Play Therapy and Child Counseling

IN CUMMING, GA

Have you noticed behaviors in your child that concern you?
Is your child more irritable, angry or aggressive lately?
Is your child withdrawn or saying things about themselves that worry you?
Has your child gone through something traumatic like abuse or divorce?

Play Therapy and Child Counseling can help!

Closeup of a little girl drawing a picture. Play therapy and child counseling can help children express themselves and overcome anxiety and grief.

You love your child deeply and hate to see them struggling. You’ve tried to teach them some coping skills like deep breathing or you’ve encouraged them to talk about their feelings, but it just hasn’t helped.

Or maybe you’re having relationship difficulties or are going through a divorce and want to support your child through it. Maybe you’re worried they’ve been through something traumatic but you’re not sure how to help.

Reasons children come to play therapy

Kids come to play therapy for a number of reasons. Here are some of the most common:

  • Academic difficulties
  • Anxious behavior
  • Divorce or separation in the family

  • Grief or any type of loss

  • Aggression

  • Defiant behavior/ limit breaking

  • Difficulty with social interaction

  • Social withdrawal

  • Low frustration tolerance/easily discouraged

  • Hospitalization/chronic illness for the child or family member

  • Relocation of the child or family

  • Attention issues

In addition to some of the more common issues listed above, play therapy can also help with the following issues and behaviors:

  • Lying, blaming others

  • Perfectionism/rigid behaviors

  • Adoption

  • Bed wetting/pant wetting

  • Sleeping problems/nightmares

  • Sexualized behavior

  • Bullying/threatening behaviors

  • Sensory processing issues

  • Impulsivity

  • Avoidant behaviors

  • Acting younger than chronological age

  • Changes in eating patterns

  • Change in mood (in either extreme)

  • Increase in physical complaints (headaches, stomachaches)

Play Therapy can help your anxious, withdrawn or acting-out child

Counseling for children helps them express what they’re going through and resolve problems. As a parent of two children myself, I know how difficult it can be to see your child struggling and how powerless you can feel if you are unsure how to help. I’ve seen play therapy relieve anxiety in children. By using toys, art, and sand, I’ve helped children work through struggles they hadn’t been able to express with just words.

Closeup of play therapy using a sand tray at Sweitzer Counseling in Cumming, GA.

How Child Therapy at Sweitzer Counseling works

You may be wondering if you should take your child to therapy and if so, would it be effective? The answer is often yes. The most effective type of therapy for young children is play therapy. Play therapy is to children what talk therapy is to adults. It’s a treatment approach developed to help children between the ages of 3 and 11. Play therapy utilizes play, children’s natural medium of expression, to help them express their feelings and perceptions more easily through toys, sand and art instead of words.

How does play therapy help children?

Play therapy creates a safe place where children can express themselves, try new things, learn about how the world works, and work through their problems. Children are resilient and have amazing capacities to feel deep emotions and work through them constructively when we give them safe space to do so.

Confident child smiling with her family blurred in the background. Child therapy at Sweitzer Counseling in Cumming GA helps kids thrive.

How does play help a child dealing with divorce?

Let’s say Sam is feeling fear and a loss of control regarding his parents’ divorce. In the playroom, he may express his angry feelings by hitting and tackling an inflatable punching bag.

Just as an adult would feel relief and empowerment by having this communication received by a therapist, so too does the child feel release and increased feelings of control when this appropriate angry reaction is seen, received and accepted by the play therapist.

Sam may want to break some of the toys in the playroom in his anger. The play therapist accepts his feelings and desires, but sets limits on the behavior of breaking a toy. Through this experience, Billy can learn new coping skills of expressing his anger and frustration in healthy ways.

Expression through play leads to behavior changes

As children express themselves and experience acceptance in the playroom, their behavior begins to change out in the world.

They are more able to self regulate in school and so act out less. They have a higher level of self-esteem and belief in themselves to cope with stressors, so they generally do better academically in school. They’re more sensitive to their feelings AND the feelings of others, so they tend to manage better in social situations, including with siblings and parents.

Common reasons parents delay therapy

The problem will resolve itself on its own

Symptoms may go away, but at what cost to the child and family? Like most things in life, addressing a problem early on reduces more costly problems down the road.

My child plays at home so why would play therapy help?

 Play therapists are specifically trained to provide an environment of acceptance, empathy and understanding in the play therapy room. Play therapy is not the same thing as playing. Play therapy uses the child’s natural tendency to “play out” their reactions to life situations, in the presence of a trained play therapist, to help the child feel accepted and understood and gain a sense of control or understanding of difficult situations.

Brent Sweitzer

Why I am a Cumming play therapist

I am passionate about my work as a play therapist because I find deep satisfaction in seeing children overcome challenges to become joyful and engaged young people with bright futures.

I also enjoy watching families transform when a child settles into a happy, healthy role in the family. As the father of two children, I understand how much a family can struggle when a child is having a difficult time. Child therapy can help restore balance not only to the child, but also to the whole family.

As a Registered Play Therapist (RPT), I have received specialized training in child development and the therapeutic powers of play to help children achieve optimal growth and development.

Brent Sweitzer, LPC RPT

Begin Play Therapy for your child in Cumming, Milton, Alpharetta and Johns Creek, GA

You and your child don’t have to continue suffering with depression, anxiety and behavioral problems. Play therapy for children can help your child feel better and give you guidance on how best to support them. My Cumming counseling office is conveniently located off of 400 and I specialize in helping kids and parents.

To start your child counseling journey, follow these simple steps:

1

Reach Out

Call me at 678-701-7545 or fill out this form so we can schedule a free 20 minute consultation. This helps you make sure there's a fit between what you're wanting to get out of counseling and my skills & approach.

2

Begin Counseling

Once you decide to begin counseling, you'll fill out the initial paperwork securely using the client portal. We will meet and begin the therapeutic counseling journey together.

3

Experience Relief

Through your child's counseling sessions, we will start working on their healing -- experiencing shifts, progress, and relief (for your child and your family) as they go.

MORE SERVICES

Other Counseling Services at Sweitzer Counseling

Play therapy isn’t the only service I provide at my Cumming Counseling office. I also help couples connect through marriage counseling, and offer teen therapy, premarital counseling and individual counseling for issues such as stress and anxiety, grief and loss, and men’s issues.