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Therapeutic play and play therapy - what's the difference?

Its one of degree. Therapeutic play may be used, for example, by a play worker, teacher, nurse or parent to alleviate a single slight or mild condition. An understanding of basic child psychology principles and a foundation training in the play therapy 'tool-kit' is required . A therapeutic relationship may or may not be formed. If it is, Clinical Supervision is required.

A Play or Creative Arts Therapist will have had substantially more play therapy training, experience of the play therapy 'tool-kit', understanding of psychological theory, works to a Code of Ethics and receives clinical supervision in order to form a safe therapeutic relationship. In addition a play therapist will have experience of a variety of techniques to work with a wider range of conditions and combinations of them.

See also the Therapeutic Play Continuum and Frequently Asked Questions.

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