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Play: The Language Of Children

Play: The language of children

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play, than in a year of conversation” -Plato


Many parents ask me, “Why Play Therapy?”. The simple answer; because it works! Play is the natural language of children so it would be the obvious choice when conducting counseling with a child. Many children lack the language abilities needed to express emotions and feelings. Play therapy provides a safe environment for kids to express themselves free of judgement. Using this type of therapy with kids can help provide a safe psychological distance from their problems. Through play, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, develop problem solving skills, and learn a variety of ways to relate to others.

Who benefits from Play Therapy?

The Association for Play Therapy recommends, “Children between the ages of 3 to 12 years old should participate in play therapy as an intervention to alleviate symptoms related to behavioral and emotional problems, as well as contribute to overall wellness and healthy development.”  Although everyone, (yes even you boring adults) could benefit from more play; research suggests that play therapy is most appropriate for children ages 3 to 12. However, several studies show play therapy as an effective treatment for teenagers and even adults!

How will Play Therapy benefit my child?

Play therapy allows trained mental health counselors who specialize in this type of therapy,  to assess and understand children’s play. It is used to help children cope with difficult emotions and find solutions to their problems. The play therapy setting allows children to confront these difficult emotions which in turn helps them find healthier solutions. Research shows that it can be effective with children experiencing a wide range of social and emotional issues.

Play therapy helps children:

Become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies.
Develop new and creative solutions to problems.
Develop respect and acceptance of self and others.
Learn to experience and express emotion.
Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others.
Learn new social skills and relational skills with family.
Develop self-efficacy and thus a better assuredness about their abilities

Who practices Play Therapy?

A play therapist is a licensed mental health professional who has earned a Master’s or Doctorate degree in a mental health field with considerable general clinical experience and supervision. A registered play therapist must obtain a state license to practice mental health, have roughly 2 years and 2,000 clinical hours, 150  play therapy education hours, 500 clinical play therapy hours, and 50 hours of play therapy supervision. Whew! That’s a lot! It’s important to find a professional who has the education and experience of play therapy when looking for someone to work with your child. The Association for Play Therapy has an easy to access therapist directory that can help you find a provider that meets your needs. Click here to access their directory. 

If you are interested in learning more about the services offered to children at Building Blocks Family Counseling- click here

For more information on play therapy, check out the video below.



Ashley Moore

Ashley Moore

I am a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in relationship issues in the Pooler, GA area. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Valdosta State University in 2008. During this time, I discovered my passion was working with couples and families in a therapeutic setting. This led me to complete my Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Valdosta State University in 2010. I specialize in working with couples dealing with premarital issues, infidelity, communication issues, conflict, intimacy issues, parenting, etc. I also work with parents and their children (ages 2-6) experiencing behavior issues. I am currently a level one Gottman trained couples therapist as well as Certified Prepare/Enrich Facilitator. I am also currently working on my PCIT Certified Therapist credential. For more information on Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) see here (link to PCIT service page). I also provide supervision to associate level therapists and am an AAMFT Approved Supervisor.

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    • Dear Parent/Guardian:

      Your student has been referred to the School Counseling Telehealth Program with Building Blocks Family Counseling. This is a collaboration between the Effingham School System and Building Blocks Family Counseling- a mental health private practice with locations in Savannah, Pooler, and Rincon.

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      A referral will be sent from your student’s school counselor to Building Blocks. You will receive a call from our office to set up an appointment, get insurance information, complete paperwork, etc. An online intake appointment will be scheduled for your student during the school day (based on times provided by the school counselor). An online intake appointment will also be scheduled between your student’s therapist and yourself to gather information regarding your student. The Therapist will schedule routine parent/guardian check-ins with you and family sessions as needed. Sessions with students will generally be weekly (during school hours) and last for 30-45 minutes. Parent/Guardian sessions can be held during or after school hours and last for 45-50 minutes.

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      In order to provide these services we need the following paperwork completed for each student. A new client intake packet, child/adolescent questionnaire, and a release of information for the school counselor. We will be coordinating sessions with your student through the school counselors at their school so it is important we have the release of information completed.


      Appointment reminders via email, text, and phone will be sent the day before any scheduled appointments. Please make sure we have the best contact information on file so you will receive all of the reminders.

      If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to address these with your therapist. If you feel like your student no longer needs services, please also communicate this with your therapist. For more information on Building Blocks Family Counseling, please go to our website at

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