Play

“In play therapy, toys are like the child’s words and play is the child’s language.” -Dr. Garry Landreth

Play is a child’s natural means of communication. Play therapy is a dynamic interpersonal relationship between a child and a therapist trained in play therapy practice. In the context of a safe relationship, a play therapist sets the stage for children to fully express and explore their sense of self (feelings, thoughts, experiences, and behaviors) through play, towards optimal growth, development and healing. Play allows us access to the inner world of children.

Megan and Nicole are Registered Play Therapist Supervisors and provide both in person and distance supervision to individuals working toward their play therapy credentials. Both individual and group supervision options are available through Alexandria Place Therapy, LLC. For more information about the process of becoming a Registered Play Therapist, please visit the Association for Play Therapy’s website at: http://www.a4pt.org

Play Therapy Promotes

  • Internal Exploration
  • Growth and Development
  • Processing of Traumatic Events
  • Creative and Resourceful Problem Solving
  • Self-control and Self-direction
  • Self-respect and Self-acceptance
  • Recognition of feelings, and Appropriate Ways to Express Emotions
  • Ability to make choices and take responsibility for choices

For more information about the benefits of play therapy, please visit the Association for Play Therapy website at: http://www.a4pt.org

Extended Play Based Developmental Assessment (EPBDA, Gil, 2011)

Dr. Eliana Gil developed and published a manual describing the Extended Play-Based Developmental Assessment (EPBDA). Dr. Fiore and Ms. Jalazo Halpern have had extensive training and experience administering the EPBDA.

The EPBDA consists of meeting individually with young children for approximately eight to ten 50 minute sessions and allowing them to become comfortable with the setting and the therapist. During this time, the therapist utilizes a nondirective approach and allows the child to externalize their thoughts, feelings, and experiences by providing them with a myriad of play and expressive materials. The therapist is trained to identify thematic material in children’s play that helps provide an understanding of children’s unique functioning including strengths and weaknesses. It is through this assessment process that the therapist can make informed decisions about ongoing treatment and recommendations that meet the specific needs of children and their families.

In addition to the individual sessions with the child, the therapist will also conduct an intake assessment with the parents or caregivers, in order to gather information about concerns the parent may have and to develop a better understanding of the child’s history and experiences. In addition, parents or caregivers may be asked to complete standardized measures to capture further information about the child’s emotional and behavioral functioning. Feedback and recommendations will be provided to the parents and child following the completion of the EPBDA.

Theraplay® Techniques

Theraplay® is an attachment-based treatment focused on enhancing the parent-child relationship through play-based, developmentally-appropriate activities. The goals of Theraplay® treatment are to enhance the parent-child attachment, improve self-esteem, and joyful engagement. Theraplay® interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge. The Theraplay® Institute refers to this therapeutic approach as “building relationships from the inside out.”

Several of our clinicians have completed the weeklong Level One training of Theraplay® and include Theraplay® techniques in their work with children and families. In addition, Dr. Fiore and Ms. Rosenberg have had extensive experience administering and analyzing the results of the Marschak Interaction Method (MIM), a tool created for and by Theraplay® therapists to assess parent-child relationships.  The MIM is the instrument used when completing Parent-Child Relational Assessments.[read more]

For more information, visit www.theraplay.org