EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) — While people often think of therapy as a treatment for adults, there are many therapy options for children — including play therapy. By using toys, expressive art tools and other creative counseling options, play therapy can open doors for children to express themselves openly.
This specialized form of therapy takes hundreds of hours of training to practice, and focuses on children communicating in ways that feel comfortable to them. Children can begin play therapy as early as three years old, for younger children there is a family assisted or parent guided play therapy option
One local organization is offering these services, the Counseling Center of Expressive Arts and KVIA was given a chance to visit their facilities and discuss this options of child therapy.
You can find more on play therapy in KVIA's other reporting, by clicking this link.
Children can begin play therapy as early as three years old, for younger children there is a family assisted or parent guided play therapy option
This form of therapy has only been around for a few decades, “it originated with people trying to figure out the best way to support kids when traditional talk therapy wasn't working. And the reason it doesn't work very well with many children is brain development,” according to Mandi Melendez, registered play therapist supervisor.
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Avery Martinez covers mental health in the Borderland as part of ABC-7’s Be Mindful initiative. He is also a Report for America corps member. RFA places talented, emerging journalists in newsrooms like ABC-7’s to report on under-covered issues and communities. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up.