Tag Archives: play therapy

“A Teddy Bear’s Work”

7 Nov

A great way to ease the fears of children who are often anxious about doctor visits is the use of “Medical Play.” Child Life Therapist’s such as myself, believe that through play, children learn and experience the world around them. With this in mind, we often use medical play to teach children about the medical environment in a fun, non-threatening way. Through this sort of unique imaginative play, Child Life Therapists help children address: fears / misconceptions about the hospital setting, questions about medical equipment, the different roles of medical staff, or upcoming tests. Children are able to gain control as they assume the role of doctor and practice on a “patient” (often a stuffed animal) some of the very same routine procedures their own doctor may perform on them. As these sessions involve medical concepts and may raise difficult emotional responses from children and they work through their concerns. All play therapy / medical play session should be conducted by a trained (licenced or certified) professional.

Overall, when children are able to rehearse various aspects of the medical environment , they are more likely to feel in control and are able cope better than children with little to no preparation education. Doctor visits do NOT have to be stressful moments filled with screams. With a little prep-work and lots of emotional support from caregivers, even the littlest patient can head home with less tears.

For additional information regarding medical play or to discuss if medical play therapy might be a helpful option for your child, please feel free to reach me via the “Contact” tab above.

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