Types of Play Therapy

Types of Play Therapy

There are more than 25 “types” of play therapy. Play therapy is a way theoretical models of psychotherapy are used with a client. Just like in “talk therapy” therapists are trained to utilize certain theories of treatment. A talk therapist might use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as the theoretical model for treatment with a teen or adult whereas a Play Therapist would use Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy with a child. At Evergreen Play Therapy we utilize an Integrative Play Therapy framework, which allows a range of play therapy models to be drawn from and applied in an integrative way. We also use a model in it’s pure form when appropriate for a session or across sessions. Ask about your therapist’s approach as it could be very different from other play therapists or your assumptions.

Some examples of play therapy theories drawn from at Evergreen Play Therapy include (not a full list):

  • Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy-This is a particularly useful approach for older children and children that are aware, open and ready to discuss the challenges they’ve come to therapy for.
  • Client Centered Play Therapy- In this school of thought the client is assisted in expressing their feelings and finding solutions by being given the opportunity to bring forward what they feel is most critical to them. This allows the child to address what is most difficult through symbolism. The therapist joins their world through accepting symbolism.
  • Narrative Play Therapy- Some clients will come home with written stories or create live action stories with their therapist in session. The focus can be to recreate the story of something difficult and provide a more self-actualizing experience whereby gaining insight and express one’s feelings, cognitions and skills among other benefits.
  • Theraplay- Theraplay is a family therapy for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun. Theraplay interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge. Theraplay sessions create an active, emotional connection between the child and parent or caregiver, resulting in a changed view of the self as worthy and lovable and of relationships as positive and rewarding.
    • Example Goals for Theraplay:
      1. Increase self-esteem and capacity to feel competent independently.
      2. Increase ability to follow directions and accept routines.

      In treatment, the Theraplay therapist guides the parent and child through playful, fun games, developmentally challenging activities, and tender, nurturing activities. The very act of engaging each other in this way helps the parent regulate the child’s behavior and communicate love, joy, and safety to the child. It helps the child feel secure, cared for, connected and worthy.

Ready for holistic family wellness and concierge play therapy solutions?

We accept a small number of active concierge clients in order to provide our first-class service. Are you ready to commit time and resources for your family wellness journey? If so we’d like to speak with you and hear about your needs over a complimentary call. 

Family Play Therapy