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.

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Choosing The Right Therapist

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Related Therapist Profiles

The following therapists specialize in Play Therapy

Blair Salditch, MSW, LSW

Chicago | Lake Zurich

Blair Salditch is a licensed social worker who received a MSW from the University of Chicago, where she was a Kiphart Scholar of Global Health & Social Development. She has worked both domestically and internationally, providing therapy to children and adults coping with a range of mental health concerns.

Marissa Cummings, Intern Therapist

Grayslake

Marissa is working on her Master of Social Work degree through Rochester Wesleyan University (expected May of 2024). She has experience working with children, teens, and adults within past internships and job experiences at community centers and social service agencies. She is hoping to gain more insight and practice during her time with Cherry Hill.

Valerie Dobrow, MSW, LSW

Deer Park

Valerie utilizes a strengths-based approach when working with children, adolescents, teens, and young adults. She has specialized training in Trauma-Focused CBT and play therapy techniques. She strives to empower clients to focus on reaching their goals through therapeutic techniques and skills development.

Veronica Gillen, MSW, LSW

Wheaton

Veronica Gillen is a licensed social worker with a Masters Degree from West Chester University of Pennsylvania with an emphasis on trauma informed care and strengths-based recovery support. Veronica is a bilingual therapist and provides services in both English and Spanish. Veronica enjoys working with women, children, and teens as well as families.

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

McHenry

Patrick’s mission as a Licensed Clinical 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

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.

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, ALMFT

Wheaton

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.

April Wazny, MA, LPC

Grayslake

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.

Nicole Taylor, MS.Ed., LPC

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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