Play Therapy

play therapy child with therapist

What is play therapy?

Play therapy is to children what talk therapy is to adults. In play therapy, children (ages 2 – 12) can use toys and other expressive materials to communicate their thoughts, feelings and experiences. It brings therapy to the child’s level, rather than expecting the child to think, talk and process like adults. Play Therapy provides the ideal environment for a child to be understood, even in the complete absence of verbal communication.

Play therapy is effective in addressing a myriad of issues. Some issues addressed by play therapy include but are not limited to: ADHD, adjustment, aggression, anxiety, behavioral concerns, chronic illness, crisis and trauma, depression, developmental delays, divorce, family issues, friendship/peer relationships, learning and language based differences, life stressors, loss and grief, parent-child relationships, school issues and sibling rivalry.

Who provides play therapy?

At The Carruth Center, our play therapists are specifically trained in child-centered play therapy and are registered play therapists.

What is a registered play therapist?

A registered play therapist is a state licensed clinical mental health practitioner who has satisfied the national criteria through The Association for Play Therapy, which includes:

  • Holds a Master’s (or higher) mental health degree
  • Holds a current and active license to independently provide clinical mental health services
  • 2,000 hours (approximately 2 years) of clinical experience required by state licensure
  • 150 hours of play therapy specific instruction from APT-approved providers
  • 500 hours of supervised play therapy specific experience
  • 50 hours of concurrent play therapy specific supervision
  • Annual continuing education for both clinical licensure and play therapy credential

What should I tell my child about play therapy?

We suggest something like this: “(Child’s name), on (day of the week), you and I are going to meet (play therapist’s name). He/she has a special playroom with a lot of different toys in it. His/her job is to play with kids. You are going to spend time playing with him/her, and you are in charge of this special play time.”

Contact Us

For more info, contact The Carruth Center at or 713.935.9088.