... toys are the child's words!
Play Therapy provides a way for children to express their emotions and experiences and to work through difficulties they may be having. Because children's cognitive and language abilities are not as fully developed as adults, and play is their natural medium for learning and processing events, play is our first choice in facilitating a child's understanding of the world and for developing socially appropriate coping skills.
Essentially, where an adult may "talk" about their feelings and experiences,
a child will "play" about them.
"Initially developed in the turn of the 20th century, today play therapy refers to a large number of treatment methods, all applying the therapeutic benefits of play. Play therapy differs from regular play in that the therapist helps children to address and resolve their own problems. Play therapy builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them (Axline, 1947; Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002). Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others. Play provides a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows expression of thoughts and feelings appropriate to their development..
APT defines play therapy as "the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development."