Counseling NW

Matthew R. Evich, MA, LMHC

Child Services

Working with children I find that Play Therapy can often bring to the surface what they often cannot express in words. 

Play Therapy can help your child:

  • Become more compliant
  • Take responsibility
  • Learn new social skills
  • Improve academic performance
  • Develop respect
  • Learn to experience and express a wider range of emotions
  • Develop more empathy
  • Learn to tolerate emotional conflict
  • Less reactive to sources of stress
  • Complete tasks at school and at home

What is Play Therapy:

Play Therapy refers to a cluster of treatment theories and methods.  These methods are research-based, and may include the use of art, literature, puppets, dollhouses, sand tray, games, and drama.  In Filial Play Therapy, parent(s) are involved in the sessions.

Why Play Therapy?

In spite of younger children's verbal ability, they are often developmentally unable to engage in abstract thinking, nor fully able to access their feelings until about age 11.  Fortunately, a child's play bridges the gap between concrete experiences and abstract thought.  Play Therapy provides a means through which a child's conflicts can be resolved, and his or her feelings communicated.  This is the very reason why Play Therapy is effective with younger children. 

Download Play Therapy information.

What types of problems can be addressed?

Research supports the effectiveness of Play Therapy with children experiencing a variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning problems.  These include:

  • post-traumatic stress

  • aggression

  • anxiety/fearfulness

  • depression

  • impulsivity

  • low self-esteem

  • academic difficulties

  • physical/sexual abuse

  • domestic violence, and

  • life transitions (divorce, death, relocation, hospitalization, chronic illness, and natural disasters)

I maintain a fully equipped playroom for children, including a sand tray, two puppet trees filled with Folkmanis puppets, a puppet theater, a dollhouse, and a kitchenette, in addition to numerous therapeutic games.  I also have a library of child therapy books.


Child Counseling NW

"To read the language of play is to read the hearts and minds of children."
(Ruth Harley)

"Through the manipulation of toys, the child can show more adequately than through words how he feels about himself and the significant persons and events in his life."

"There is little that gives children greater pleasure than when a grown-up lets himself down to their level, renounces his oppressive superiority and plays with them as an equal."

"Symbolic play provides safe opportunities for reenactment, rehearsal, the practice needed to strengthen the child and prepare him for dealing directly with traumatizing events."
(Beverly James)

"Play gives children the opportunity to search for and experiment with alternative solutions to their problems." and "Imaginative play can make for a happy childhood."

(Jerome Singer)

"Play therapy is a time when the therapist in all genuineness tries to see and understand the world exactly as the child views it." 
(Carl Rogers) 

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."