handful of Registered Play Therapist Supervisors in Raleigh credentialed by the Association for Play Therapy. Credentialing as a Registered Play Therapist establishes competency standards in play therapy assessment and treatment. Registration requires a minimum of 150 hours of specialized play therapy training approved by the Association for Play Therapy, 500 hours of supervised play therapy experience, and 50 hours of play therapy supervision. Ongoing continuing education involves 18 hours of approved training every 3 years, and those holding the Supervisor designation must obtain 10 additional training hours in clinical supervision.
Please read my Therapy Methods document to learn more about how I use play therapy in my practice. The Association for Play Therapy is also a valuable website to learn more about how play therapy can help children work through challenging and traumatic experiences, learn ways to cope with stressful situations, build important life skills and strengthen parent-child relationships.