In detail

Game Therapy

Game Therapy


  • 1 Children and Game Therapy
  • 2 What is Game Therapy?
  • 3 What can be played with the help of therapy?
  • 4 What is Game Therapy?
  • 5 What to expect in a session?
  • 6 How long does a Game Therapy last?
  • 7 What are the benefits of Game Therapy?

Children and Game Therapy

Sometimes a child begins to develop behavior patterns that may be causing problems in their lives and in the lives of those around them. Parents, caregivers and teachers can recognize the signs as excessive anger, fear or worry and these feelings and behaviors may be affecting the child's development and his ability to get along with his family and friends at school.

While adults experiencing emotional and behavioral difficulties may seek help speaking in therapy, children tend to find this therapeutic option threatening and almost as an interrogation. As a result, Game Therapy is used to help children communicate at their own level and at their own pace. This allows them to understand the confusing feelings and worries that they have not yet had the opportunity to process.

What is Game Therapy?

Play Therapy is a type of therapy that helps children express themselves, to explore their thoughts and feelings, and to make sense of their life experiences. The game is a natural activity of learning, helps exploration and communication in children, so this medium is considered highly effective in helping children express with the game what they can find difficult to say in words.

Therapists can work with children of all ages in a safe and trustworthy environment to help them assimilate and process difficult experiences and thereby increase their self-esteem and confidence. They may work as part of a team or independently, and may have a referral for additional professional support as part of the therapy. The main objective of a play therapist is to equip children with more adaptive behaviors and better mechanisms for everyday life. This serves to help develop a more positive view of their place in the world.

What can be played with the help of therapy?

The game is incredibly important for the development of a child, it helps to shape certain social, creative, linguistic, emotional, cognitive and physical needs. As a result, Play Therapy can help children in a variety of ways, although exactly how, it will depend greatly on the individual needs of each child. The approach is considered particularly important for children who may have difficulty expressing themselves verbally, although usually can help children of all abilities, cultures and genders.

Significantly, Play Therapy offers children a safe and comfortable space in which they can be themselves and have the emotional support to express their feelings freely. These feelings can be explored and contained in a healthy way with the help of a game therapist in order to promote resilience and trust within each child.

Some of the disorders that child therapists treat with Game Therapy are:

  • Children who have attention deficit disorder (ADHD).
  • Children who are in the process of separation from parents, divorce or conflict.
  • Children who have witnessed domestic violence.
  • The children who are in the hospital.
  • Traumatized children who have experienced sexual, physical or emotional abuse.
  • Children in foster homes.
  • Children who are going through stressful life experiences, such as the loss, illness or death of a loved one.
  • Children who have suffered a serious accident or a natural disaster.

What is Game Therapy?

Game Therapy consists of a series of sessions, usually 30 to 45 minutes long, where a therapist will meet with a child to focus exclusively on their needs through play. Some therapists may work with siblings or groups of children, but individual sessions are usually the most common form of Game Therapy.

The first session will involve an evaluation, in which the child's parents or caregivers will talk with the therapist about their concerns. The therapist will analyze the child's strengths and difficulties, as well as his or her history in order to identify what the reason for the consultation does. Information may also be required at the child's school and other important adults in their lives.

In the sessions they are usually held weekly at the same place and time, whether at home, the child's school or in a clinic. This consistency helps build a relationship of trust between the therapist and the child, and therefore improves the chances of achieving effective treatment.

What to expect in a session?

The sessions involve a large selection of play materials provided by the therapist. These resources consist of toys such as small animal figures, sand and water, musical instruments, costumes, puppets, clay, books and art and craft materials. Instead of encouraging the child to use verbal explanations of what concerns them, the therapist will help express difficult thoughts and feelings through play metaphors.. This will involve the use of a series of techniques that help children become aware of what they are feeling and provide opportunities for them to express their emotions and feelings. Awareness is an important part of Game Therapy, since without awareness, change cannot take place.

Some of the techniques used in Game Therapy are:

  • Creative visualization
  • The therapeutic narrative
  • Sculpt
  • Role playing game
  • Dance and movement
  • He drew

For this process to be effective, the therapist must work on building a strong therapeutic relationship with the child. It is important that children feel comfortable, safe and respected in Play Therapy so that they can play with confidence and feel comfortable sharing their intimate feelings. It is also essential that the child understand that the therapist is accepting and supporting them throughout the process. Ultimately, this positive relationship will foster the necessary corrective experience to promote cognitive development and help children resolve internal conflicts and develop new patterns of behavior and thinking.

How long does a Game Therapy last?

The number of Game Therapy sessions needed will depend on the child and their individual needs. In general, Play Therapy is a short-term intervention (that is, 12 sessions or less), but in some cases, children will require prolonged treatment. Some therapists will work with children for several years.

What are the benefits of Game Therapy?

Ultimately, Game Therapy helps facilitate healing and development of new patterns of behavior and thought It allows children to be more resistant in everyday life. By helping to free children from experiences and feelings that block their negative learning and development, Game Therapy allows them to see their world from a more positive perspective.

Some of the specific benefits that children can get from Play Therapy are:

  • Reduction of anxiety about traumatic events.
  • Improvement of trust and a sense of competence.
  • Greater ability to form healthy bonds in relationships.
  • Greater ability to trust themselves and others.
  • Higher level of creativity.

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