Meridian Behavioral Health has a number of clinicians who offer Play Therapy. These clinicians specialize in a variety of ages and target a wide variety of treatment issues using the play therapy skill set. It is our goal to match you with a therapist that will best fit your needs and provide you with the best care possible. If you would like more information, or would like to request a first visit with a therapist, you can either fill out the contact form on this page and we will get in touch with you or you can also call us directly at (815) 344-5061.
What is Play Therapy?
When children struggle with difficult emotions or behaviors, they often lack the ability to express themselves in the same way adults do. They may lack the detailed language needed to convey complex emotional states, and are unable to elicit help from caregivers. Parents may notice signs of emotional distress such as irritability, “acting out”, worry, or becoming socially withdrawn. These may be indicators that something is wrong, and the child may not be able to communicate their distress adequately. Play therapy is a treatment approach specifically designed for young children, ages 3-12, who have a hard time with verbal self-expression. Play itself is a form of child language and a way of looking at, sharing, and modifying a child’s experience through means they are comfortable with. Play takes the struggle out of the child and places it into the toys where it can safely be manipulated and changed over time. Play Therapy is a specific type of psychotherapy that incorporates the natural language of play into the therapy room to help children express themselves more accurately. A child therapist that engages in Play Therapy may use toys, art projects, or sandboxes as a way to help the child tell stories, discuss family worries, or to ask questions they may otherwise avoid. It is a very useful tool for child therapists who are trained to implement it alongside scientifically validates interventions for emotional and behavior disorders in children.
Play Therapy Can Be Used With: