Frisco Play Therapy & Therapists
Toys are their words. Play is their language. For children, play therapy is a way to express feelings. Our Play Therapists in Frisco provide a safe environment in which children can explore their emotions through play, expressive arts & music. The typical areas of exploration include responsibilities, relationships, work, physical or mental health concerns and body image issues. Take the first step towards helping your child. Schedule a free consult or call us today!
Play Therapists & Child Counselors in Frisco
Bree High MA, LPC-A
Bree is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Associate experienced in using play therapy to foster a safe environment for children to express their feelings and work through difficult emotions.
Ximena Morales MA, LPC
Ximena is a Licensed Professional Counselor and School Counselor experienced in using play therapy to foster a safe environment for children to express their feelings and work through difficult emotions.
What is Play Therapy?
Play Therapy is a form of therapy that uses the imaginative pretend play of a child and the observations, direction and guidance of a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Children can explore their emotions in a comfortable and familiar environment thanks to play therapy. The inability of children to consistently and precisely articulate their thoughts, feelings and emotions makes play therapy a great medium for exploring unresolved issues. Sessions typically explore themes of power and aggression, nurturing, mastery, exploratory, problem-solving and emotional expression.
The Benefits of Play Therapy
When applied correctly, play therapy offers numerous benefits for children grappling with emotional and mental health issues. Some of the most notable advantages include:
- Emotional Expression: Play therapy provides a non-threatening environment, encouraging children to openly express their emotions and build emotional awareness.
- Improved Communication: Through play, children can more effectively communicate their thoughts and feelings, leading to enhanced verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
- Behavior Modification: By identifying triggers and processing underlying emotions, play therapy can help children develop healthier behavioral patterns and coping mechanisms.
- Relationship Building: In group or family play therapy, participants can improve their social skills and learn to navigate relationships in more positive ways.
- Increased Self-Esteem: As children develop emotional regulation and problem-solving skills, their overall sense of self-worth and confidence improves.
Other Benefits of Play Therapy
- Taking responsibility for behavior
- Developing coping strategies & relief from anxiety
- Creative problem-solving skills
- Self-respect, empathy and respect for others
- Improved social skills & developing feelings of connectedness
When is Play Therapy Used?
Children aged 3-12 typically benefit the most from play therapy and can be helpful in a variety of circumstances when a child is experiencing emotional or behavioral difficulties.
What Does Play Therapy Treat?
- developmental delay or learning disabilities
- school behavioral issues
- aggressive and angry behavior
- divorce or separation
- death of a close family member
- Traumatic events
- domestic violence, abuse, or neglect
- anxiety, depression, grief
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
How does Play Therapy Work?
Children are not capable of the language and verbal skills of adults. They have feelings but often have trouble expressing those feelings to an adult.
Adults often misinterpret children or do not pick up on a child’s non verbal cues.
Through play, children understand the world and their place in it. Toys can take on greater meaning. Since the child can’t express themselves in ways normal to adults, the therapist joins the child in their world, on their level. As they play, the child may feel more open to expressing their feelings on their own timing and in their own way.
Understanding the Components of Play Therapy
There are several key components that make play therapy effective in supporting children’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. To understand how the method works, it’s important to consider each of these aspects:
- Safe Environment: A designated space is created where children feel secure and comfortable engaging in play. This area fosters trust, allowing children to feel free to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
- Therapeutic Relationship: A significant part of the therapy process is the connection between the child and the therapist. The therapist must be empathetic and able to support the child in expressing themselves and making meaning from their play.
- Play Materials: A variety of toys, games, and art supplies are used in play therapy sessions. These objects help children explore their emotions and develop problem-solving skills while activating their creativity and imagination.
- Structure and Boundaries: Despite the improvisational nature of play, it’s essential to establish specific rules and boundaries within the therapeutic sessions. This structure provides a sense of security and ultimately enables children to explore and experiment with their emotions.