What is Experiential Play Therapy?

Experiential play therapy is a child-directed play therapy method developed and tested by Drs. Byron and Carol Norton.

Like other child-directed play therapies, Experiential Play Therapy recognizes that children are people, but they are not miniature adults. Children are unique. Each child is worthy of respect.

Experiential Play Therapy allows the children to lead and be supported by a counselor as they communicate and process their emotional experiences. Children are capable of positive self-direction and strive for growth and maturity. They will use their therapy where it is most needed and will process their experiences in their own time and in their own unique way.

During Experiential Play Therapy, children will work through the stages of exploration, testing for protection, dependence, therapeutic growth, and termination as they achieve mastery of their experience.

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Norton, C.C & Norton B. E.(1997). Reaching Children Through Play Therapy An Experiential Approach. Denver, Colorado:The Publishing Cooperative.