Play Therapy for Kids in Scottsdale and Phoenix!

Child Counseling

Play Therapy for Kids in Scottsdale and Phoenix!

Welcome to the world of play.  Play is the language of children.  It is how children express their feelings and learn about the world around them.  Play is how children learn social rules and restrictions.  Play is also how many children work through their problems.  Play therapy is way for therapists to help children who are struggling emotionally and behaviorally.  Play therapists utilize play therapy to help children express their emotions and to improve behaviors.  Through play therapy the therapist is able to help the child process and verbalize emotions such as sadness, fear, hurt, loneliness, and anger.  The play therapist is also able to help the child identify their emotional needs such as comfort, care, and reassurance.  wooden-blocks-443728_640

Play therapy is also useful for parents or caregivers of children who are concerned for their child’s overall well being and mental health.  The play therapist can help parents and caregivers to understand their child’s inner world and even help to foster a greater sense of attachment and bonding between the child and the parent/caregiver.  The bond between the parent/caregiver and the child is ultimately the most important factor in a child’s mental, emotional, and psychological growth.  A play therapist can help to strengthen the bond.

puppets-834229_640When a play therapist and especially a parent or caregiver enters into a child’s world and plays the message to the child is, “You matter to me.” and “I am here for you.”   Through play a child not only processes their internal emotions and needs in a healthy way but also learns they are valuable.  The child learns that their feelings matter and someone who cares and who wants to meet their needs.

Types of play therapy techniques differ depending on several factors.  Almost all play therapy involves the use of toys. Toys are the props of play therapy that give expression to the child’s feelings.  For example, a child who was in play therapy and specifically engaged in sand tray used skeletons to represent his fear of the dark.  The play therapist helped the child to “defeat” the skeletons with brave knights.

The play therapist will utilize several play therapy techniques such as:

  •  Sand Tray with toy props.
  • Games such as the Talking, Feeling, and Doing Game.
  •  Art Therapy.
  • Activities such as the Bubble Breaths and Balloons and Anger.
  • Puppets.

Play therapy is a research supported successful intervention for children experiencing emotional, relational, and behavioral problems.  According to the Association for Play Therapy on its website,, some of the benefits of play therapy are:

  • Become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies.
  • Develop new and creative solutions to problems.
  • Develop respect and acceptance of self and others.
  • Learn to experience and express emotion.
  • Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others.
  • Learn new social skills and relational skills with family.
  • Develop self-efficacy and thus a better assuredness about their abilities

If you believe your child might benefit from play therapy call us today at 623-680-3486 or email us at A Crossroad’s play therapist is available to speak with you for a 20 minute phone consultation to see if play therapy is the best choice for your child and family. Crossroads offers play therapy in both our Scottsdale and Phoenix Relationship Centers.  We look forward to joining you on your journey towards creating positive and lasting change.