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Celebrating National Play Therapy Week

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Play Therapy WeekNewBridge Services is marking National Play Therapy Week, Feb. 6-12, celebrating the success of the child-centered approach in helping youngsters process difficult experiences.

“Play is the language of children,” said Nicole Bolognini, NewBridge Services’ executive director of counseling services.

Children don’t have the language to express experiences of trauma, loss and challenges, Bolognini explained. Those experiences are also not stored in the portion of the brain accessed when using language.

Therapists working with children “use play to build rapport with the child, explore their inner world, and to help them find healthy beliefs about their difficult experiences,” she said.

While children quickly tune out adults (à la Charlie Brown cartoons), “playing with a child can hold their attention for hours,” Bolognini said. “Play therapy invites the child to find peace in the language they know best.”

Denise Geffke, NewBridge’s director of Child and Family Services, added, “play is how children communicate, so being able to utilize play therapy can allow children to express difficult thoughts, feelings, emotions, or experiences in a nonthreatening way.”

If your child is struggling and could benefit from play therapy, contact NewBridge Services at 973-316-9333 or services@newbridge.org. Play therapists are among NewBridge’s licensed and certified professionals.

NewBridge Child and Family Services

Specialized therapists trained in child development help abused and neglected children and adolescents overcome trauma and manage their feelings and actions. Adults receive counseling and parental training. Treatment addresses addiction, mental illness, and other problems. Referrals are made through the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.

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