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To become a BAPT registered Play Therapist, you must undertake and successfully complete a BAPT accredited training.

Why become a BAPT registered Play Therapist?
Entry Requirements
Play Therapy Training
Accredited Play Therapy Training Programmes

Further Information
Why become a BAPT registered Play Therapist?

1) BAPT currently supports over 400 members and since 1992 have made enormous progress in advancing the play therapy profession. The association exists to serve its members and to increasing awareness of the profession among the general public. The association is recognised by national associations,  government bodies and the general public as the foremost professional body and voice for play therapy in the UK.

2) For over twelve years, we have represented members' interests and encouraged those in the field of play therapy. BAPT full membership is recognised nationally as the leading professional standard of proficiency.

3) By becoming a BAPT registered Play Therapist, you will become part of this country's leading professional play therapy body. In the public arena, BAPT membership denotes a high standard of professional status.

4) BAPT is committed to promoting equal opportunity regarding  access and representation for members and employees in all of our services. BAPT's equal opportunities policy reflects this commitment in all areas of its work.

5) BAPT recognises the variety of theoretical approaches within play therapy and so BAPT is proficient in nurturing a diverse group of people and therapeutic styles within a common frame whilst pursuing the goal of professional development. We are committed to supporting and encouraging all our members to grow and develop as professional practitioners.

Entry Requirements

An Honours degree in a relevant subject is an essential pre-requisite as the training is offered at postgraduate level:

·       Psychology

·       Nursing

·       Social work

·       Teaching

·       Occupational therapy

Applicants would normally have completed a minimum of two years’ work with children of varying ages and families in a voluntary or professional capacity. All applicants would also need to be in good physical and mental health and undergo a check through the Criminal Records Bureau.

Personal suitability is an essential pre-requisite to play therapy training. Maturity and relevant life experience are essential, as prospective play therapists need to be sensitive, open and motivated to help children and families in intense emotional distress. Play therapists are faced with children in severe emotional pain and will require the insight, confidence and strength to enter into the in-depth play therapy process.

Most successful applicants have a background that includes some study of psychology and work with children in emotional distress within health, social or educational services. Play therapy is usually a second career for those working in the fields of counselling, psychology, nursing, social work or teaching.

The minimum age for entry onto the training is 25 years and the average student is aged between 30 – 45 years.

Play Therapy Training

Training programmes accredited by the British Association of Play Therapists are post-qualifying and it is usual for trainees to hold a first degree/qualification in either psychology, teaching, social work, occupational therapy or other related field and to have extensive experience of working with children. Personal therapy and supervised practice are essential elements of the training. Employment opportunities vary immensely. Play Therapists are employed by health, education, social services and voluntary agencies such as NSPCC or NCH Action for Children. Some Play Therapists work on a freelance basis.

Accredited Play Therapy Training Programmes

Notre Dame Centre (GLASGOW)
Liverpool Hope University (LIVERPOOL)
Roehampton University (LONDON)

Further Information

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Contact Training Programmes (quick reference)

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PLAY THERAPY CAREERS is a service provided by the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT).

The photographs of children used in this site are models and do not portray actual events. Copyright © The British Association of Play Therapists (2004). All rights reserved.

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