play therapy Beyond CBT: Elizabeth Dear, MFT, LCADC

Working with Children: Play Therapy

For children, the primary way to communicate feelings and thoughts is through play. Play therapy allows children to express themselves freely without needing the words for complex and sometimes seemingly contradictory feelings. I primarily work with children who are experiencing loss (death, divorce, chronic illness, moving), who need help recovering from trauma, and who need help adapting to change (foster care or adoption, changes in custody, identity issues). I work with parents to help them understand what they can do to help their children and to support them in stressful times. I know that I am a temporary visitor in the child’s life and that the parenting relationship is the primary, lifelong relationship of caring that the child needs. I have worked with children from ages 3 years old through 17.

Please see for the Association for Play Therapy’s explanation of why and how play therapy can be beneficial to children, adolescents, and even adults.