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.


chapter |8 pages


ByPeter Ayling, Harriet Armstrong, Lisa Gordon Clark

part Part I|72 pages

Becoming a play therapist

chapter Chapter 1|13 pages

Training issues

11Before, during and after
ByLisa Gordon Clark

chapter Chapter 2|16 pages

The play therapist’s personal therapy

ByJulie McCann

chapter Chapter 3|15 pages

The role of clinical supervision in play therapy practice

ByCarol Platteuw

chapter Chapter 4|14 pages

The play therapy room

Why it matters
ByAnne Fullalove

chapter Chapter 5|12 pages

Setting up in independent practice as a play therapist

ByHarriet Armstrong

part Part II|68 pages

Being a play therapist

chapter Chapter 6|15 pages

Being an ethical play therapist

ByLinda St Louis

chapter Chapter 7|12 pages

Being a playful therapist

ByKaren McInnes

chapter Chapter 8|12 pages

Being an improvisational play therapist

BySimon Kerr-Edwards

chapter Chapter 9|15 pages

Containing feelings and setting limits in play therapy

Working with aggression
ByPeter Ayling

chapter Chapter 10|12 pages

Time-limited play therapy

ByJenny Reid

part Part III|138 pages

Play therapy in practice

chapter Chapter 11|14 pages

Play therapy within a CAMHS setting

ByRuth Lazarus, Carrie Waldron

chapter Chapter 12|12 pages

Play therapy in schools

BySonia Murray

chapter Chapter 13|12 pages

Narrative group play therapy in a school setting

BySharon Pearce

chapter Chapter 14|14 pages

Play therapy with children affected by sexual abuse

Developing awareness, safety and trust
ByTim Woodhouse

chapter Chapter 15|15 pages

Working with bereavement and loss in play therapy

ByChris Stone

chapter Chapter 16|16 pages

Integrative approaches to working with trauma

ByLisa Waycott, Clare Carbis

chapter Chapter 17|13 pages

Play therapy and Polyvagal Theory

Towards self-regulation for children with paediatric medical trauma
ByStuart Daniel

chapter Chapter 18|14 pages

Working with child trauma through EMDR and play therapy

ByDebra May

chapter Chapter 19|14 pages

Relational approaches to play therapy

Supporting adoptive and foster carers and their families
ByBerni Stringer

chapter Chapter 20|12 pages

Working with parents and carers

Child Parent Relationship Therapy
ByTrudi Cowper