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Career Potential and Development in Play Therapy

Introduction - The Need for Practitioners of Therapeutic Play and Art

The latent need for practitioners in Play Therapy using therapeutic play, filial play, creative arts and play therapy skills varies from country to according to :
  • The population of children aged 0~14 and adolescents with life challenges
  • The incidence of emotional, behavior and mental health problems caused by social conditions, parenting disabilities, traumatic events etc
  • Statutory legislation governing the social welfare of children and adolescents
  • The actual need will then be modified by factors such as :
  • The acceptance of therapeutic play as a healing medium
  • Cultural, ethnic and religious caveats
  • Policies concerning education, health and social welfare
  • Funding available for commissioning services and training
  • The relative attractiveness of the therapeutic play professions as a career

  • PTUK built the first known demand model for play therapy practitioners in England and Wales in 2002 at the same time as it conceived the Profession Structure Model (PSM). Both were presented at the 2004 Play Therapy World Congress and adopted as PTI standard methods.

    The demand model takes into account :
  • The number of children and adolescents in age bands and the propensity of children and adolescents to respond positively to therapeutic play in each age group
  • The average number of sessions required to produce an improvement
  • The session capacity of a therapist
  • The updated version estimates that at least 15000 practitioners using therapeutic play, filial play, creative arts and play therapy skills are required for England and Wales. There are probably less than 1200 therapists at present, in these countries, with the level of expertise that is required, so there are plenty of potential career opportunities.

    A detailed model is currently being built for KOREA by PTI. The PTI Demand Model also calculates the number of practitioners required for small geographic areas such as regions, counties, cities down to the smallest census enumeration area. It is offered for use by policy makers and planners that are interested in the latent demand for their country, through PTI Consultancy Services.



    Suffice it to say play therapy is an emerging profession in most countries where there is a developed economy and provision for the welfare of children and adolescents. There are exciting growth opportunities to build a career on PTI based standards of training and certification.

    PTKR encourages new entrants to the profession and professionals with existing experience of working therapeutically with adults or others who have experience of working with children and adolescents.

    PTKR has also adopted a Career Development Map and a four stage training model as a part of the Profession Structure Model. These provide considerable flexibility in terms of previous career background and aspirations to cater for as many people as possible.

    Good Corporate Governance


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

  • The Advisory Board
  • Ad Hoc consultations
  • Referenda held from time to time


  • These processes speed up decision taking and avoid the use of a laborious system of committees and sub-committees. It also ensures that proposals for change are filtered through an experienced panel of multi-disciplined professionals. The continued success of PTKR depends upon providing good service to its practitioner members so that the needs of the majority are always taken into account.



    Working with Other Professional Bodies

    PTKR liaises and works with other professional societies, associations and institutions whose members work with children and adolescents.

    PTKR is affiliated to Play Therapy International (PTI) the foremost international association in the field.
    Other affiliates include UK, Canada, France, Ireland, Malaysia, Romania, Russia, and Spain.



    Professional Regulation

    In the absence of any regulation or registration in the field of therapeutic play and play therapy by governments, PTKR acts as a governing body in a self regulating profession. In accepting this responsibility we have set the highest standards of education, training and practice appropriate to the level of working.







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