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Play in a Therapeutic Spectrum

Play Therapy is a type of therapy where play and art materials are used as the main way for self-expression.
Using play in therapy helps people to express themselves in their own way; especially if they are struggling to understand how they are feeling, or are finding it hard to put their experiences into words

There are a range of interventions that can be chosen from, according to the type and severity of the difficulties.
PTUK Members are trained at two levels

Therapeutic play and Play Therapy

Practitioners in Therapeutic Play are trained to alleviate slight to moderate problems, which cover many situations. They may also be professionals such as teachers, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists or counsellors trained to PTUK standards.

Play Therapists have completed further substantial training and have more clinical hours of experience, enabling them to work with a wider range of conditions and severe problems. They are also trained to work with groups of children.

1 in 6 children aged 5-16 are likely to have a mental health problem. 50% of these problems start by the age of 14.
(Children’s Society 2021). Play Therapy can provide the early support needed.

Finding a Therapist

Using an independent PTUK registered Play Therapist or Filial Play Coach in private practice:

– Inspect their professional credentials on the PTUK register, then check their membership card. Contact PTUK if you have any questions.
– Ask the therapist to carry out an assessment, then agree the objectives of the therapy, number of sessions and fees.
– Find a Therapist near you and Read More about our Accredited Register for Play and Creative Arts Therapists: playtherapyregister

Using a funded PTUK registered Play Therapist, Practitioner in Therapeutic Play Skills:

Explore publicly funded services in your area; for example at a primary school, medical or children’s centre, or social services. If play therapy services are not available, request that they should be, under the organisations responsibilities for children’s mental health, and that they can contact PTUK. Another avenue is to join with other parents/carers to talk to the Head Teacher of your primary school to explore ways of raising funds for a service. If there is sufficient interest, we can help with presentations and guidance in setting up a service. Consult the local GP if the child’s needs are urgent.

74% to 83% are helped by Play Therapy when delivered to PTUK standards*

*The more severe the problems, the more the children were helped. (2011 PTUK research study).

The Healing Power of Play

Most of us understand that play is good for us – that it has a therapeutic value. It helps children of all ages, gender and cultures to learn, communicate and develop their personalities.
Similarly, creative arts help in the same way.
They are also used to unlock the potential in children and make sense of their life experiences. The child can express their feelings without having to use words.

Play & Play Work – All children should be encouraged to play frequently purely for their enjoyment with no other objective. Play work may also be used in nurseries, play schemes or primary schools to help children to learn and develop – although there is no therapeutic objective.

Therapeutic Play improves the emotional well being of the child. It may be used to alleviate a mild to moderate, one off emotional or psychological problem that is preventing the child from functioning normally.

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