Play Therapy services are available for children ages 3 and older, as developmentally appropriate for the individual child.
Play therapy is to children what counseling is to adults. Play therapy utilizes play, children's natural medium of expression, to help them express their feelings and thoughts more easily through toys instead of or in addition to words. Play therapy is more developmentally appropriate for children than talk therapy because it focuses on children’s natural ability to express themselves.
Play therapy is offered in combination with parenting support to assist the entire family through problem solving.
How Does It work?
The most important thing about play therapy is the relationship. Dr. Michelle Perepiczka will give your child undivided attention, convey empathy, and accept him or her where he or she is. When children can communicate or play out how they feel to someone who understands, they feel better because the feelings have been released. You have probably experienced the same thing when talking to a supportive and understanding friend. In addition, play therapists have been trained to respond to children in ways that facilitate emotional growth. In play therapy, children use dolls, art, puppets, and other toys to say what they think and how they feel. Play therapy has been extensively researched and the research has provided strong support for the effectiveness of play therapy with young children.
Children involved in play therapy may experience the following benefits:
Before the First Session
Parents are asked to tell child that he or she will be coming to be with Michelle in her special playroom. In the playroom, there will be lots of toys to play with. Usually, that is all the child will care about knowing. If the child needs further explanation, tell him or her, “When things are not going well, sometimes it helps to have a special time to share with another person.” Here are some other things to consider that will help your child benefit the most from play therapy.
Have your child wear play clothes that can get dirty. It is common for children to be messy in the playroom with the paints, markers, and clay.
Before the session, please do not direct the child to talk about problems. The child is not forced to talk about anything in the playroom. A safe relationship will need to be established where the child will choose to express concerns through play and/or communication.
After the session, please do not ask questions such as, “Was that fun?” or “What did you do?” or “What did you talk about?” Sometimes, the sessions are not fun because the child is expressing difficult emotions. If the child decides to share with you the experience, then that is great. It is just not always helpful to ask questions about the time. It is a personal time for the child much like talk therapy counseling sessions are for adults. Dr. Michelle Perepiczka will keep you informed about your child’s progress.
For additional information on play therapy, please see the following resources.
Association for Play Therapy ▪ www.a4pt.org
Center for Play Therapy ▪ www.cpt.unt.edu
Parent or Caregiver specific services such as parenting support and parent-child relationship building are offered.
Parent and Caregiver Support
Being a parent or caregiver is one of the most important jobs; however, it is not always the easiest. Parenting support is offered to assist parents with finding the right parenting approaches and styles that work for their unique family. Each family is different in the composition, the way it functions, and the goals for family interactions. The right combination of parenting techniques is discovered by discussing goals, parent and child strengths, areas of challenge for family members, needs of the family, as well as personalities of the family members.
Parent-Child Relationship Building
Building positive relationships with children can be a struggle for families. Or, sometimes parents or caregivers would like to further develop an already healthy parent-child relationship. Parent-child relationship building offers parents and caregivers an opportunity to learn basic play therapy techniques to apply with children at home. With the tools learned, parents and care givers are able to provide emotional support to their children, establish and enhance a healthy parent-child relationship, and create appropriate boundaries.
Children who are involved in parent-child relationship building may experience the same benefits as play therapy in addition to the following:
Parents and Caregivers who are involved in parent-child relationship building may experience the following benefits:
Families as a whole who are involved in parent-child relationship building may experience the following benefits:
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New York, NY 10016
New Insurance Plans Accepted
Explore the Information for Clients section for extended details.