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Why play therapy?

The following New York Times article from July 2020 provides a nice introduction to the "How?" and "Why?" of play therapy. When I began my journey to become a registered play therapist, I had a healthy dose of skepticism and somewhat of an "I'll believe it when I see it" mentality. I already knew how integral play was to child development, as well as how helpful it could be at strengthening the parent-child relationship. What I didn't know was whether or not play could heal trauma. Five years later, I can tell you that I have seen it happen with my own eyes. While it is not magic and it takes plenty of time, there is something transcendent about the way children are driven to play out what is meaningful to them and how they are able to renegotiate their traumatic experiences through self-directed imaginary play. I have seen children as young as three years old re-enact and rework their trauma in a way that only they could have directed. It is true, that play therapy requires a leap of faith on behalf of the provider and the parents. But this faith is well placed in the children who intuitively know what they need to do when they are provided with a therapist's unconditional support in a safe play environment,


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