Creative therapy: Getting down to kid’s level

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OKLAHOMA CITY - This looks like a play room, but it's also Nancy Soliz's therapy lab.

"It's a way mental health professionals can talk to kids through their play," said Soliz, registered play therapist.

Play may be the best way to speak a child's language.

"It's easier to get down on their level rather than them come up to our level and sit and talk like you and I would talk."

Soliz said she's getting great results.

"As they're playing through the different toys, I'm kind of looking for different themes like what they might be trying to say through their play," Soliz
said.

There's only a handful of play therapists in the state, and Soliz said it's 90 percent of her practice.

Parents can glean the same information she does if they know what to look for.

"If they're building fences around something, that might be something they want to protect and keep safe, or it may be a secret they don't want anyone to
know about."

The state will cut $9.8 million in funding for mental health this summer.

But, Soliz believes the younger a person can get help, the less it will cost the state in the long run.

"If you're able to meet kid's needs at 5, 10 or 15, that's going to be better than trying to meet the needs in an adult,” Soliz said. "The brain is just more able to change. It's more malleable at a younger age."

National play therapy week starts Sunday, and it will hopefully create awareness about this kind of mental health therapy.

Click here for more information.

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