Counseling Services > Children

Child-centered play therapy is a style of therapy carefully orchestrated to facilitate a child's emotional development and happiness, particularly for children ages 2 through 11. Children in this age group are often more able to express emotion in an experiential setting. Child-centered play therapy uses play to create an opportunity for this expression, helping the child to solve problems, to understand and accept his or her self, and to experience validation. The play therapy approach can be especially important for advanced and highly verbal children, who benefit tremendously from a space for experiential expression and learning. The therapy is not directed or guided by the therapist, but rather empowers the child to express themselves. This approach is particularly helpful in cases involving anxiety, defiant behavior, adoption, divorce, trauma, loss, and problems in family relationships.

Child-centered play therapy does not involve playing any type of game that is sold commercially, and it does not mean using play to distract or occupy the child while trying to get the child to talk. All play is centered on and developed by the child as a means of expression, healing, and emotional growth.

Adolescents can be opposed to the idea of therapy, but when given the chance to see what therapy is like, they are often grateful that their parents gave them the opportunity. Counseling with adolescents involves processing emotions, discussing short and long term goals, and working with the family to make sure everyone's needs are being addressed in a healthy way.

If you are worried about your adolescent, contact either Lindy Burton at 801-581-0422 Ext. 2, or Stephanie Bank at 801-581-0422 Ext. 4. We can help with suggestions on how to present therapy to your teenager.

For information on child-centered play therapy at Aspen Grove Counseling, call Lindy Burton, LCSW, at 801-581-0422 Ext. 2, or email her at You can view Mrs. Burton's personal page here.