Gestalt Play therapy

Child therapy, play therapy, kid, therapist, adolsecent


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

Our model of Gestalt Play Therapy is based on the work of Violet Oaklander, author of Windows to Our Children and Hidden Treasures. Margie Mapes is the lead child therapist at Gestalt Associates and has helped evolve the Gestalt Play Therapy model.
She continues to collaborate with Violet to shape the Gestalt child play therapy program. Violet has been a frequent guest speaker at our Institute over the past thirty years.  

Our therapists meet with their clients in playrooms designed to create safe, confidential environments for the child to do their therapeutic work. Together, the child and therapist interact through a variety of mediums including: 

  • Art (markers, pastels, crayons, colored pencils, finger paints, etc.)
  • Sand trays (wet and dry using natural materials and miniatures)
  • Dolls and doll houses
  • Clay
  • Puppets
  • Board games
  • Movement and musical instruments

These and other items create opportunities for children to work through and talk about their issues directly or indirectly, often without even realizing it.  By allowing children to engage in play behavior, we help them express themselves and begin to overcome the challenges in their young lives. Through play our therapists can understand the patterns the child is seeing while parents receive help in understanding what they need to do differently to assist their children during their own separate parenting feedback meeting with their child's therapist and another adult therapist.  Through play and other mediums, we help children grow and move beyond whatever is blocking their success, and we help parents learn new ways of being to potentiate this change.

Recommended Workshop: Parenting from Your Heart
Recommended Working Paper: Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem

For information on how to get started, click here.