The notion of play therapy is not part of the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE). The concept, however, is used to refer to a play therapy.
A therapy is a treatment that aims to minimize or remedy a physical or psychological problem. It playful, meanwhile, is that linked to play (a competitive or recreational exercise governed by rules).
With these ideas in mind, we can affirm that the play therapy consists of the development of a therapeutic process that appeals to play. This type of therapy It is intended for children, so that they can communicate and / or solve their conditions when playing.
Play therapy facilitates expression of the boys and, in some cases, of the adolescents. The method enables the treatment of emotional problems and conduct.
Conventional psychological therapy can make children uncomfortable, who feel threatened. Faced with this reality, play therapy is committed to a communication already known to infants: the one that fosters the playful environment.
Benefits of play therapy
It is important to bear in mind that play therapy contributes to the exploration of feelings and emotions. Games are a tool for learning which, guided by a professional therapist, also serve for the processing and assimilation of traumatic or problematic experiences.
We must not forget that childhood is a fundamental stage in our development, so that the support and influence we receive During these early years it determines most of our social and intellectual abilities. Through play it is possible to materialize certain creative, social, linguistic and cognitive needs, among others. Each child has their own characteristics, which is why this therapy is not the same for everyone. Also, it does not distinguish in gender, culture or IQ.
The usual thing is that the sessions last between 30 and 45 minutes and that they always take place at the same time and in the same place. That gives you security the child and helps to forge a bond of trust between the therapist and the patient. Play therapy can be developed through role-playing games, artistic activities (drawing, dancing) or building and fitting games, for example.
Making children feel safe should be the first goal of every adult: it doesn’t matter if they are our children; as individuals of this species we should protect all those who are in a situation of vulnerability, starting with the little ones. In the particular case of play therapy, since it is applied to people who have suffered traumas of varying severity, if the therapist does not offer them a safe space, the results will be poor.
Play therapy in the elderly
Older people whose families are left in the hands of controversial nursing homes often receive different kinds of therapies to treat their physical, emotional and mental problems. While play is commonly associated with childhood, we well know that there is no age limit to have fun.
While the healthiest children have a large volume of energy and have all their senses in excellent shape, at the end of life these values are dramatically reduced. Instead of learning to relate to the world for the first time, many elderly people need adapt to your recent limitations, both physical and cognitive, and this is the point where play therapy can help them.
The fact of feeling the obligation or the incentive to learn new rules, interact with other people who are in similar situations and use motor skills to participate in activities makes the game an invaluable resource to restore self-confidence to a person whose abilities have deteriorated by the inevitable aging.