Play therapy is an important type of treatment designed to help children with mental health issues. Play therapists use the therapeutic value of play in order to improve a child’s overall well-being. The benefits that play therapy offers are numerous and include improved moods, increased curiosity, reduced anxiety, fewer symptoms of depression or trauma, among many others.
1. Improved Moods
One of the most well-known benefits of play therapy is that it can help improve moods. When a child is feeling down, playing can help to lift their spirits and make them feel happier. This is because, during play, the brain releases serotonin and dopamine – two chemicals that are known to promote happiness. These chemicals are released by the brain even when a child is only playing with their imagination, which means that play therapy does not have to be an expensive or time-consuming activity.
2. Increased Curiosity
Children struggling with issues like anxiety or depression may become less curious over time. This is because their brains are constantly worrying about their problems and so do not have any extra space to consider new information. However, play therapy can help children recover from these conditions, which means they will regain interest in learning about the world around them.
3. Reduced Anxiety
Another benefit of play therapy is that it can reduce a child’s anxiety. This happens because, during play, the brain releases serotonin, which has been linked to reduced stress and anxiety levels. In addition, children who engage in regular play are more likely to control their emotions better than those who do not participate in such activities.
4. Cognitive Development
Although many people think of play therapy as a largely emotional process, it has several cognitive benefits. The brain is incredibly active during play, and this means that when children engage in such activities, they improve their focus, memory skills and problem-solving abilities. In fact, research shows that regular child’s games can improve IQ scores!
5. Improved Creativity
Many children who suffer from emotional problems also struggle with their creativity. If you have a child at home, it is easy to recognize this – as they may regularly complain that they cannot think of any ideas for school or art projects. However, play therapy can help improve a child’s creative thinking skills – which means that your son or daughter will be more likely to come up with new and interesting ideas.
6. Stronger Social Skills
It is well-known that play therapy can improve children’s social skills. Children who take part in regular games are more likely to develop stronger communication and teamwork abilities than those who do not engage in such activities. This means they will be much better equipped for school or the working world when they leave their childhood behind them!
7. Empathy and Respect for Others
Last but not least, one of the most important benefits of play therapy is that it helps build empathy and respect for others. This happens because, during play, children learn how to take on different roles and understand how other people may be feeling. In addition, they also learn how to communicate better with others – which can help them form stronger relationships with their peers, teachers and parents.