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Psychology: What Is Play-Based Therapy?

What Is Play-Based Therapy?

Scholars and non-scholars have asked several questions regarding the approach called play-based therapy. Reports have gone to the extent of asserting that play centered therapy appears to lack rationality in its usage, is unclear, and unstructured. Nevertheless, play-based therapy is normally used when focusing on the creation of affiliation with children via the use of a medium or a standard named play. Whereas the traditional therapy strategies appear to be more organized than play-centered therapy, the latter approach is, however, result-oriented and focused (Gallo-Lopez & Rubin, 2012). Thus, play-centered therapy appears to beyond the usage of props and dollies or puppets during therapy sessions.

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Who Benefits From It?

Therapists and children are reportedly the most benefiting parties in this approach. Through acquiring communication knowledge using actual conditions, including playing time, kids can simplify the recently acquired linguistic abilities, and different conditions found external to the therapeutic setting. Besides, play-centered therapy encourages children to take part since it integrates entertaining events. The settings offered by the approach enable children to illustrate whatever is known, thus providing a room for shining. The approach tends to minimize any pressure that children experience when required to accomplish a task and permits them to concentrate. Conversely, the approach enables therapists to create affiliations with the children. It creates an opportunity for therapists to observe the kid’s progress in an ordinary setting (Grant, 2014).

Hence, therapists can interact freely with the kid when evaluating and understanding the communication and linguistic skills of the kid.

Play Therapy and Play-Based Therapy

Play therapies tend to offer support that facilitates the internal healing, development, and growth of the children’s inborn abilities. Play therapies are structured to assist kids in growing up a cheerful lot. The approach allows therapists to interact with the kids, follow the direction offered by the kids, build a trusted rapport, and develop a harmless environment. Therapeutic sessions take place in playrooms, which have various designated art materials and toys. The playing tools help kids in sharing personal experiences, exploring rapports, and expressing an individual’s feelings and thoughts.

Play-centered therapy emerges to be appropriate for kids for less than five years. The approach has proved to be effective for different kids, partly given that it incorporates entertaining activities. If the approach is placed within the perspective of scenarios and themes, which interest the kids, all children will be encouraged to take part. Play-centered therapy targets to develop the verbal and linguistic abilities of kids as they have great moments with therapists and family members. Play-centered therapy emerges as a method that reduces tension between families and kids. Therapeutic stages and periods happen within the natural environs preferred by kids such as the pre-schooling environments. Besides, kids naturally utilize playing sessions to learn, discover, and explore (Drewes & Schaefer, 2010). Therefore, play-centered therapy is connected to the development of kids cognitively, physically, emotionally, socially, and linguistically.

Authorized Individuals Using the Two Techniques

In both cases, mental health professionals or play therapists are authorized to use the techniques when assessing the progress in the kids’ development (Schaefer, 2011). However, caregivers and parents maintain systematic interactions with therapists via planned meetings and telephone calls.

A Theoretical Method Is Used During Play-Based Therapy

Given that play-centered therapy is result-oriented and focused, the theoretical groundwork for this approach concentrates on the strategies that would enhance the growth of the children’s communication and the methods through which kids develop. Therapists tend to incorporate members of the family in order to create particular aims for the kids, which would improve home-based communications.

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Founded on the developed objectives, therapists start working by aiming at communications that take place throughout the collaborative and very interesting play events or sessions. Every kid’s playing session takes place at dissimilar phases, similar to the manner in which their communications fluctuate based on personal abilities and skills (Schaefer, 2011). Thereafter, a language expert or skilled pathologist assesses the parts aimed to be developed given that he/she understands that the progress in playing is accompanied by communication abilities and skills.


Gallo-Lopez, L. & Rubin, L. (2012). Play-based interventions for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.Drewes, A. & Schaefer, C. (2010). School-based play therapy. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. Web.

Grant, R. (2014). Play based interventions for autism, ADHD, neurodevelopmental disorders, and developmental disabilities. Raleigh, NC: Web.

Schaefer, C. (2011). Foundations of play therapy. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. Web.

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