With younger children (age 4-8) play therapy is a great way to allow kids who might be struggling with behavior, change, social skills, trauma, or grief to play out their feelings. Kids don't always have the language or the awareness to identify feelings and express them well. Play therapy is an evidenced-based practice for helping young children work through any struggles they might be having.
Older children (age 8-12) may be more inclined to talk about what is bothering them. With a combination of activities and talking, we can help them to learn new skills such as manage conflict, communicate their feelings, learn to manage emotions, talk about divorce or bullying or learn strategies to communicate with friends, teachers, and parents. Also understanding learning differences, giftedness, ADHD, and anxiety can be helpful.
For teens age 13-18, having a safe place to talk about any issue can be helpful. Our teens are moving away from parents, and that independence can be confusing. Therapy can help with sorting out thoughts and feelings, learning new social skills, understanding emerging parts of their identity, self esteem, getting strategies to help with anxiety, depression, or ADHD, and much more. This is also a time for parents to gather additional resources and support if needed.