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Non-Direct Play Therapy.  Non direct play therapy, also known as "wet" play therapy, involves any activity that is free-flowing and does not have an anticipated outcome.  Examples include art, sand tray, molding clay, blocks, puppets/dolls and other imaginative games.  Non-direct play therapy works by activating the limbic system in the brain, where memories are stored and emotions are regulated. Through activation of the limbic system, the child incorporates feelings and themes into their play, allowing the therapist to uncover emotions and experiences that the child or adolescent is unwilling to talk about directly.


Psycho-educational Play Therapy. Psycho-educational play may involve both direct and non-direct play therapy.  It differs in that the goal is not to uncover or alter thoughts and feelings, but rather to gain specific knowledge such as how the brain works, definitions of emotions, or how to interpret non-verbal body language.

Direct Play Therapy.  Directed play therapy, sometimes called “dry” is any activity that has a pre-determined outcome, such as board games, guessing games, sorting, cards, worksheets, cartooning strips or similar.  Direct Play Therapy is an effective strategy to help minors express themselves in a non-threatening environment, can be used to observe, model and shape social-emotional skills, and allows therapist to assess and teach problem-solving, organization, memory and other executive function skills.

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