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Definition of Therapeutic Play

Therapeutic play has as its main objective the emotional well being of the child. It accomplishes this through the use of play and/or the creative arts - the 'Play Therapy Tool-Kit'.

It differs from fully fledged play therapy only in degree. Someone using therapeutic play such as a Care Worker or a Teaching Assistant would normally only deal with conditions at the left hand side of the spectrum. - see Therapeutic Play Continuum. It may be used to treat or assist in alleviating a mild, one off emotional or psychological problem that is preventing the child from functioning normally.

Therapeutic play may also be used as a method of detecting more serious problems that may be dealt with by referring on to a play therapist, child psychotherapist or other mental health specialist. A therapeutic relationship is established and because there is some degree of clinical responsibility clinical supervision is essential.

Anyone using therapeutic play skills should be bound by a code of ethics, either PTI's or an equivalent professional organisation which would normally be laid down by the employing agency.

Therapeutic play has a valuable function in preventing slight or mild problems becoming worse. A recognised qualification is the PTI accredited Certificate in Therapeutic Play course.

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

  • Return to the Therapeutic Play Continuum

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