information play therapy professionals

Information for Professionals and Employers

Play Therapy is an effective therapy that helps children modify their behaviours, clarify their self-concept and build healthy relationships. In Play Therapy, children enter into a dynamic relationship with the therapist that enables them to express, explore and make sense of their difficult and painful experiences. Play Therapy helps children find healthier ways of communicating, develop fulfilling relationships, increase resiliency and facilitate emotional literacy.

Children use play as a form of communication. So often children referred to Play Therapy do not have the words to describe their thoughts, feelings and perceptions of their internal and external world.

For more information please read our What is Play Therapy page.

play therapy standards

Why use A BAPT Registered Play Therapist®

A BAPT Registered Play Therapist® is a qualified mental health professional who has had intensive university and clinical training accredited by the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT). Most BAPT Registered Play Therapists® are graduates who have already trained to work with children.  For example, they may already be qualified as social workers, teachers, nursery nurses, teaching assistants and psychologists.

A BAPT Registered Play Therapist® must have a clear knowledge of the following: 

  • Child-centred Play Therapy
  • Child development
  • The developmental process and functions of play
  • Developmental psycho-pathology, including attachment theory, mental health, social and emotional wellbeing, disability and trauma
  • Ecological, systems and social constructionist theories of society
  • Integrative Play Therapy methods
  • Working with parents and carers
  • Relevant legislation and policy
  • Anti-discriminatory practice
  • Contemporary research and practice

To be a full member of BAPT a Play Therapist will have:

If you are using the services of or employing a BAPT Registered Play Therapist® please ensure that you perform your own due diligence.

Search the BAPT Register.

play therapy standard

Play Therapy Standards

Regulating practice and conduct is a key element to the work of the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT).

Registered Play Therapists agree to abide by the Professional Conduct Policy and Ethical Basis for Good Practice in Play Therapy as a condition of their registration. These documents form the benchmark of good practice for all BAPT registered Play Therapists. Clinical supervision from an experienced Play Therapist is a BAPT requirement for good practice. Play Therapists who breach the codes of practice could be removed from the register through the complaints procedure.

For further information please read our Professional Practice page.

employing bapt registered play therapist

Employing A BAPT Registered Play Therapist®

BAPT’s Register of Qualified BAPT Registered Play Therapists® is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).  The PSA recommends employers and service users wanting to use a Play Therapist do so via an Accredited Register.

By using an Accredited Register to help you find a Play Therapist you can be assured that the organisation holding the Accredited Register has met the standards required by PSA, continues to be monitored and evaluated by the PSA and that the Play Therapist you are employing continue to evidence that they meet the standards of the profession. 

Please see the PSA Statement on use of Accredited Registers.  For further information you can use the PSA website to read reports in respect of BAPT. 

Search the BAPT Register