Welcome to The Cottage Play Therapy Center, offering an integrative and creative approach to healing to children, adolescents, adults and families through Expressive Play Therapies.

What is Expressive Play Therapy?

The Cottage Play Therapy Center strives to provide individualized treatment opportunities for every client. Expressive therapy is the practice of using imagery, storytelling, dance, music, drama, poetry, movement, dreamwork, and visual arts together, in an integrated way, to foster human growth, development, and healing. It is about reclaiming our innate capacity as human beings for creative expression of our individual and collective human experience in artistic form. Expressive arts therapy is also about experiencing the natural capacity of creative expression and creative community for healing. (Appalachian Expressive Arts Collective, 2003, Expressive Arts Therapy: Creative Process in Art and Life. Boone, NC: Parkway Publishers. p. 3)

What Do Sessions Look Like?

Expressive Play therapy is a structured, theoretically based approach to therapy that builds on normal communicative and learning processes of children (Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002; O’Connor & Schaefer, 1983) adolescents and adults through the entire lifecycle. Therapists strategically utilize therapy to help express what is troubling the client when verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings fails (Gil, 1991). Forms of creative expression with traditional ‘talk’ therapy provide creative symbols and safe outlets for emotional expression.  This symbolism allows for greater communication, a safe way to express feelings and responses to trauma, and an effective, skill building way to heal.The Association For Play Therapy defines play therapy as “the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.”

What Issues does Expressive Play Therapy Address:

Expressive Art and Play Therapy is very effective for

  • Attachment
  • Adoption Transition
  • Autism Spectrum
  • Attentional Issues
  • Abuse(Physical, Emotional, Sexual)
  • Anxiety
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Depression
  • Divorce
  • Foster care Transition
  • Grief & Loss, Death
  • Learning Differences
  • Parental Reunification
  • Post Traumatic Stress


A positive relationship develops between the therapist and the client through the use of Expressive Play Therapy. The Cottage Play Center also incorporates Canine Assisted therapy into sessions.  This provides yet another opportunity for a positive and  “corrective emotional experience necessary for healing” (Moustakeas, 1997). Play therapy can promote cognitive development, provide insight, and help resolve inner conflicts or dysfunctional thinking (O’Connor & Shaefer, 1983; Reddy, Files-Hall & Schaefer, 2005)