Play is a child’s language. It is known as a powerful act of self-expression, creativity, exploration, and learning.

Play therapy can be a therapeutic outlet for children to appropriately and effectively express their thoughts and feelings. Thoughts and feelings that are suppressed can cause significant problems not only during childhood but into adolescent years and adulthood. Working with a play therapist can help alleviate your child’s challenges and provide them with skills that can carry them through the rest of their lives.

What is play therapy?

Play therapy has grown immensely over the last few decades. According to the Association of Play Therapy, play therapy “is a structured, theoretically based approach to therapy that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children”. What does that mean exactly? The child and the child’s therapist play together in a safe space in a way that is intentional and therapeutic. Through the act of playing, the child is expressing themselves and the therapist is gaining insight into how the child views the world around them.

Can my child benefit from play therapy?

The answer is YES! All children can benefit from play therapy. There are several therapists at Cherry Hill Counseling who specialize in working with children using play therapy techniques and interventions. Play therapy effectively helps children gain social, emotional, and behavioral skills.

Possible factors your child may benefit from play therapy include, but are not limited to:

  • Family issues
    • Divorce
    • Separation
    • Death of a loved one
  • Trauma
    • Abuse
    • Neglect
    • Domestic violence
  • Life changes
    • Birth of a sibling
    • Moving
    • New school
  • Chronic illness
  • Hospitalization

Signs your child may benefit from play therapy include, but are not limited to:

  1. Tantrums: Excessive tantrums lasting longer than other children in the same age group. This includes and is not limited to behaviors such as head banging, throwing items, screaming, crying.
  2. Aggression: Excessive aggressive behavior such as hitting, kicking, slapping, punching, biting, and throwing objects at others. This includes concerns for your child’s safety and the safety of others around them.
  3. Sleep Problems: Problems falling asleep, staying asleep, challenges with bedtime, and having nightmares or night terrors are common issues of children needing additional help.
  4. Regression: If your child’s speech, toileting, academic, or social skills decline. This includes your child not speaking after development of language skills, frequent toileting accidents after toilet training development, and experiencing academic and social challenges.
  5. Experiencing a traumatic or stressful event: This includes the child witnessing or experiencing any form of abuse, neglect, loss of someone close to them, domestic violence, being involved in an accident, or removal from a caregiver.

Please give us a call today if you are interested or would like more information regarding therapy services for your child. We would love to work with your child by giving them a safe space to express themselves and to foster creativity, exploration, and learning.

Related Therapist Profiles

The following therapists specialize in Play Therapy

Michael Albert, MA, LCPC

Grayslake | Vernon Hills

Michael is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the State of Illinois. He has nearly 2 decades of experience in the mental health field. He has provided services in many different settings including agency and hospital settings before private practice. Michael works well with a broad age range of clients, but has a special affinity for adolescents and young adults.

Brendan Bell, MA, LCPC

Deer Park | Wheaton

Brendan Bell is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois. He has worked in private practice for the last 20 years, with offices in both Deer Park and in Wheaton. His expertise involves working with middle schoolers, adolescents, and their families, with extensive experience addressing behavior disorders. Brendan also works with adults and particularly enjoys counseling artists.

Patrick Kelly, MA, LCPC, CCATP


Patrick’s mission as a Licensed Professional Counselor is to utilize his diverse life experience and graduate-level education to make a positive difference in the lives of struggling and hurting people. His passion is working with troubled marriages along with helping individuals cope with and rise above anxiety and depression brought about by life’s challenges and difficulties.

Maria Statkus Ritchey, MA, LCPC, CCATP-CA

Deer Park | Wheaton | Chicago

Maria is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. Maria is enthusiastic about working with different populations, including children, adolescents, young adults, and families. Maria has experience utilizing non-directive play therapy and her approach is client-centered based, while integrating client strengths within the process.

Haley Kramer Kaimakis, MS, LPC

Deer Park

Haley has a master’s degree from Marquette University. She has experience working with young children and their families to address various issues such as trauma, behavioral problems, and emotion regulation. Haley has a passion for working with children ages 6 and younger. Haley believes in emphasizing a client’s strengths and advocating for their needs.

Debbie Levine, MSW, LSW

Vernon Hills

Debbie has worked in both the medical and clinical fields and has amassed much experience helping people navigate their unique life journeys. Her preferred therapeutic approaches include CBT, holistic and mindfulness.

Kristen Micula, MSW

Deer Park

Kristen has a Master of Social Work from Aurora University. As a special needs therapist and advocate who has worked with children and adults with special needs for 15 years, she is passionate about empowering individuals using a strengths based approach.

Emily Salomon, MS.Ed., LPC

Deer Park

Emily earned her MS.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northern Illinois University. Emily holds deep value for the safe space that exists within the therapeutic relationship. She embraces the importance of being provided with new lenses with which a client may see the world a bit differently.

Sandy Rud, MA


Sandy received her M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Wheaton College. She enjoys working with children, couples, adults, and families. She believes the health of family relationships is central to the emotional health and well-being of parents and children.

Laura Ronkoske, MSW, LSW

Lake Zurich

Laura has been a school social worker for 23 years. Nothing brings her more joy than helping young children, adolescents, and adults through life’s most challenging times. She has recently moved to private practice to help others outside the school environment to be their best selves and help give them the tools to be able to do so.

Kimari Collier, MSW


Kimari earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia. Through the beginning of her career she has worked in a variety of clinical settings, from supporting children in the foster care system, to providing treatment resources for military veterans. Kimari is thrilled to be on this new journey to treat more diverse populations in private practice.

April Wazny, MA

McHenry | Vernon Hills

April Wazny received her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Liberty University. She is passionate about working with children, adolescents and families. She has over 10 years experience working with children, families, blended families, trauma, Autism Spectrum Disorder, special needs and special needs parental support. She has 21 years of experience with Military families.

Kristin Hunt, MSW, LCSW, MAT


Kristin Hunt, LCSW, has a passion for helping individuals, couples, and families to heal from various types of trauma. Kristin's warm, safe, and non-judgmental presence makes her a great companion for people on a journey of recovery and wellness. She works with clients of all ages including individuals, couples, and families.

Nicole Taylor, MS.Ed., LPC

Deer Park | McHenry

Nicole is a licensed therapist who is passionate about working with children, adolescents, and young adults. She specializes in anxiety, depression, and self-esteem.

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Here are some groups we recommend to get started

Social Emotional Learning Group

This group is designed to teach children, ages 8-10, foundational coping skills so that they can independently implement them in home, school, and social environments.

Date: Mondays from 5-6pm, November 7th-December 12th, 2022

Location: Cherry Hill Counseling - Deer Park, 21925 W Field Parkway, Suite 215, Deer Park, IL 60010

Cost: $60/per session for 6 weeks paid at the time of registration ($360 total)

Contact: Kristen Micula or Haley Kaimakis, or

View more info