Although techniques such as Cognitive-Behavioral therapy are employed effectively with children and adolescents, they are generally supplemented with some element of Play. The child, unlike the adult, is less inclined to sit and rationally discuss any problems or concerns they might be having. The child is more inclined to act out their issues in Play. To augment the building of cognitive frameworks and behavioral learning with children, play therapy techniques are employed by the therapist which allow the child to play in the session in a less structured way; a way led by the child's unconscious needs, concerns, or possible fears. This can give the therapist insights into the child's issues or concerns, not accessed by speech or structured learning. Play also helps build trust and a relationship with the child - focusing on unconditional regard.
Vashon Youth & Family Services utilizes a Best Practices approach to counseling. One of these practices is called Cognitive-Behavioral therapy. This is used widely in mental health work, because it has been proven to be effective, practical and, in many cases promotes a rapid recovery from irrational feelings and behaviors that cause emotional pain, in the form of depression, anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive behavior, or work on current or past traumas.