Is Play Therapy more than just Play?
Dr. Atchison was among the first in Alabama to be credentialed as a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, a credential that involves extensive work and supervision in the field. Her goal was to find a method to work with children that would enable them to resolve trauma issues (abuse, neglect, divorce, grief, and attachment disruption.). A question many ask if “Is Play Therapy more than just Play?” Read on for the answer.
Play Therapy is a specialized way of working with children. It facilitates the development of a healthy and dynamic atmosphere between the therapist and child in which the child feels free to explore and express feelings using the medium of play. Research has proven Play Therapy to be an effective treatment for children.
Types of Play Therapy
There are numerous styles of Play Therapy. Dr. Atchison generally uses Adlerian, Cognitive, and Theraplay ® techniques based on the need of the child.
For instance, a younger child may prefer working with selected toys and art materials whereas; an older child may prefer a more cognitively based treatment or sand tray. Filial therapy techniques with the parent serving as a paraprofessional therapist and Theraplay ® techniques are especially useful in enriching the attachment between parent and child.
Dr. Atchison’s doctoral dissertation researched the application of training teachers in using play therapy techniques with young children. She currently is an instructor for a graduate level course entitled Medical Play Therapy which teaches play therapy techniques to professional who work in the hospital setting. She is available for play therapy supervision.