In psychological assessment and intervention with children, therapists need an approach not based on verbal language, because young children frequently have difficulty verbalizing their feelings. Clinic and research evidences suggest that play could be an appropriate therapeutic mode, because it provides an appropriate and safe environment for children to communicate and express their emotions and feelings, even with traumatized children. Play, through symbolic material, provides a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows expression of thoughts and feelings. The present article, drawing from literature, outlines the main structural characteristics of Play Therapy, focusing on traumatic play. Research supports the effectiveness of Play Therapy with children experiencing a variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning problems, including children whose problems are related to traumatic experiences, such as physical and sexual abuse.
Keywords: Traumatic play, Play Theraphy, trauma, child maltreatment.