National Play Therapy Week (February 5-11, 2017) recognizes how play therapy makes a difference especially among students with autism and similar learning needs.
In recent years a growing number of noted mental health professionals have observed that play is as important to human happiness and well-being as love and work. Play is a fun, enjoyable activity that elevates our spirits and brightens our outlook on life. It expands self-expression, self-knowledge, self-actualization and self-efficacy. Play relieves feelings of stress and boredom, connects us to people in a positive way, stimulates creative thinking and exploration, regulates our emotions, and boosts our ego.
The Association of Play Therapists (APT) describes 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.”
Children are referred for play therapy to resolve their problems. Often, when children have used up their own problem solving tools, they misbehave or act out at home, with friends, and at school. Play therapy is utilized to help children cope with difficult emotions and find healthier solutions to problems. Play therapy allows children to change the way they think about, feel toward, and resolve their concerns.
Linden Grove School is grateful Teresa Berting provides play therapy services to LGS students during the school day. (Services are available by billing a family’s private insurance or through private pay.)
To better understand Play Therapy, Teresa recommends the following video about Andrew’s Day at school.