Licensed psychologist and social worker Dr. Miriam Galindo has years of experience working with at-risk children and families. Today, Dr. Miriam Galindo treats juvenile patients in her work as a play therapist.
Play therapy is a growing form of mental health treatment for children of all ages, though the technique is said to be most effective for patients between the ages of 3 and 12. In play therapy, children are presented with a variety of toys designed to encourage creative fantasy play as well as toys that make it possible to demonstrate scenarios from real life.
Play therapists work to create a supportive bond with the children in a safe environment, allowing the children to feel comfortable enough to use the toys as a means of communicating their feelings symbolically through play. This mode of communication may allow the children to express feelings, fears, and ideas that they do not yet have the verbal language to explain.
Play therapy is often used to help children who live through traumatic experiences, including domestic violence, grief, disfigurement, and sexual abuse. Parents often seek the help of a play therapist when their child begins to display unusual traits or behaviors, including anxiety, aggression, social difficulties, and poor school performance.