Play therapy is most often used with children between the ages of 3 and 11. It allows children to express their emotions and experiences in a nonverbal way. Because children communicate their experiences and knowledge through play, this type of therapy becomes an important way for them to understand and accept themselves and others. In this type of treatment, play is used to relate to children and help them to prevent or overcome psychosocial challenges. This method should help clients towards better social integration, growth, and development.
Play Therapy can also be used as a tool of diagnosis. By watching a child play with toys, a therapist is able to understand the fundamental cause for a particular behavior both inside and outside the session. There are two types of play therapy: nondirective and directive. In nondirective
play therapy, children are given the opportunity to resolve their own problems and work toward their own solutions as they speak and play freely in therapeutic environments. It is non-intrusive. Directive play therapy, on the other hand, will cause a faster change than is caused by nondirective play therapy. The therapist plays a much bigger role by using different techniques to engage the child. Games, themes, and character profiles are usually chosen for the child. While it is structured, this directive therapy still leaves room for free expression. There are also different established techniques that are used in directive play therapy, including directed sandtray therapy and cognitive behavioral play