Becoming and Being a Play Therapist : Play Therapy in Practice book cover
1st Edition

Becoming and Being a Play Therapist
Play Therapy in Practice

ISBN 9781138560970
Published February 25, 2019 by Routledge
324 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Becoming and Being a Play Therapist: Play Therapy in Practice presents a rich and illuminating account of current play therapy practice, with an emphasis on becoming and being a play therapist and on some of the varied clinical contexts in which play therapists work. Written by members of British Association of Play Therapists, this book highlights the current complexity of play therapy practice in the UK and reflects the expertise of the collected authors in working with emotional, behavioural and mental health challenges in children and young people.

Divided into three parts, the book is designed to build on and consolidate the principles and professional/personal competences of play therapy practice. Key topics include:

  • Training and establishing oneself as a play therapist in the UK, a comprehensive guide.
  • The improvisational practitioner; therapist responses to resistance and aggressive play.
  • Systemic considerations in play therapy with birth families and adopters; advantages and challenges.
  • Case-study based explorations of play therapy across a range of service user groups, including childhood trauma, bereavement and sexual abuse, and agency contexts, including school and CAMHS settings.

Becoming and Being a Play Therapist will be relevant both for play therapy trainees and for qualified play therapists as well as for related professionals.


Table of Contents

Introduction: Peter Ayling, Harriet Armstrong and Lisa Gordon Clark

Part 1: Becoming a Play Therapist

Chapter 1. Lisa Gordon Clark - Training Issues: Before, During and After

Chapter 2 Julie McCann: The play therapist's personal therapy

Chapter 3. Carol Platteuw - The Role of Clinical Supervision for Play Therapy Practice

Chapter 4. Anne Fullalove - The play therapy room: why it matters

Chapter 5. Harriet Armstrong - Setting up in Independent Practice as a Play Therapist

Part 2: Being a Play Therapist

Chapter 6. Linda St Louis - Being an ethical play therapist

Chapter 7. Karen McInnes - Being a playful therapist

Chapter 8. Simon Kerr-Edwards – Being an improvisational play therapist

Chapter 9. Peter Ayling - Containing feelings and setting limits in play therapy: working with aggression

Chapter 10. Jenny Reid - Time-limited play therapy

Part III- Play therapy in practice

Chapter 11. Ruth Lazarus and Carrie Waldron - Play Therapy within a CAMHS Setting

Chapter 12. Sonia Murray - Play Therapy in Schools

Chapter 13. Sharon Pearce: Narrative Group Play Therapy in a School Setting

Chapter 14. Tim Woodhouse - Play therapy with children affected by sexual abuse: developing awareness, safety and trust 

Chapter 15. Chris Stone – Working with Bereavement and Loss in Play Therapy

Chapter 16. Lisa Waycott and Claire Carbis - Integrative Approaches to Working with Trauma

Chapter 17. Stuart Daniel - Play therapy and Polyvagal Theory: towards self-regulation for children with paediatric medical trauma

Chapter 18. Debra May: Working with Child Trauma through EMDR and play therapy

Chapter 19: Berni Stringer - Relational Approaches to play therapy: supporting adoptive and foster carers and their families

Chapter 20. Trudi Cowper – Working with Parents and Carers: Child Parent Relationship Therapy

Appendix 1: BAPT play therapy core competences

Appendix 2: BAPT's ethical basis for good practice in play therapy

Appendix 3: Sample contract


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Peter Ayling is a qualified play therapist and social worker who has specialised in working with children and young people within the care system for 25 years. He worked for 14 years within a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for Looked After Children. Pete currently works as a Senior Lecturer in Social Work and maintains a small, private play therapy practice.

Harriet Armstrong obtained a Master's Degree in Play Therapy from the University of Roehampton in 2009. She has since worked as a play therapist privately and in schools with children who have suffered a wide range of trauma, disorders and difficulties. Harriet has been Chair of PR and Communications of BAPT and is currently Joint Vice-Chair.

Lisa Gordon Clark trained as a play therapist at Roehampton, following several years as a primary school teacher, and has since worked both in private practice and as resident play therapist at a Child and Family Centre in London. Lisa is currently Programme Convener of the Play Therapy MA at the University of Roehampton and Fellow of the HEA.


"This text highlights BAPT’s gold level in professional standards and competencies, providing a clear rationale about why you should choose a BAPT trained play therapist or BAPT recognized training course in the UK. It serves as a comprehensive guide providing insight into the clinical contexts in which play therapists work and invaluable information, support, and resources to all who are, or wish to become, involved in the field."

- Eileen Prendiville, Children's Therapy Centre, Ireland


"This book is a very comprehensive overview of the training, theory and practice of play therapy in the UK. All the contributors are highly experienced UK play therapists who give us an in depth presentation of current practice which is informed by cross-disciplinary theory and contemporary research. This book is quite remarkable in its depth and its breadth. A must-read for not only play therapists and students but also other related clinicians in the arts and psychotherapies, teachers in all forms of education and parents too. I am passionate about the importance of play, and reading this book was joyous and stimulating."

- Professor Sue Jennings, specialist in Neuro-Dramatic-Play