Play Therapy refers to a method of psychotherapy with children in which a therapist uses a child’s fantasies and the symbolic meanings of his or her play as a medium for understanding and communication with the child.
The aim of play therapy is to decrease those behavioral and emotional difficulties that interfere significantly with a child’s normal functioning. Inherent in this aim is improved communication and understanding between the child and his parents. Less obvious goals include improved verbal expression, ability for self-observation, improved impulse control, more adaptive ways of coping with anxiety and frustration, and improved capacity to trust and to relate to others. In this type of treatment, the therapist uses an understanding of cognitive development and of the different stages of emotional development as well as the conflicts common to these stages when treating the child.
The play therapy would address the child’s psychological symptoms. Other situations of dual treatment include children with learning disorders . These youngsters may receive play therapy to alleviate feelings of low self-esteem, excessive worry, helplessness, and incompetency that are related to their learning problems and academic struggles.