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Play Therapy Research

 

Play Therapy Australasia's policy upon research is to encourage:

practitioners to conduct practice based research as a by product of clinical governance. An example of this valuable research, based upon work in the UK and Ireland is given below.
It is believed that the attributes of children in Australia will be similar to that of the UK.
One of PTAu's priorities is start a similar research programme as soon as possible

original research which will add to the knowledge base, through dissertations produced for the MA in Practice Based Play Therapy programme which will shortly become available in Australia or from essays or projects undertaken for the Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy course

the application of neuroscience research to play therapy

UK and Irish Practice Based Play Therapy Research

The fourth research report by PTUK is based upon the total dataset (as at April 2007) held in SEPACTO, the UK's database of play therapy clinical outcomes, developed and managed by PTUK.
It includes cases covered in previous reports.

The data has been supplied by 167 PTUK and PTI members.

Gender
The clients are two thirds boys, one third girls. This proportion has been remarkably consistent during the six years we have been recording data.

Age
The figures show that:
* The majority of clients being of primary school age.
* However some play therapists work with young people

Type of Intervention
This is a the second time we have carried out this analysis. The results are similar to the last time. The majority of the sessions are 1:1 with 48% being short term (1 to 12 sessions) and 36% being long term (over 12 sessions). Only 16% of the recorded cases used group work. It is rather surprising that group interventions are not used more frequently in the climate of cost effectiveness and throughput targets.

Changes in Total Difficulties

 

N

%

Improved

524

68.59%

No change

61

7.98%

Worse

179

23.43%

764

100.00%

The 68.59% of cases showing a positive change is lower, by about 2%, than predicted from previous data. It was hypothesised that a large batch of data received from students contained cases who were initially assessed as 몁ormal?and where it would be difficult to effect a positive change ?indeed providing therapy might stimulate dormant issues from the unconscious. An analysis of changes was undertaken using initial assessment scores of 10, 20 and 30. This shows that the percentage of cases showing a positive change increases with the severity of total difficulties problems.

As shown in the table below, by excluding the children who were in the 'normal' classification, 73% of the children showed a positive change.

Change in Total Difficulties ?Clients With a Pre Therapy Score of 10+

 

N

%

Improved

453

72.95%

No change

40

6.44%

Worse

128

20.61%

 

621

100.00%



Changes in Pro-Social Scores

 

N

%

Improved

385

54.77%

No change

162

23.04%

Worse

156

22.19%

 

703

100.00%

As with total difficulties it was decided to test the hypothesis that cases with the more severe pro-social problems would show a higher percentage cases exhibiting positive change.

Changes in Pro-social ?Clients Pre Therapy Score <5

N

%

Improved

226

77.13%

No change

39

13.31%

Worse

28

9.56%

293

100.00%

The data also shows that the percentage of cases showing a positive change increases with the severity of the pro-social issues.

The full research report is available to PTKR members.





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