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Play therapist

Alternative titles for this job include

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

Average salary (a year)

£24,000 Starter

to

£45,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 37 variable

You could work

evenings attending events or appointments

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How to become

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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.

Relevant first degree subjects include:

  • psychology
  • early childhood studies
  • mental health nursing
  • occupational therapy
  • drama, art or music

You'll also need experience of working with children in professions like teaching, nursing, counselling, therapy or social work.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information

More Information

Registration

Career tips

If you have an interest in play therapy and work in a profession like teaching, nursing, counselling or social work you may be able to take an introductory course to find out more.

Further information

You can get more advice about careers in play therapy from the British Association of Play Therapists and Play Therapy UK.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • knowledge of psychology
  • 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
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

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What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • assess a child's needs in consultation with parents, carers and other professionals
  • run individual or group therapy sessions at a regular time and place
  • use creative arts, like drawing, clay, sand, movement, music and therapeutic storytelling
  • monitor children's progress
  • promote positive change in the child by helping them to help themselves
  • take part in regular supervision sessions with a more experienced therapist
  • run workshops for parents and other professionals
  • keep confidential record systems up to date and write reports

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

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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.

Current opportunities

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Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

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

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Courses In England

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Jobs In the United Kingdom

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