Play Therapy; OneWay to Treat Mental Health or Behavioral Health Symptoms?

by | Mar 7, 2013

Play therapy is defined as a form of therapy “used with children to help them express or act out their experiences, feelings, and problems by playing with dolls, toys, and other play material, under the guidance or observation of a therapist.”
Play therapy is popular amongst clinicians and parents who have observed how well it works, but not surprisingly, it is criticized by the pharmaceutical and psychiatric industry. So it has not been widely offered as an alternative to the drugging of our children for supposed mental disorders.
What is the origin of play therapy? Basically, just being a kid, exploring the world around you, pretending to be whatever you want and interacting with children and adults in a fun and playful way. It’s what many adults today experienced as childhood, before such behavior was given clinical names such as ADHD or ADD.
Philosopher Plato said “you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”
A study called “The Efficacy of Play Therapy with Children: A Meta-Analytic Review of Treatment Outcomes” was published in 2005 in “Professional Psychology: Research and Practice.”
The study involved 3, 248 children with mental health issues. All of them were involved in play therapy over a time period of more than 50 years.
It was concluded after analysis that “play therapy outcome studies support the efficacy of this intervention with children suffering from various emotional and behavioral difficulties.”
A further suggestion made in this 2005 analysis was that “These findings should be used to not only educate managed care companies but also to educate and work with parents, government, schools, and the medical and legal communities to provide children with the most beneficial treatments.”
Where does this leave the pharmaceutical industry, and the psychiatrists who are paid to promote their expensive and questionable products?
Obviously there is little incentive to spread the good word about the importance of play in a child’s life by Big Pharma. The lack of side effects resulting from play therapy compared to the dangerous effects of the drugs they have created is enough to make the pharmaceutical industry shudder in it’s collective boots.
There are billions invested by the pharmaceutical industry lecturing parents and grandparents, teachers and family doctors, and even children themselves that their distress and depression is all because of an unproven “chemical imbalance” in the brain.
And for busy parents who have no time to invest in play therapy, or even play with their children themselves, the temptation to dose their kids with SSRIs may be overwhelming.
But the dangers of giving them those drugs are even more overwhelming. Here are some of the side effects of SSRIs, which include Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro and Luvox:

  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Rash
  • Agitation
  • Suicidal thoughts or action
  • Agression
  • Tardive dyskiniesia

Tardive dyskiniesia may result in the permanent disability of uncontrolled “grimacing, tongue protrusion, lip smacking, puckering and pursing of the lips, and rapid eye blinking. Rapid, involuntary movements of the limbs, torso, and fingers may also occur.”
Parents must be given a genuine choice of how to handle their disturbed child. And if psychiatrists were truly interested in helping children, they would insist on play therapy instead of the drugs they prescribe.


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