Explore the Value of Play with Expert Dr. Larry Cohen
Play is often called the language of children. It is through play that children naturally relate to and learn about the world. Dr. Joseph C. Pearce, author of Magic Child and Evolution’s End, described play as “nature’s biological plan for learning.”
Why is playfulness such a powerful quality? I believe, per the work of Fred Donaldson, founder of Original Play, that because free play is non- competitive and without winning/losing, right/wrong, it is an innate way of connecting, growing, processing, and generating love and joy.
In addition to lighting up the whole child for optimal development and learning, play is essential for addressing and healing the mental and emotional issues of children.
Who is Dr. Larry Cohen?
This week, Leah interviews Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist specializing in children’s play and play therapy. In addition to his private practice, Larry Cohen is a speaker, consultant, teacher, and author. He is well known for his books, PLAYFUL PARENTING and THE OPPOSITE OF WORRY. Together with Anthony DeBenedet, he co-authored The Art of Roughhousing. He is also a co-author of Best Friends, Worst Enemies, and Mom, They’re Teasing Me.
His books are about using play to nurture close connections, solve behavior problems, and grow children’s confidence.
Dr. Cohen attended Haverford College and received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Duke University. After an internship at Tulane University, he began a research and private practice career in Madison, Wisconsin. His treatment innovations have included the first groups in the country for husbands and boyfriends of sexual abuse survivors. Dr. Cohen also started one of the first therapy groups for male survivors of sexual abuse. All of his work — with children, parents, couples, abuse survivors, and families — make him a true expert in the universal language of playfulness for cultivating loving human connections.