Childhood is a period of profound growth, learning, and experience. Unmatched by any other time in life, childhood experiences can and do have lasting impacts all the way to adulthood. But this can come with natural difficulties-- sometimes in the loss of a grandparent, a big change between schools, or even the complexities of navigating friendships old and new.
No matter the cause, these challenges are ripe with opportunity for growth. A game of Uno teaches how to agree upon rules and compete in a fair environment. A puzzle can teach problem-solving skills by finding ways to put the pieces together and arrive at the correct solution. One of my personal favorites, Jenga, combines hand dexterity and patience with a healthy dose of suspense-building until... BAM! The tower falls and we start all over again. I also find Jenga particularly useful for practicing frustration tolerance in social settings.
Remember, your child is always learning and growing throughout their play. In therapy specifically, I employ these games to create a safe space for diffcult discussions, as a facilitator of conversations of all types, and to support your child's learning and growth throughout their sessions. Plain and simple, therapy with games is much more successful, fulfilling, and fun for both children and their parents alike.
During a typical session, I will check-in briefly at the beginning with parents and children together, then facilitate the bulk of the session with a combination of play and conversation one-on-one with your child, and finally close the session with a wrap-up portion (roughly five minutes) before scheduling for the next week.