Everything About Us

Play Therapy UK (PTUK) – the UK Society for Play and Creative Arts Therapies Limited – is a not for profit organisation dedicated to promoting the use of play and creative arts as ways of enabling children to reach their full potential.

We are funded mainly by our membership subscriptions with fees for services provided and secondarily by philanthropic investments. We list below further pages that describe our philosophies, policies, activities etc:

The Governance of PTUK is secured for the future and capable of absorbing the changes in personnel that are inevitable with the passage of time.  The Board of Directors, after consultation with the Advisory Board, also known as the PTUK Senior Management Team, and independent Legal Advisors, has developed a succession plan to ensure the smooth transition of PTUK’s governance that will ensure the uninterrupted functioning of the company for the benefit of all practitioners.”

Our Values

The values of an organisation look back in terms of reflecting its origins, the present – its ethical framework and also look forward as determinants of policies.  They distinguish an organisation from others. Here are ours:

  • Respect – respecting human rights and dignity.
  • Integrity – ensuring the integrity of practitioner-client relationships.
  • Knowledge – enhancing the quality of professional knowledge and its application.
  • Enabling Children – to develop emotionally, socially and academically to their full potential.
  • Alleviating – personal distress and suffering.
  • Sense of Self – fostering a sense of self that is meaningful to the person/s concerned.
  • Increasing Personal Effectiveness – of clients and practitioners.
  • Enhancing the Quality of Relationships – between children and children and adults.
  • Diversity – appreciating the variety of human experience and culture.
  • Equitable & Adequate Provision – of therapeutic play, creative arts therapies and filial play for children and their parents.
  • Quality Management – consciously applying quality management and clinical governance principles to all therapeutic work.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit – encouraging individuality, innovation, development of a sustainable and efficient organisation; establishing reward systems and incentives appropriate to a caring profession; fostering a ‘can do’ rather than a ‘can’t do’ attitude.
Our Objectives
  • To act as a professional organisation for anyone working therapeutically with children in the UK.
  • To promote the benefits of therapeutic work with children.
  • To set standards and provide an ethical framework.
  • To make training and other resources available for therapeutic work with children by working with training providers, disseminating information and accrediting appropriate courses in creative therapies. PTUK is forming links with a number of colleges and other specialised training institutions which can offer a variety of Introductory, Certificate, Diploma, Supervisor and Trainer courses up to Post Graduate Level.
  • To promote and advance discussion, education and research in play therapy, creative arts therapies and child psychotherapy.
  • To establish and develop professional standards for all those working therapeutically with children.

Our detailed objectives are set out formally in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

In addition to this web site PTUK publishes its journal Play for Life to communicate with all those interested in working therapeutically with children.

Our Mission

Play Therapy UK exists to further the good practice of therapeutic work with children. As a result of our pioneering work, our Register of Play and Creative Arts was the first in its field to be accredited by the Professional Standards Authority in April 2013 and is the largest register of Play Therapists in the UK.

Further evolution needs to happen.  PTUK intends to lead the way in improving the quality and safety of practice of therapy with children in line with the principles of Right Touch Regulation, the foundation of Government’s health and social care policies.

We will continue to:

1. promote the use of play, creative arts therapies and filial coaching as ways of enabling children to reach their full potential by alleviating social, emotional, behaviour and mental health problems and improve child / parent relationships, where they are deficient;

2. maintain and further develop methods of clinical governance (quality assurance) to protect the children, ensure the credibility of our registrants and provide guidance and support for them to improve the quality of their practice;

3. increase the number of registrants required to meet the demand by accrediting training programmes throughout the UK that fulfil the requirements of the accreditation of our Register by the Authority;

4. provide support for commissioners of Play Therapy and employers to offer a safe and cost effective service to their clients;

5. carry out research covering the professional management of practice and communication as well as updating the evidence base.

Our Constitution

Play Therapy United Kingdom’s (PTUK) constitution reflects the principles of its founding members:

  • A wide range of therapeutic interventions using play or creative arts therapies can be used to benefit children and young people. A qualified practitioner will have taken the Integrative Holistic play therapy course which requires the use of a range of tools including: art, creative visualisations, clay, dance/movement, drama, masks, music, puppets and sand play. Practitioners, working in a variety of settings, including PTUK registrants, can use these interventions safely and effectively if supported by an appropriate professional infrastructure.
  • The infrastructure must include a modern ethical system that embodies clinical governance as well as the provision of ethical guidelines, a professional conduct procedure and a register of certified members.
  • PTUK must provide a lead and meet all of the obligations required of a profession.
  • The varied needs of the children and young people, their carers,commissioning organisations and users of the therapies, together with the skills, aspirations and resources of potential and existing practitioners, must be realistically accommodated in setting standards of competence and training. The emphasis must be on what a practitioner can do not merely what a practitioner knows.
  • The organisation structure must be sufficiently flexible to enable decisions to be taken efficiently and effectively to reflect the needs of the public and practicing members. This will enable innovation to take place and alter according to growth and changing needs. We feel that to be flexible and agile is an advantage over numerous committees or bureaucratic procedures that can hamper progress. We believe that the majority of members are content to be consulted on important issues but do not have the time to be closely involved in decision taking. PTUK believes that liberty is an even more important principle than democracy in corporate governance.
  • PTUK will work collaboratively with any organisation that aims to benefit children and young people .

The governing documents are the Memorandum and Articles of Association , since the term constitution is not a term which is generally used within the Companies Act 2006 and is not defined generally by the Act. These two documents together form the governance of PTUK.

Our Structure

The Board of Directors is responsible for the strategic direction and day to day operation of PTUK. They are legally and financially responsible for running PTUK.

The Board of Directors takes into account recommendations from the Advisory Board (also known as PTUK Senior Management Team) which in turn receives suggestions and proposals from PTUK’s Practitioner Members.

There are two main classes of members:

  1. Practitioner members for whom PTUK provides a professional infrastructure and a range of services.
  2. Shareholding members – these are persons or organisations that provided and continue to provide funds, over and above Practitioner membership fees, subscriptions and other revenue to enable PTUK to become established and grow. Since PTUK is a not for profit company, nobody receives dividends neither will they receive any appreciation on the value of their shares. Any eligible person may apply for shares.

The Articles of Association specifically determines that the company is prevented from distributing any profits arising from its activities.

PTUK aims, in the medium term, to generate sufficient excess of revenues over costs in order to:

  • Invest these surpluses in research, development, growth and bursaries.
  • Become independent of raising funds through the sale of shares, gifts and donations.   It is not currently the intention to work towards charity status.

The Board of Directors, in consultation with the Advisory Board, feel strongly that if an organisation is meeting the needs of children and young people and its practitioner members in the United Kingdom and is run effectively and efficiently, it should not be necessary to rely on charitable donations to fund its

Good Corporate Governance

The structure of PTUK allows its practitioner members to propose changes in policies, rules or procedures through the mechanisms of:

  • The Advisory Board
  • Consultations
  • Referenda

 

These processes speed up decision taking. They also ensure proposals for change are filtered through an experienced panel of multi-disciplined professionals.

This two-tier structure is similar to that adopted by many European Organisations.

The continued success of PTUK depends upon providing a quality service to its practitioner members so that the needs of the majority are always taken into account.

For more details see our constitution which is contained in the Memorandum and Articles of Association and our Standing Orders.

Research Policies and Results

PTUK’s research policies and activities are based on our systemic view of play therapy practice to ensure the wellbeing of children. This shows the importance of the evidence base upon which our competency framework, the foundation of training, learning and practice is constructed. PTUK’s approach to play therapy practice is evidence based.

In turn the evidence base is updated by original research and practice based evidence. The main emphasis of our current research programme is practice based evidence which is stored and analysed in the SEPACTO national database of play therapy clinical outcomes.  This uses data derived from practice as a by product of clinical governance. The outcomes have been demonstrated to be replicable since 2008. It is also used to justify funding on play therapy services. When PTUK was formed there was a dearth of quantitative research upon the effectiveness of play and creative arts therapies. The latest findings (are based on over 8000 cases which show that between 74% and 83% of children receiving play therapy from PTUK Members exhibit a positive change. This continuous research programme places PTUK firmly in the lead of play therapy research worldwide

Summary of Results

The Latest PTUK Research Results – August 2011

A summary of the results, presented in more detail in a PTI/PTUK paper An Effective Way of Promoting Children’s Wellbeing and Alleviating Emotional, Behavioural and Mental Health Problems – the Latest Research shows that between 74% and 83% of children receiving play therapy, delivered to PTUK/PTI standards, show a positive change.

The more severe the problems the greater the percentage of children showing a positive change.   74% for those with slight/moderate problems, 83% for those with severe problems.

Age also has an effect on improvement: Generally speaking the younger the child the greater the percentage of children showing a positive change: 80% at age 6 – 71% at age 12 – early help is the most effective.

Girls show a higher improvement rate than boys, 79% compared to 73%.

The average cost of using play and creative arts therapies is estimated at £693 per child. This estimate is based upon an overall average of 15.4 sessions, applying a cost per session of £45. For every £1 invested annually in targeted services designed to catch problems early and prevent problems from reoccurring, society benefits by between £7.60 and £9.20. (National Economic Foundation 2011). Play and creative therapies should therefore give a notional return to society of at least £5267 in the longer term. However this does not give the full picture because there are many short term benefits, specific to the setting, for example: better academic results and less stress for teachers; more successful fostering placements; faster response to medical treatment. The statistics in this report are based on analyses of data selected from a total database of 8026 cases, with 10,744 pre and post therapy observations by referrers and parents received from 507 PTUK/PTI registered practitioners.

The full six page paper ‘An Effective Way of Promoting Children’s Wellbeing and Alleviating Emotional, Behavioural and Mental Health Problems – the Latest Research’ is available for you to download.

Future Directions

It is felt that the main objective, set some five years ago, that the research priority was quantitative research to establish the effectiveness of play therapy has now been achieved in the UK. Whilst this type of research will continue, especially in other countries to ascertain if there is a similar beneficial effect, there now needs to be a change of emphasis. We propose to develop three main areas:

  1. The proportional use and the benefit of the various creative arts media that make up the Play Therapy Tool-Kit.
  2. The effectiveness of play and creative arts therapies upon various conditions such as trauma, forms of autism, ADHD, anger etc.
  3. Provide more encouragement and help, in the form of data, for individual qualitative research projects that explore new areas.
Our History

2000

Play Therapy (UK) – The United Kingdom Society for Play and Creative Arts Therapies Limited (known in short as PTUK) was originally set up in October 2000 as Play Therapy UK. It was established as an alternative governing body and professional organisation to provide a choice for practitioners of and anyone interested in using therapeutic play, play therapy or creative arts therapies to help children with emotional literacy, behaviour and mental health problems.

It was felt, by a number of practitioners at that time, that the existing professional association was too restrictive in its membership criteria, had course accreditation standards that did not meet the needs to produce the large numbers of safe and effective practitioners that are required in the United Kingdom and was insufficiently open or innovative in its policies. Since then PTUK has grown to be the largest organisation in the UK in the field of therapeutic play and play therapy and has a proud record of innovation.

2001

PTUK introduced the Spectrum of Needs and Therapeutic Play Continuum  concepts that recognise that children have a wide range of emotional, behaviour and mental health problems and that professionals with a variety of interventions and skill levels can safely and effectively alleviate these conditions.

A new Ethical System introduced to provide better protection for both the public and therapists. This incorporates an ethical framework, professional conduct procedure and a clinical governance requirement which places PTUK in the forefront of setting high professional standards.

2002

PTUK developed the Profession Structure Model (PSM), based on a competency framework, using the experience of a number of international play therapists. This was the first major innovation concerning the organisation of the profession since it started in the UK. It provides a basis for:

  • clear communication with commissioners and users of the therapies.
  • guidance upon the selection and recruitment of therapists.
  • career planning.
  • the identification of training and CPD needs.
  • the design of training courses and programmes.
  • setting remuneration scales.
  • job performance appraisal.

PTUK affiliates to Play Therapy International (PTI) to share best practice around the world.

Web site www.playtherapy.org.uk launched   SEPACTO research project funded by PTUK, development started.

2003

PTUK opens www.playtherapyshop.com to provide an on-line subscription renewal, event booking and convenient way of acquiring other products and services.

PTUK mandates the use of clinical governance for trainees seeking certification.

SEPACTO operational – first research report generated

PTUK accredits the first MA in Practised Based Play Therapy programme in the UK, designed and run by the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy (APAC) in a collaborative partnership with the University College Chichester.

This is a modular post graduate play therapy training programme in three parts:

  1. Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills.
  2. Diploma in Play Therapy.
  3. MA by Dissertation.

2004

PTUK in association with PTI organised the World Congress in Play Therapy. This was the largest international event of its type held anywhere with over 70 workshops/sessions and attended by over 400 delegates from 29 countries. First time in the United Kingdom.

PTUK set up The Play Therapy Press Ltd to republish classic out of print play therapy books and innovative new titles to assist students undertaking play therapy training.

2006

The PSM and competency framework have a major revision to include filial play. The proposed use of the term Filial Play Coach/Mentor is adopted, after a members’ referendum. APAC, PTUK’s sister organisation, designs the UK’s first Certificate in Filial Play Coaching and Mentoring. Membership passes the 1000 mark.

Executive Board

Monika Jephcott

PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE

Monika has over 17 years successful experience of managing professional organisations, as Chief Executive and Clinical Director of Play Therapy UK (PTUK), of which, she was a founding member in 1998. This has grown to become the largest Play Therapy professional organization in the UK and the first to have a Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists accredited by the Professional Standards Authority in April 2013. Since its formation, PTUK has led the way in innovations in the field of play therapy.

This includes the development of the Integrative Holistic model of play therapy which is the only one, worldwide, to be validated by a substantial number of clinical outcome measures.

She was elected President of Play Therapy International (PTI) in December 2002, which is responsible for promoting Play Therapy and administering the standards required for safe and effective practice outside the UK.

She is also Chief Executive and founder, of the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy (APAC).  This has grown to become the largest UK and international provider of post graduate training for Play Therapists and Practitioners in Therapeutic Play Skills, in partnership with several Universities.  The design of the MA in Practice Based Play Therapy programme was the first to emphasise the essential need for experiential training methods for play therapy and blend it with on-line learning methods.

Elected member (2010-2015) of the BACP CYP Division Executive to represent the interests of children.

TRAINING EXPERIENCE

Programme design, organization, presentation and management of 325 post graduate play therapy training courses, over 3000 trainees and many shorter workshops including a variety of cultural settings.

Achieved validation of the MA in Practice Based Play Therapy programme by Leeds Beckett, Canterbury Christ Church, Chichester Universities and the National University of Ireland (Galway).

Developed specialist training courses for clinical supervision of play and creative arts therapists, filial play coaching and sand play therapy skills.Adapted the filial play coaching course to improve the recovery of severely malnourished Ethiopian children resulting in greatly improved height and weight increases and a reduction in mortality.

Designed and implemented a training programme for Play Therapy Course Directors and Facilitators.  This has resulted in a faculty of 16 that trains worldwide.

CLINICAL MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE

Place 2 B Project Manager 1997/8 – delivering therapeutic play services in a primary school.

Set up and ran two innovative managed counselling services for over 300 000 adults in two NHS Primary Care Group/Trusts for 40 GP practices improving the efficiency of service delivery.   Recruitment and selection of Counsellors and Trainees. Supervised the Management of Trainee Counsellors. Consultations with and management, professional staff and therapists including wage negotiations. Financial management of counselling services keeping within strict budgets for the NHS.

Introduced and managed the use of clinical governance systems and specification of enhancements for adult counselling and therapeutic play.

Liaison with voluntary associations and help groups.

RESEARCH/PUBLISHING

Developed an Integrated Counselling Service Delivery Model – used to achieve dramatic improvements in counsellor/therapist performance, quality of treatment, volume of referrals, equity of provision and implementation of national guidelines. Results published at BACP Research Conference (2001). Two papers written.

Co-author “A National Strategy for the Psychological Support of Ethiopian Children”, a study for UNICEF.

Jointly developed the “Therapeutic Play Continuum” – published in various forms in a number of journals including “The World of Children” and “Play Words”.  Presented to the International Conference of Play Therapy. (Wroxton – 2002)

Co-author of PTUK’s Ethical Framework. (2002)

Joint developer of the Profession Structure Model including the Play Therapy Competence Framework for practitioners of therapeutic play. (2002)

Convenor and Clinical Adviser for the 2004 and 2010 World Congresses for Play Therapy.

EARLIER CLINICAL EXPERIENCE

20 years experience as a counsellor and psychotherapist, gained with a wide variety of clients and presenting conditions. Specialist skills working with couples, families and children, individually and in groups.

Using and refining patient assessment techniques.

Over 6000 hours direct counselling and play therapy experience with clients.

Provided 2500+ hours clinical supervision.

EXPERIENCE – EDUCATIONAL

Teacher (30 years) as Head of Modern Languages, Head of Careers, Head of Pastoral Care. Initiated a European work exchange project through the Leonardo programme.

  • 6 years – Principal Examiner with SEG for the Foundation and Higher Levels
  • 6 years – Principal Examiner for Oxford & Cambridge Board
  • 5 years – Chief Examiner Welsh Board, German

EDUCATION, TRAINING & QUALIFICATIONS

  • Mallinckrodt-Gymnasium grammar school Germany – A – levels (1965)
  • Cert. Ed.University of Dortmund 1965-66
  • BA(Hons), Class II/1, London University 1970-74
  • DipI.Tefl, Tesol 1987
  • Cert. Co-Counselling 1988
  • Diploma Counselling, CAC 1989
  • Internationally recognised training in Transactional Analysis as Psychotherapist (clinical) 1993-97
  • Extensive training in Gestalt, Psychosynthesis, Play Therapy, Bio-Energetics, Couple, Family and Bereavement work 1986 – 1999
  • BACP Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist 1996-2015
  • UKRC Occupational Therapist 1996
  • BACP accredited supervisor of individuals and groups 2001-2015
  • Professor of Play Therapy (IBECPT) 2001
  • Recipient of the International Award for Contributions to the Field of Play and Child Psychotherapy – 2001
Our Role in Professional Regulation
The Executive Board

PTUK follows the principles of a Community Interest Company (CIC), being a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.

It was decided, at the time of formation, that strong leadership, unencumbered by unnecessary layers of management and committees, was required to build the organisation from scratch. This has been achieved through the Executive Board of two Directors, Monika Jephcott and Jeff Thomas, who founded the organisation. This structure provides the public and its members with confidence that the organisation can respond quickly to events making fast but informed decisions.

PTUK is still a relatively young and small organization in an emergent profession.  For this reason we need to keep decision taking streamlined and flexible whilst maintaining good corporate and clinical governance which assures the public that each of our Registrants’ work is measured.

Any major changes of policies or standards proposed by the Executive Board are put to members at our annual conference and/or by means of a referendum to obtain a majority approval.  They are also scrutinised by the British Council for Therapeutic Interventions With Children.

This policy has been effective, witness our growth of membership, influence and the number of successful innovations. (First therapy profession to: introduce competencies as a basis of training and practice; to create a demand model to assist the efficient allocation of resources;  first to require outcome measures from practitioners for clinical governance to assure quality; first to manage a continuous national programme evaluation to demonstrate the effectiveness of play therapy to commissioners and funders of services). It gives us the agility to adapt to the fast pace of change in developments in areas such as neurobiology, genetics and information technology and at the same time ensures sustainability.

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

Monika and Jeff are also Directors of the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy (APAC), whose training course are accredited by PTUK. To avoid any conflicts of interest in this area PTUK decisions impacting upon APAC are referred to an independent organisation, the British Council for Therapeutic Interventions With Children for approval.

PTUK also has a code of practice for declaring and resolving conflicts of interest which may be obtained on request from: contacts@apac.org.uk

PTUK Policy on publication of our Executive Board agenda and minutes

We make our agenda available so that registrants and any UK resident may suggest items for consideration by the Board. Registrants may attend as observers of the discussion of non-confidential items provided that they submit a request at least 14 days in advance of the meeting and with any points that they would like raised.

In publishing the minutes, we sometimes have to redact (i.e. “blank out” or edit) some items, which are considered private or commercially confidential. Typical reasons are: confidential issues relating to a client or registrant; detailed financial and budget data; information relating to strategy, policies and plans where publication would put PTUK at a disadvantage vis a vis our competitors or lead to the undermining of our activities.