Play therapist

Play therapists help children to make sense of difficult life experiences, or complex psychological issues through play.

Average salary (a year)

£25,000 Starter

to

£41,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 37 variable

You could work

evenings attending events or appointments

How to become a Play therapist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

You'll need to complete a postgraduate qualification approved by the British Association of Play Therapists or Play Therapy UK.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 years' experience of working with children and families in a development role (paid or voluntary)
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

More information

Registration

Career tips

It may help when looking for work to make as many contacts as you can while you're training. Job vacancies aren't always advertised.

Further information

The British Association of Play Therapists and Play Therapy UK have more details about this career.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to understand people‚Äôs reactions
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • assessing the child's needs
  • running therapy sessions at a regular time and place
  • making use of creative arts, like drawing, clay, sand, movement, music and therapeutic storytelling
  • communicating with children and making a connection between the signs, symbols and actions the child creates through play
  • promoting positive change in the child by helping them to help themselves

Working environment

You could work at a client's home, at a children's care home, at a health centre or at a school.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience and further training, you could supervise less experienced therapists. You might also provide a consultation service to professionals in the community.

You could move into training, lecturing or clinical supervision.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Play therapist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

ACCESS TO TEACHING

  • Provider: Lancaster & Morecambe College
  • Start date: 01 August 2019
  • Location: Lancaster

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