By Rebecca Rosenau, MSW, LCSW, CDP – JFCS Director of Clinical Services
Communicating with Children in the Language They Speak
In adults, mental illness can be an invisible disability. Many people shrink from seeking help due to their fear of shame and stigma. However, these issues are more easily identifiable in young children, who are typically unable to hide or filter their feelings. Children’s behaviors, emotional outbursts, and naivete can be improved through play therapy.
Play therapy is intended to combine play with age-appropriate conversation. Even small children can experience big feelings, as any parent can attest after witnessing their toddler throw a tantrum. That toddler may not have the words to express being over-stimulated, afraid, tired, or frustrated, so they use the communication method most readily available: an outburst.
In play therapy, the child uses toys to expand their communication options. Some children have experienced traumas that are unspeakable, and play therapy gives them a way to process their pain without using words. It is widely used to treat emotional problems and behavioral disorders, relieve feelings of stress and boredom, connect us to others, stimulate creative thinking, and regulate emotions.
JFCS is fortunate to have a beautiful new space dedicated to this important modality: The Dr. Edward Rosof Play Therapy Room. Our counseling staff who work directly with children includes three clinicians and a clinical intern. We are proud to be able to provide this critical service to our youngest clients!
To view our Child Counseling / Play Therapy flyer, click HERE. If you are interested in pursuing play therapy for your child, please visit our website, call us at (856) 424-1333, or email email@example.com.
Rebecca Rosenau has more than 15 years of experience working with individual clients. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice, with a concentration in clinical social work. In her role at JFCS, Rebecca is committed to supporting clients’ mental health across the lifespan and to making quality mental health care accessible to all. To read more about Rebecca, click HERE.