Play therapy is used in treatment in order to help children communicate their inner thoughts, experiences, and desires through the use of play. Typical objects used in play therapy include: use of sand tray, toys, blocks/Legos, feeling cards, conversation dice/cards, dolls, puppets, etc. Therapists may also use coloring/drawing/writing activities to help children elicit internalized feelings, fears, concerns, and keep track of the coping skills they have been obtaining during the course of treatment.
“The play therapy process can be viewed as a relationship between the therapist and the child in which the child utilizes play to explore his or her personal world and also to make contact with the therapist in a way that is safe for the child. Play therapy provides an opportunity for children to live out, during play, experiences and associated feelings. This process allows the therapist to experience, in a personal and interactive way, the inner dimensions of the child’s world. This therapeutic relationship is what provides dynamic growth and healing for the child.” (Landreth & Bratton, 2001).