Child-Centered Play Therapy

hp photosmart 720The Crisis Center offers child clients who have witnessed domestic violence a variety of therapeutic interventions.  One of the most successful interventions used with child witnesses of domestic violence is Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT).  This intervention is based upon the concept that children use play as their primary manner of communication.  The therapist creates a safe space where the child is in control, encouraging the child to play or talk about the conflict he or she is experiencing internally.

“It is common for children to play out trauma-related themes and feelings early in CCPT.  When they feel sufficiently safe and accepted, they typically move into mastery play, in which they overcome these feelings by taking charge of situations….CCPT offers children the control they need to overcome the helplessness they have experienced, and the nondirective nature of the therapy permits them to do this in their own ways and at their own pace.”

Risë VanFleet and Cynthia Sniscak, “Filial therapy for children exposed to traumatic events” 2003.