Michael is a shy, introverted, and thoughtful 8 year old child. He is loving and affectionate. Michael prefers routine and the company of those (both children and adults) that he knows well. Michael enjoys solitary play, art and make- believe. While he feels very deeply Michael does not often articulate his. Unless you know Michael well it can be difficult to tell when he is angry or upset.
Adrianna, also 8 years of age, is the “life of the party.” She is energetic and spirited. Adrianna has difficult with solitary activities preferring the companionship of others. Adrianna is the first to approach other children at the playground. She is very emotional and reactive and is eager to share her thoughts and feelings with both children and adults.
No two children are alike. The combinations of personality and temperament are what make us unique and interesting. Many psychologist and theorists have identified basic personality traits that can be applied to children and adults alike.
According to Carl G. Jung’s theory of psycholocal types (Jung, 1971), people can be characterized by their preference of general attitude:
Extraverted vs Introverted
Their preference of one of two functions of perception:
Sending vs. Intuition
And their preference of one of two functions of Juding
Thinking vs. Feeling
Hippocrates identified what is referred to as the four-factory theory of temperament nearly 2500 years ago.
- Choleric: adventurous, determined, outspoken, competitive, strong-willed
- Sanguine: playful, sociable, talkative, lively, imaginative
- Melancholy: detailed, orderly, persistent, respectful, deep
- Phlegmatic: thoughtful, controlled, adaptable, attentive, diplomatic
Regardless of where you believe your child to be on the personality and temperament spectrum every child has innate talents and gifts. Each child also has a limited threshold for stress. In an age when children at a very young age are dealing with divorce, substance abuse, domestic violence, bullying, body image, over scheduling and intense academic and social demands many simply exhaust their own problem solving tools. This results in emotional and behavioral problems that are exhibited at home, with parents, with peers and at school.
Play therapy is an effective means of connecting with a child clinically allowing the child to express his/herself through avenues that are naturally occurring to a child’s development. Play therapy utilizes a child’s curiosity and aptitude for imaginative play, drawing, reading, and even the use of therapeutic apps designed specifically for developing minds. Through directive intervention and observation a trained Play Therapist can assist a child identify and interpret the emotions represented in activities. Children can then be introduced to healthier means of understanding and managing challenging feelings and life circumstances. Parents can be given the support needed to help their children navigate problems that the entire family once found overwhelming.
The Therapists at Thriveworks Henrico, VA are experienced in play therapy techniques such as:
- Toy and Object Play
- Role Play
- Fantasy and Imagery
- Expressive Therapy (art and music)
- Game Play
Among other issues Play Therapy has been shown to effectively treat:
- Grief and Loss
- Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity
- Developmental Issues
- Behavioral Dyscontrol
- Emotional and Social Immaturity
Give us a call today to schedule an individualized assessment for your child and family.