407 E 2nd Ave Ste 250 Spokane WA 99202 | (509) 315-9776

Play Therapy

Our Approach To Play Therapy

Effective therapeutic change occurs when an individual can identify what is causing their problems, learn how to go about changing their behavior or environment, and use new skills or insight to bring about lasting change. All this requires abstract thought and the capacity for advanced reasoning skills which children under the of 10 do not yet possess, and those ages 11 to 17 only partially realize.

Young children are concrete thinkers which mean they learn best by having direct contact with people, places or things. Consequently, traditional talk therapy requires abstract thought, an expansive and diverse vocabulary along with advanced reasoning skills all of which are foreign or cumbersome for children or adolescents.

Children across the globe learn, explore and understand their world through play so it only makes sense that therapists can use the developmentally appropriate use of play to help children understand, express, and cope with life’s most difficult problems.

We use fun, interactive and concrete play opportunities to ensure our therapists will observe the concerning symptoms or behaviors in question and work with your child to build new skills, express needs more clearly or understand life’s difficult tragedies.

Theraplay®

Does your child struggle at school with building healthy relationships with other students or school staff? Maybe they have a difficult time concentrating or dealing with negative emotions in a healthy way and it gets in the way of their learning. Does your child struggle at home with building a healthy and happy bond with family members? Maybe it feels like you don’t really know your child or how to help them. Theraplay® is a great therapeutic intervention using a child and family therapy approach, aiming to address behavioral, emotional, and/or developmental struggles and enhance the parent child relationship through healthy and playful interactions. Theraplay® is also a sensory based model that can also help children who have language delays, developmental disorders, or are extremely shy.

Theraplay® can treat:
  • Attachment Disorders
  • Behavioral/emotional struggles (conduct, ODD, aggressive behavior)
  • Social interaction disorders (social anxiety, internalizing)
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorders (receptive language delay)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Sensory Processing Disorders
  • ADHD
  • PTSD

Core Concepts from the Theraplay® Institute

The adult, the leader in the relationship, creates organization and predictability for the child which communicates safety

The adult provides caring that can calm and soothe the child in a manner that makes them feel good physically and emotionally

The adult is present in a manner that the child experiences being seen, heard, felt, and accepted

The adult supports the child in the acquisition and mastery of new skills, enhancing the child’s sense of competence and confidence

Theraplay employs the lively, joyful play of parent and young child that is critical to the formation of secure attachment. Early experiences of high levels of positive affect co-regulated with an attuned caregiver are related to the development of connectedness and empathy and to the ability to self-regulate high affec

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Frequently asked questions

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Our Trained Play Therapists

Our play therapists have received specialized training, supervised experience and either certified or working through the rigorous certification process.