Nurturing Child Development Through the Power of Play Therapy

General Counselling

Children use play as their primary way to explore, learn and make sense of their world. Play therapy uses this natural means of expression to help children process and express their feelings. In therapy, play becomes the tool that can impact child development in some very powerful ways. 

Let’s dive a little deeper into how play therapy can promote social-emotional development in children and who can benefit from it. We’ll also look at the role of the therapist during play therapy sessions.

Emotional Intelligence

Play therapy provides a safe place for children to explore and express their deepest feelings without judgment. Children can work through the most complex emotions, including fear, sadness and anger, through imaginative scenarios with familiar toys such as dolls and sensory materials like sand trays. Using these materials, children can process and understand difficult experiences.

Confidence Construction

Within the safe world of make-believe, children can demonstrate the causes of their low self-esteem. As they play through these issues, children eventually reach resolution and healing. Little by little, children will practice new ways to respond and feel through their play. This promotes a new level of confidence in facing obstacles in their lives.

Skills for Life

Play therapy can be a training ground in social skills as therapists and children connect and interact. Children learn life’s essential skills such as turn-taking, sharing, cooperating and solving conflicts. 

Play therapy is also a great place to learn how to problem-solve. Children can try out a variety of solutions with the freedom to make mistakes in a low-risk, safe environment.

Play Therapy for Anxiety 

Play therapy allows children to release and express long-held emotions and anxieties by allowing them to be freely expressed. After this, healthy coping strategies can be taught, helping children to manage anxiety and develop emotional resilience.

Who Can Benefit from Play Therapy?

Play therapy can benefit children with a variety of concerns, such as:

  • Behavioral and emotional difficulties 
  • Grief, loss or trauma
  • Social communication challenges
The Role of the Play Therapist

A play therapist should be trained and qualified in this particular area. Their role is to be a partner in your child’s journey. Play therapists create an environment where children feel safe and accepted, which will open them up to explore their inner world. Play therapists uses play materials, observation and nonverbal communication to work with and understand children’s emotions, experiences and responses.

Reach out to Lynn Valley CounsellingIf you’re considering this powerful and evidence-based approach for your child, the first step is finding a qualified professional experienced in working with children. Meet our expert Play Therapy counsellors or contact Lynn Valley Counselling to find the right therapist for your kid – we are here to help!

Get in touch

Looking for some support and guidance? Lynn Valley Counselling – we provide individual, couples, family, and group counselling for children, teens, and adults. Our registered therapists are trained in diversity awareness and committed to combating barriers to mental health. We’re here for you. Let’s talk.

Reach out today for a free, confidential consultation.



1 (604) 924-6626 


Lynn Valley Centre (#44-1199) Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver BC, V7J 3H2.

Clinic hours: 8:30 AM – 9:00 Monday-Friday. By appointment only.

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    We respectfully acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.