Play Therapy in Houston

Danny Clark, LCSW

Finding a pediatric, child, or play therapist can be difficult. You may have questions like “How does therapy for children work?” or “Where can I find a good play therapist?” and many more. Most child therapists use what is commonly referred to as Play Therapy. Below I have outlined some general facts about play therapy and how it works. There is also an overview of what to expect when attending play therapy. Here is an article about what questions to when hiring a child therapist. It’s great to know you want to help your child, and I hope the information below is helpful.

What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy is a therapeutic approach that uses play as a medium for children. Children use play to communicate and express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It is a form of psychotherapy designed for children to help process and make sense of their emotions.

How does Play Therapy work?

Play therapy creates a safe and supportive environment for children to express their thoughts and emotions. With the help of toys, games, and art materials, children are encouraged to explore their inner world and work through their experiences. A skilled play therapist will guide and interact with the child during play. The therapist provides the necessary support to help children overcome emotional challenges.

What are the benefits of Play Therapy?

Play therapy can be a powerful tool for helping children process and make sense of their emotions, build self-esteem, and improve their overall mental health. It can also help children develop better communication skills, increase emotional intelligence, and build resilience.

Who Can Benefit from Play Therapy

Play therapy is typically used with children experiencing emotional, behavioral, or developmental challenges. It is especially beneficial for children who have experienced trauma. In addition, children who have difficulty expressing themselves verbally, or have trouble building relationships with others can benefit.

The Role of the Play Therapist?

The play therapist is a trained professional who deeply understands child development. They use play to facilitate communication and nurturance. My role in the process is to create a safe and supportive environment for children to have a place to work. I will use observations and interactions to help build better emotional regulation and coping skills during a child’s exploration.

How do you get started?

Initial Parent Consultation

We first need to briefly discuss what made you want to seek therapy for your child, what is helping now, and when the family can meet for the first appointment. You can call or email me to schedule your free initial consultation. This is important to determine what therapy can do based on your circumstances and if I am the right fit for your family. Selecting a therapist for your child is important, and I want to ensure you get exactly what you need. If someone else is the right fit, I will work with you to find a suitable alternative.

First Parent/Guardian Session

After this first discussion, I will schedule a meeting with the parents/guardians responsible for the child’s mental health. I review a lot of information on the first session, so parent generally meets without their child. My time in session with your child is important, and I want to create an environment where they are the focus of my attention, which is impossible at this first meeting. The meeting can be online or in-person, so you can see the office and explore the playroom and ask me plenty of questions.

During our first meeting, I will learn about your child and the family, including his home and school environment, history, and other factors related to their mental health. We will take time to determine your goal, discuss confidentiality, review the therapy agreement, and choose the best time for the first session with your child.

Request a Consultation

If you would like to reach out, please complete this form and Danny will contact you by phone or email to answer any questions you may have.

Your Child’s First Session

In your child’s first session, we’ll explore the playroom together and review the “playroom traditions” (some call them rules) and confidentiality. Afterwards, I will return the parent/guardian to the waiting room so your child and I can continue our session. At the end of the session, At the end of our session, we will discuss the next steps and decide on an appropriate schedule for therapy.

Parent/Guardian Follow-Up Session

After the first three or four sessions, I will schedule a parent session to discuss treatment goals and answer any questions. In addition, parent sessions occur every 4 to 6 sessions while we work on our goals. The therapy duration depends on your child’s needs and my clinical judgment.

Ending Therapy

Lastly, I will focus on their treatment goals while assessing their progress to determine when they have done the work. Additionally, children’s therapy is not a long-term solution but a process to get your child to their next developmental milestone. Once I see that your child is getting close to “graduating,” I will meet with you to discuss ending therapy. Graduation is not an abrupt end but a multi-session process. I will give your child time to adjust to the change and express emotions about therapy. It is an exciting part of the therapy process.


Lastly, I hope your child will never be back in my playroom once they have graduated. Sometimes, we need a little booster session to recap the skills we learned. Scheduling a booster session is helpful as our children transition into new grades and new environments.

If you are ready to meet or have more questions, please give me a call, email, or complete the contact form. Learning how the process works and what you can do to ensure your child is healthy and happy is something to be proud of. Asking for help is a strength and a gift to your child’s future self and the world.

Play Therapy Helps Kid Cope with Stress and Regulate Emotions

Play therapy is a powerful tool for helping kids cope with stress and regulate their emotions. When children engage in play, they often recreate scenarios, both real and imagined. By doing this, they’re able to process and make sense of their experiences. In the therapeutic setting, a trained therapist can guide this play, helping the child explore and express their feelings in a safe environment.

By playing out different scenarios, kids can confront their fears, anxieties, and conflicts. The therapist can introduce therapeutic toys or activities that help the child express feelings they might not even have words for. Over time, as they play and interact, children can develop better emotional understanding and resilience. They learn to recognize and manage their feelings, which ultimately helps them handle stress and regulate their emotions better.

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