By: Panicha McGuire, LMFT, RPT
Welcome to my blog series on play therapy! The series will go over how play therapy works with children, teens, and even adults. Don’t forget to check out my previous post on play therapy with young children and school-aged children!
This week, we will focus on how play therapy works with tweens and teens. Recently, many parents who refer their teens to see me will see my Registered Play Therapist credential and wonder how this will work with their teen because their teen doesn’t “play” anymore. Well, our teens are not yet adults but are not children either. So, what does that mean when it comes to play therapy? Many of our tweens and teens are already going through so much with hormone changes, peer pressure, school pressure, and identity struggles, it can be difficult to expect them to just talk. Having a teen sit in a room with a professional and asking them to share or answer intrusive questions can be really intimidating. I find that my teens are more relaxed when they are engaged in an activity.
Play therapy with teens is simply using activities or experiences that would be of interest to the teen while resolving their issues. It can be a way to engage them in something that might seem “boring” or “uncool”. I’ve actually completed a complicated Lego model with a teen once. We would work on it little by little in our sessions while the teen shared their struggles with me. The finished Lego project then became a symbol of healing.
Some examples of play therapy with teens that I use in my practice are:
At Thrive, we take a positive, client centered approach to therapy that is focused on creating a genuine connection with our clients. If you would like to talk with a Thrive Therapist about yourself, your child, or teen attending therapy, please reach out to us by phone at 858-342-1304.
As always, thanks for reading and comments are always welcome regarding any issues around child or teen psychotherapy services in San Diego by Thrive Therapy Studio.
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