Counseling and talk therapy are beneficial therapeutic modalities that help many teens and adults cope with life’s issues. But children don’t necessarily derive the same benefits from traditional therapeutic treatments. It’s important to teach children coping, life, and social skills using an age-appropriate approach to therapy. Cross The Bridge Counseling utilizes a unique form of play therapy for children, designed by founder Jeffrey A. Roosa, which rejects everything you and your child may know about traditional forms of therapy.
What Is Play Therapy?
Perhaps your child has been unnecessarily labeled in the past or made to quietly sit still to talk about their feelings. Play therapy eliminates all the subjective interpretations of your child’s thoughts, behaviors, and creations. Our play therapy employs a social dynamic in the therapeutic environment, in which your child will interact with other children at all times, plus a team of therapists (LCSWRs, LMSWs, LMHCs, MHCs, MFTs), graduate student interns, and therapy assistants.
This environment helps recreate an atmosphere that is familiar to your child, giving us the opportunity to observe their behavior and teach them how to succeed in overcoming their difficulties in a practical, action-oriented way. We do this by building self-esteem, teaching new coping skills, and improving focus. Most standard therapeutic techniques are employed in this task.
Play therapy also utilizes interactive play modalities. Children age three to five engage in play with puzzles, drawing, or other thought-oriented crafts. Often the children speak about their issues through the use of fantasy or magical thinking, an age-appropriate way to express their thoughts and feelings.
Why Play Therapy?
Children feel comfortable using play therapy modalities, so they want to come to therapy and are motivated to receive the maximum benefit. When you ask your child how their session went, they will most likely say that they played; they often don’t recall the work occurring!
Additionally, this therapeutic process occurs in the context of play and no subjective interpretation occurs. This means that we are not creating a biography—we work with concepts. Your child learns to negotiate life’s stressors in a positive, healthy manner. For this reason, our therapeutic model is not one that is designed to gather information to be used in any litigation.
Parental Role in Play Therapy
Parental input is important to the therapeutic process. We hold Parent Update appointments every eight to ten weeks, where you meet with your child’s team to discuss their progress. We also encourage you to email your thoughts, questions, and concerns between meetings; we work to incorporate them into the content. However, we do not handle parenting issues during this time and offer separate adult therapy sessions designed to help develop parenting skills. Change takes time, and each child responds at their own rate. For this reason, regular, consistent attendance is necessary for your child to benefit from play therapy.
If your child has trouble sitting still, developing social skills, or hasn’t responded to traditional therapy methods, play therapy could be the answer. We can meet with you and your child for an assessment to determine if our program is the right fit. Call Cross The Bridge Counseling at (845) 342-5789 to learn more about play therapy for children.