The Play Continuum

Play is now widely recognised as being beneficial in the emotional development of children. It has a therapeutic value.  With the growth of play therapy, play work and the use of therapeutic play skills there is widespread confusion about the roles of each and the skills required to be a proficient practitioner.

PTIrl uses definitions of each of the main terms originally developed by PTUK. They are related graphically to each other in the Therapeutic Play Continuum diagram.

The Applications of Play and Therapy

The main therapeutic applications of play and psychology based therapies are:

  • Play
  • Play Work
  • Therapeutic Play
  • Filial Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Child Psychotherapy and Clinical Psychology (CPCP)

Therapeutic Play Continuum

Since there are overlaps between each application they may best be considered on a therapeutic continuum to deal with differing levels of severity of emotional, behavioural and mental health problems in children.

The Therapeutic Play Continuum has been used as the basis of the play therapy Profession Structure Model (PSM).