Play Therapy?

What is Play Therapy?

APT defines play therapy as "the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development."

More simply put, child play therapy is a way of being with the child that honors their unique developmental level and looks for ways of helping in the “language” of the child – play.  Licensed mental health professionals therapeutically use play to help their clients, most often children ages three to 12 years, to better express themselves and resolve their problems.

Play Therapy works best when a safe relationship is created between the therapist and client, one in which the latter may freely and naturally express both what pleases and bothers them.

Mental health agencies, schools, hospitals, and private practitioners have utilized Play Therapy as a primary intervention or as supportive therapy for:

  • Behavioral problems, such as anger management,grief and loss, divorce and abandonment, and crisis and trauma.
  • Behavioral disorders, such as anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD), autism or pervasive developmental, academic and social developmental, physical and learning disabilities, and conduct disorders. 

Research suggests Play Therapy is an effective mental health approach, regardless of age, gender, or the nature of the problem, and works best when a parent, family member, or caretaker is actively involved in the treatment process.

                                   -Taken from APT website www.a4pt.org


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What is AutPlay™ Therapy?

AutPlay® Therapy was created by Dr. Robert Jason Grant and is a play and behavioral therapy approach to working with children and families affected by autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dysregulation issues, and other neurodevelopmental disorders. It integrates therapeutic models of play therapy and behavioral therapy along with relationship development approaches together in a collaborative model to assist children and adolescents in gaining needed skills and abilities. AutPlay Therapy is a combination of behavioral and developmental methodology that is both therapist-led and parent-led.

AutPlay Therapy has Shown Effective Treatment Outcomes for the Following Areas:

  1. Increasing Emotional Regulation Ability
  2. Improving Social Skills and Functioning
  3. Improving Relationship Development and Connection
  4. Reducing Anxiety Levels
  5. Improving Sensory Processing Challenges
  6. Increasing Concentration, Focus, and Attention
  7. Reducing Unwanted Behaviors
  8. Improving the Parent/Child Relationship

More information can be found at www.autplaytherapy.com

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What is Animal Assisted Play Therapy™?


Animal Assisted Play Therapy (AAPT) is a full integration of play therapy with animal-assisted therapy, primarily for mental health/psychotherapy and education purposes. It is valuable in helping children, adolescents, and adults, and can be provided for individuals, groups, and families.

AAPT has been defined as “the integrated involvement of animals in the context of play therapy, in which appropriately-trained therapists and animals engage with child, family, & adult clients primarily in play interventions aimed at improving the client’s psychosocial health, while simultaneously ensuring the animal’s well-being and voluntary engagement in the process. Play and playfulness are essential ingredients of the interactions & the relationship” (VanFleet, 2013). The feature that most distinguishes AAPT from other forms of animal assisted therapy (Chandler, 2012; Fine, 2010) is the systematic inclusion and encouragement of play and playfulness as the primary means of expressing feelings, developing relationships, and resolving psychosocial problems -Taken from AAPT™ website www.http://risevanfleet.com/international/about/about-aapt/

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