Child & Play therapy is one of the most helpful ways of working with children.
It provides a way for kids to begin to know & accept themselves & others, as well as express their experiences, thoughts & feelings through a natural & healing process.
After all... The most natural way for children to express themselves is through play!
Play therapy can also be used as a tool of diagnosis. Oftentimes, we can identify possible roots of troubling, sad & anxious behavior through
- observing a child's play, &
- observing the child playing with sibling(s) & parent(s)
Once these roots are identified, we utilize both play & talk therapy to accept & validate the child, their thoughts, & their feelings. Then we can work with children & families to shape & change underlying thoughts, feelings, & behaviors.
More adaptive ways of coping can be introduced & taught... & the sad, anxious & otherwise disturbing ways can slowly be extinguished.
We utilize the following techniques when working with children & families:
- creative art making -- (drawing, work with clay, coloring & painting)
- therapeutic games
- playhouses & dolls
- creative role play
- sandtray therapy
Through structured & semi-structured play experiences, we are frequently able to help kids & their families work through their anxiety, depression, socialization, adjustment, behavior control, & self-esteem struggles.
MPP's child-focused therapists:
- Laura Rico, LMHC has been working with children and their families for the past 10 years, and specializes in working with generalized anxiety, social anxiety, depression, and behavior control issues.
- Gabriela Brown, PsyD has extensive training in CBT with children and adolescents. She is a school psychologist with training and experience in play therapy, creative arts, and applying CBT and behavior therapy with children.
- Sheriffa Gallwey, LCSW, PhD has extensive experience working with children and families in community mental health centers and clinics in the tri-state area.