Play Therapy & Creative Arts Therapy
At Urban Playology, we meet people where they are. That includes young loves, ages 2-18, and their families. Play therapy and creative arts allow us to extend our supreme embrace to young loves and families.
Perhaps your young love’s personality or their energy has shifted in a way that’s got you concerned. Maybe they are underperforming or underachieving at school. Perhaps the other caring adults in your close-knit community ie a coach, or a dance teacher, or an extended family member, etc express concern after a recent encounter with your young love.
Perhaps you’re finding it more difficult to sleep soundly at night because you find yourself more worried about your young love. But you can’t put your finger on it. Maybe on the surface and by all accounts, everything seems or should be just fine. Perhaps you’ve been meaning to make sure your young love has the support they deserve to get through a tough time your family has been having ie conscious uncoupling, a move, a recent death, etc. Maybe they’ve actually asked if they could see a talking doctor or a talking doctor who works with children or a fun doctor for children.
Perhaps your young love has recently received a new diagnosis ie ADHD, ADD, depression, anxiety, gender identity concerns, etc. and you’re trying to figure out what it all means.
It may be hard to believe but our experience is that play therapy and expressive arts can help make things clearer.
The toys are the words and play is the language. Meeting young people who are hurting where they are means making what’s natural to them be available to them.
In play therapy and expressive arts therapy, both widely research-based modalities, young people can express themselves-their thoughts, their feelings, their hopes, and dreams.
There are 2 preliminary office-based consultations if you will.
At the 1st appointment, about 50 minutes in duration, we meet with parents or caregivers first. We meet in the play therapy space which allows parents to see and experience the place where their child’s healing will take place. We converse freely amongst ourselves as adults. Sometimes parents or caregivers share photos of, videos of, and/or artwork created by their young love hands.
At the 2nd appointment, also lasting about 50 minutes in duration, parents and their young loves come to the space and young people are encouraged to see how they feel here if this is a place they’d like to come to on a regular basis for a while.
Families are then encouraged to return home and have a family conference about their collective decision about how they wish to proceed.
Would they like to have Urban Playology as support on their healing journey?… That’s the question they get to ask themselves.
We wait patiently for follow up from all families. We totally trust you to do what’s best for your family.
We book the 1st official play therapy session. Parents or caregivers are welcomed to participate in this session, especially if young people request such. We find that even when they’re hurting, young people still know exactly what their hearts need. And yes, sometimes the young people who make their way 2 UP want the grown-ups to play with them.
There are few rules in the world of play therapy. Perhaps that’s why we love it so! 🙂 The rules that do exists ie toys remain in the play therapy room etc hopefully and lovingly anchor young people to the real world.
Sometimes we enjoy a nourishing snack with the music of the choice of the young ones while we create healing art or healing scenes in the sand tray. Sand tray therapy is a co expressive arts modality.
Sometimes we take a walk. I think the hardest thing about having your young love in play therapy and/or expressive arts therapy is the waiting and the enigmatic energy of it all. We get to trust them and lean into trusting ourselves as the grownups.
It’s like: “How does playing with toys that honestly seem less modern than what we’ve invested in at home help with my child’s tantrums, or potty training accidents, or their nightmares?!? This is quite the expensive use of our finances and our time!”
To that valid concern, I would say that when young people feel fully supported in their healing, they get to really focus on that healing. We follow their lead every step of the way. We get to trust them and lean into the trust of ourselves as the grownups.
When you really think about it, how could something so life-giving have anything but a sustainably positive impact?…
If they are worried about being a burden or are worried about the perceived burden as associated with their issues, therapy may have a negative impact. When they are ready for their long goodbye, it always becomes crystal clear.
Here’s one of our favorite books about play therapy. Sometimes families read the book at home before our 1st appointment or during the 1st all member appointment.
Here’s a couple of our favorite videos about play therapy.
Here’s one of our favorite articles about play therapy from the Association for Play Therapy, the accrediting body for Xanthia’s credential.
Here’s one of our favorite articles about expressive therapy & creative arts therapies:
Xanthia has earned the most advanced credential-the Registered Play Therapist Supervisor credential. She is also a national trainer of other hopeful play therapists and expressive arts therapists. She has also studied under internationally recognized master experts in the field. In 2018, Xanthia & Urban Playology also received the Service Award from the MD/DC Branch of the Association for Play Therapy.
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