Children and their families can benefit from play therapy. Children benefit from having developmentally suited toys and activities to express themselves in an emotionally safe environment. Families can develop stronger family cohesiveness and problem-solving through either family play therapy sessions or by incorporating parents separately while their child engages in play therapy sessions. Play Therapy helps children develop on all levels including socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively.
Play therapy is implemented as a treatment of choice in mental health, school, agency, developmental, hospital, residential, and recreational settings, with clients of all ages (Carmichael, 2006; Reddy, Files-Hall & Schaefer, 2005).Play therapy treatment plans have been utilized as the primary intervention or as an adjunctive therapy for multiple mental health conditions and concerns
(Gil &Drewes, 2004; Landreth, Sweeney, Ray, Homeyer& Glover, 2005), e.g anger management, grief and loss, divorce and family dissolution, and crisis and trauma, and for modification of behavioral disorders
(Landreth, 2002), e.g. anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD), autism or pervasive developmental, academic and social developmental, physical and learning disabilities, and conduct disorders (Bratton, Ray & Rhine, 2005).Research supports the effectiveness of play therapy with children experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning problems, including: children whose problems are related to life stressors, such as divorce, death, relocation, hospitalization, chronic illness, assimilate stressful experiences, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, and natural disasters (Reddy, Files-Hall & Schaefer, 2005). Play therapy helps children: