Our children are under attack. According to the Children’s Defense fund, “almost 900,000 children each year in America are abused or neglected, one every 36 seconds. Forty percent of these children get no services at all after the initial investigation. Each year, more than 800,000 children spend time in foster care. On any given night, 200,000 children are homeless — 1 in every 4 of the homeless population.
Divorce leaves children with uncertain family connections. Criminalization, abuse, neglect, substance abuse, poverty, substandard education, exposure to violence, adoption and numerous barriers overwhelm theses children as they struggle to become self-sufficient adults.
Grace Counseling loves children. Jerry’s undergraduate degree was in Elementary Education and has taught many children throughout his ministry. For these reasons, Jerry practices Play Therapy. He is in supervision with Dr. Holeman to become a Registered Play Therapist. For more information, please read the Association for Play Therapy website.
What is Play Therapy?
Play is a child’s natural language. Toys are the words. When life, trauma, abuse, and confusion leave a child speechless, play gives them a voice. Through play, counselors may teach children how to adapt to life, have better relationships, and have greater skills. The positive relationship, Jerry seeks to great may provide a corrective mental and emotional experience or release the natural God-given resources within the child.
How Long Does Play Therapy Take?
Each play therapy session varies in length but usually last about 30 to 50 minutes. Sessions are usually held weekly. Research suggests that it takes an average of 20 play therapy sessions to resolve the problems of the typical child referred for treatment. Of course, some children may improve much faster while more serious or ongoing problems may take longer to resolve.
What could be the results of Play Therapy?
Play therapy helps children:
Become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies.
Develop new and creative solutions to problems.
Develop respect and acceptance of self and others.
Learn to experience and express emotion.
Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others.
Learn new social skills and relational skills with family.
Develop self-efficacy and thus a better assuredness about their abilities.
At Grace Counseling, a child finds help and hope with his family to connect with God, his family, his life, and others to grow through confusion, pain, and suffering.