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Billings therapist highlights benefits of play

Billings therapist highlights benefits of play
Posted at 5:30 PM, Feb 09, 2023

BILLINGS — Therapy doesn't always have to be just talking. With Connie Dilts, therapy happens in a playroom.

It's not a new form of therapy, and Dilts has been practicing it for 34 years. This week is International Play Therapy Week, and she's hoping to bring more attention to the benefits of play.

“I do play therapy with every child, adolescent and adult that I see," Dilts said. "The reason that I use play is the fact that, that’s children’s language.”

Dilts uses her playroom to create a trustworthy relationship with clients.

“The children I work with have been in an abusive situation. So, are either in a foster home, or are living with their grandparents or have been adopted,” she said.

Through the therapy, she has seen success. The children she works with suffer from "anxieties and fears." Through her work, she said the children are able to no longer feel those fears and anxieties.

"My environment can create an element of safety. And so that element of safety they're able to do work that they normally wouldn't do," she said.

In her playroom, Dilts has a dollhouse, kitchen set, musical instruments, puppets and a sand tray. She said the sand tray is a popular tool with both children and adults.