Children Communicate Complex Feelings through Play Therapy

Play Therapy pic
Play Therapy

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.

Common Questions about Play Therapy

Play Therapy pic
Play Therapy

Dr. Miriam Galindo received widespread recognition in 2014 when she recommended against the filming of a reality television star’s children. With more than 25 years of experience in the field of psychology, Dr. Miriam Galindo has obtained several post-graduate credentials, including that of a registered Child Play Therapist.

Dedicated to encouraging and exploring the therapeutic power of playing, play therapy was developed in the early 1900s and is currently used in the mental health community to both communicate with and treat children. The following are some commonly posed questions about play therapy:

1. Who is play therapy for?

Therapists prescribe play therapy for children who may be facing difficulties in the home or in social situations, such as with friends or at school. Play therapy can also help children who are struggling to come to terms with an emotional issue. Patients are usually between the ages of 3 and 12. However, teens and adults can benefit as well.

2. How long does it take?

Mental health providers often hold weekly play-therapy sessions that are between 30 minutes and one hour long. Research has shown that, on average, it takes 20 sessions to produce significant results.

3. What activities do people do in play therapy?

People participate in a variety of activities in a play-therapy session, depending on the needs of the patient and the therapist’s assessment. Some of these activities include drama (such as role playing), art and music, dancing, and creative visualization.

What Is Play Therapy?

Play Therapy pic
Play Therapy

Dr. Miriam Galindo practices psychology at her private practice in Irvine, California. Dr. Miriam Galindo is especially experienced in working with young children and focuses on art and play therapy.

Question: What is play therapy?
Answer: During play therapy, a registered play therapist works one on one with a child. The child is allowed to choose toys from an assortment, and the therapist watches how the child interacts with the toys. Sometimes the child acts out scenes with the toy figures or creates settings for them in a sand box.

Question: Who is play therapy for?
Answer: Play therapy is for children between the ages of three and 16. Some of these children have mental health disabilities, while others have been through traumatic events or have attachment issues.

Question: How does play therapy help patients?
Answer: Playing allows therapists to communicate with and understand patients who may not be able to verbalize their feelings. It allows children to play out issues that they cannot or will not talk about.