Play Therapy

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What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy enables children to use play in much the same way as adults use words in counseling.  Talking is an adult’s natural way of communicating; play is a child’s natural way of communicating.  The play therapist provides a safe and understanding environment with a variety of special toys for the child to communicate what they cannot say in words.  Children may use puppets, dolls, paints, and other toys to express how they feel and what they think.  When children are able to express their experiences and emotions, they are able to release the fear, anger, sadness, or frustration that influences their behaviors.  Through play therapy, children are helped to handle external and internal stress, thereby developing more appropriate behavior, self control, and positive self-esteem.

What Can I Expect from an Appointment?

During the initial appointment, the majority of the time will be spent speaking with you about your child in order to get a better idea of the difficulties that you are currently dealing with. Some time may be spent speaking with both parent and child in the room, and other time may be spent speaking with the parent(s) alone while the child plays in the waiting area. During follow-up appointments, approximately half of the appointment will be spent with your child in the play therapy room and half of the appointment will be spent with you (and the co-parent); this is done in order to address difficulties from both the child’s standpoint and from the parent’s. Occasionally, we may have an appointment without the child in attendance in order to address parenting difficulties or obstacles.

How Quickly Can I Expect to See Results?

This is a difficult question to answer, as each situation is unique and involves the interplay of many different factors. Often times, difficulties have been going on for months or even years, and it would be unrealistic to think that such longstanding difficulties could be resolved in 2 to 3 weeks.  Small changes are often observed after several sessions, however, and progress in therapy is reevaluated on a regular basis.

Horizon Psychological Services serves the Charlotte Metro Area, including Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Lake Norman, and surrounding Communities.
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