GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The therapy rooms look like a child's wonderland, but every object was strategically chosen by specialized play therapists.
"We have toys as the kid's words and play as their language and really that's how they work out life issues," said Infanta White who is a therapist and co-owner of Gulf Coast Play Therapy.
Three local therapists who all specialize in working with children, helped launch Gulf Coast Play Therapy. As Jamie Parker explains, it's a way for children who have gone through trauma, abuse, bullying, and more to communicate and process their emotions.
"We all love to play, even if it's playing on our phone, even it's playing a game of cards, we all love to play. We all love it. It's stress relieving," said Parker who is a therapist and co-owner of Gulf Coast Play Therapy.
Both White and Parker studied play therapy, and they're also from the coast. So, building a center in Gulfport was a passion project for the two.
"Having been born and raised on the coast, it's great to see the city of Gulfport here. We had the mayor, the CAO, city council members, all types of people from the city to family and friends," said White.
Leah Levenson who is partnering with White and Parker doesn't use play therapy but does therapy with children and their parents.
"I do a ton of work with the adults as I'm working with the children. A child is not going to change their behavior on their own, they need help from the adults around them," said Levenson.
The center is now taking clients, and the hope is that the center opens doors of opportunity for those in need.