Adults play with children and tend to direct the play, either correcting for educational purposes or changing because we want a particular outcome.
Therapeutic play is different because the child directs the play and the adult follows their lead. Children can’t always articulate their experiences but they can often show them through play. Sometimes adults do not understand what the child is showing but then can become curious and the child teaches about their world from their point of view. Adults are reminded how children view the world before adult rules, regulations values/measurements and agendas are fixed to the child’s actions/words.
Scary/traumatic events in the child’s life can be re-enacted safely through child-led play and reflected by adults in words then they can start to integrate their thoughts and feelings so they do not remain stuck in trauma.
Play is often seen as a waste of time but this view leaves out the social skills that are learned through child-led play; how to win or lose an argument without murderous rage, how to have different opinions without lashing out another person and how to articulate feelings when there is no knowledge of the words that might communicate them. # #mentalhealth#mentalhealthawareness#benefitsofplay#play