Children & Play Therapy (ages 2-10)
Play Therapy is a counseling modality that can help children address and work through relational and situational challenges in their lives. Because play is their natural way of exploring their world and experimenting with different approaches to challenging events, playing alongside a caring and attuned therapist can lead a child to new ways of problem-solving, and to increased emotional regulation and healing.
Anxiety, depression, grief, and trauma affect many children, but they often don’t have a reliable outlet for their big feelings around these adverse situations. Because children haven’t fully developed their abstract reasoning abilities and verbal skills to articulate their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, play is a safe and organic way for them to communicate.
Using a child-centered play therapy approach, my aim is to create a safe relationship with the children where they know that I care about them, accept them, believe in them, and want to be with them. The aim is to allow children to internalize these attitudes so they, in turn, feel good about themselves. The child-centered approach is grounded in a deep and abiding belief in the capacity and resiliency of children to be constructively self-directing.
Play therapy tools include a variety of games, arts and crafts, manipulatives, as well as sand trays and figures. Sand play therapy is a potent method for reaching the unconscious and for processing early preverbal and nonverbal trauma while promoting psychic healing. Children will lead the play and may choose from a wide variety of real life, creative expression, and aggression release toys.
Gretchen's playroom can be found at: 8120 Sheridan Blvd C-334, Westminster CO 80003
Landreth, Gary. Play Therapy The Art of The Relationship, Routledge, 2012.