Creative Therapies in NJ, TX, FL

What are Creative Therapies? 

Many children, teens, and even adults benefit more from creative therapies than traditional ones.  There are many reasons for this.  Children often communicate their feelings and thoughts through their play rather than directly speaking about it with others.  Teens at times are referred to therapy, not on their own accord, but because their parents, guardian, or school has recommended it for them. Typically due to concerns about their behavior, or emotional acting out.  Once the teen enters the therapy room, at first they may be withdrawn, closed off, shut down; creative therapies can help the teen to open up, gain trust, and feel connected to the therapist. It takes creativity with the use of games, discussion about topics the child/teen may be interested in (like videogames, TV shows, favorite superheroes), and sometimes art, drawing, and creative writing. 

What is Child Centered Play Therapy?

Play therapy is used in treatment in order to help children communicate their inner thoughts, experiences, and desires through the use of play.  Typical objects used in play therapy include: use of sand tray, toys, blocks/Legos, feeling cards, conversation dice/cards, dolls, puppets, etc.  Therapists may also use coloring/drawing/writing activities to help children elicit internalized feelings, fears, concerns, and keep track of the coping skills they have been obtaining during the course of treatment.  

“The play therapy process can be viewed as a relationship between the therapist and the child in which the child utilizes play to explore his or her personal world and also to make contact with the therapist in a way that is safe for the child. Play therapy provides an opportunity for children to live out, during play, experiences and associated feelings. This process allows the therapist to experience, in a personal and interactive way, the inner dimensions of the child’s world. This therapeutic relationship is what provides dynamic growth and healing for the child.” (Landreth & Bratton, 2001).  

Our Therapists in New Jersey, Texas, and Florida, Offer Play Therapy for Kids

Each play therapist may have a different play therapy training.  Those with training in Sandplay Therapy use a Sand Tray filled with therapeutic sand in which the client will choose various items to place in the sand tray.  Play therapists may provide a direction for the activity such as “choose items to place in the sand tray that you would like to use in order to represent various individuals in your life”, or “now add items you feel you need in order to feel safe”.  Other times, the play therapist may not give any directive at all in an effort to help the client reveal unconscious thoughts, feelings, and interpretations of events.

Play Therapy is an Important Type of Therapeutic Intervention for Children with Trauma

Play Therapy can be used in all or some sessions as a way of providing a client with a non-verbal means of expression.  This is especially helpful for very young children, children and adults who have experienced trauma (since the verbal part of the brain shuts down during a trauma), as well as those clients who are hard to engage in the therapeutic process.

What is Art Therapy?

Therapists who have formalized training in art therapy carry the initials “ATR” for Registered Art Therapist.  These clinicians have completed specific courses relating to art as it relates to therapeutic treatment.

Other therapists may not have this formalized training, but they are able to incorporate some use of art and creative modalities in their therapies, which are sometimes helpful for those who would rather use creativity than speak about their feelings in a more traditional way. Art and music can also be healing forms of self care, ways to process difficult emotions, or resolve traumas. 

We offer play therapy for kids ages 6 and up in our in office locations in New Jersey.  Telehealth is available for children and teens in TX and FL as well; although many children are not ready for telehealth therapy until they are 8 and older.  Our in person offices are located in Hazlet and Tinton Falls, New Jersey. Request an appointment today.

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