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Every child is unique. The way they process and respond to a stimulus, how they emote, the way each one expresses itself, is special. Sometimes, parents have a tough time understanding the signs and logic behind such behaviour. However, some psychologically approved techniques like ‘Play therapy’ can help understand a child better. Let’s explore this a little today!
The millennial generation knows about ‘Netflix and chill’. It is the new cool, isn’t it? One of the acclaimed shows on Netflix, The Haunting of the Hillhouse showed a psychic child psychologist Theodora Crain analysing a traumatised child’s behaviour via its paintings. Ultimately, she finds out that the child was being sexually abused by the foster parent. Similar behaviour or child psyche analysis was done by Aamir Khan’s character in Taare Zameen Par, where he finds the child’s craft book depicting his drifting apart from his parents and the pain of going to a boarding school. These are the classic examples of play therapy. Understood yet?
Play therapy is a psychologically certified technique that helps children in the age group of 3-12 to express themselves freely without any suppression through play. The choice of play is totally on the child. It is placed in a comfortable setting, without any restrictions or rules, and the behaviour is analysed. The child can sing, dance, draw, write whatever it wants to vent out whatever it is feeling. This approach is very useful in kids undergoing stressful scenarios like abuse of any sort, some sudden painful change, anxiety or fear of anything, family crisis etc. that inhibits them to speak out about their emotions easily. It also helps children who need special attention, have learning disabilities, have anger or social anxiety issues, autism etc.
A pre-interview with a child by a trained psychologist/therapist enables to decide the kind of play a child will most likely speak through. Play being a child’s language works wonders and is better than verbal communication. Whatever deficits are analysed during such play, the therapist works on them to help the child cope up and adapt, thereby encouraging cognitive development and increasing psychosocial skills.
Usually, the therapist makes the child realise the problem and lets it work on them itself (non-directive approach) while other times, he may intervene more during the play (directive approach). By confronting problems head-on, the child learns the art of tackling its emotions better and find solutions. It allows the child to think through, emote and act towards resolution. It learns rationalising skills, empathy, creativity, acceptance, emotion management etc. With its positive, tested outcomes, it is one of the most recommended child therapies.
It is a certified process that a parent in need should go for without a doubt!