About Play Therapy UK (PTUK)

Many children need support in emotional literacy.  Others have behaviour or mental health problems at some stage that prevents them from fulfilling their full potential.      

There are a number of studies indicating that 20% of children have some form of emotional, behaviour or mental health problem: Venables (1983); Rutter, Cox et al (1975); Jeffers & Fitzgerald (1991); Porteous (1991), Department of Education statistics etc.   The 1999 and 2004 British government surveys estimated that 10% of children have a mental health problem.  It is also essential to realise that mental health, like physical health, is as much about prevention as cure.  

PTUK's clinical evidence base, containing over 12,000 cases, shows that between 77% and 84% of children show a positive change through the use of play and creative arts therapies when delivered to PTUK standards.   The more severe the problem, the higher the percentage of children that show a positive change.

PTUK was established in October 2000.  Our main activities are:

  • Managing the Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists which is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
  • Quality assuring our registrants through a stringent revalidation process and managing standards of clinical supervision.
  • Accrediting training courses for the initial training required to meet the standards of the register and for continuous professional training (CPD).
  • Extending our clinical evidence base to improve the quality of our registrants' practice and to demonstrate the effectiveness of play therapy delivered to PTUK standards.
  • Providing a range of services to support the career development of our registrants

Our registrants use an Integrative Holistic model of Play Therapy.  It was introduced in 2002 to replace earlier models.  It is  validated by the PTUK clinical evidence base.  It integrates the therapeutic use of a wide range of creative arts media - the Play Therapy Tool-Kit; working  with unconscious as well as conscious processes; using non-directive and directive approaches and integrating research with practice.

We have grown to be the largest and most progressive Play Therapy professional organisation in the UK  through our high standards and programme of continual innovation.

Conditions helped by Play Therapy that therapeutic play and play therapy can help - a short check list - Do you know a child who.......?    

Indications for Referral This short article is a very useful guide for parents, carers and other lay persons who may be worried about a child's emotional condition and the desirability of referral for play therapy.    

The Play Continuum shows how different applications of play can deal with a spectrum of children's emotional, behaviour and mental health problems.  

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