Play Therapy

“Play is a child’s natural medium for self-expression” – Virginia Axline.

“Toys are children’s words, and play is their language” – Gary L. Landreth.

What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy is a developmentally appropriate, evidence-based approach that provides therapists with an instinctive, creative, and non-verbal way of connecting with children to engage and work therapeutically. Play therapy enables children to play out, literally and/or metaphorically, their inner and real life experiences safely and securely. Play therapy allows children to express, regulate, communicate, practice and master new skills and emotional responses while building insight and capacity.  Play therapy is a way of learning with minimal risks or penalties for mistakes.

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.”

Quote Frank Caplan

What is Autplay?

AutPlay is an integrated family play therapy framework informed by the neurodiversity paradigm perspective. It has been developed for working with autistic and other neurodivergent children and adolescents aged 3-18 years, including those with developmental and physical disabilities. AutPlay draws on [and integrates] a wide range of evidence-based models of play therapy, psychological/counselling theories and relationship developmental approaches. It has been designed to value the individual child, highlight their strengths, guide areas of intervention, goals, and approaches for addressing the needs of the child and family, and strengthen mental health. 


Why a Registered Play Therapist?

Play Therapy may be offered by a range of allied health organisations, therapists and even therapy assistants in Australia, who have received training in various ways. It is always a good idea to seek information about what type of training and experience has been acquired when offered Play Therapy services.  This will ensure that you receive the appropriate level of professional competence, essential knowledge, training, and experience in this field of practice.  It is recommended that you seek the services of a Registered Play Therapist

Working with a Registered Play Therapist in Australia ensures the following benefits:

  • Completion of a relevant undergraduate degree. For example, social science, social work, psychology, or child education.
  • Completion of a postgraduate degree – a Graduate Diploma or a Master’s degree in Play Therapy – which includes the provision of specialised knowledge in the areas of child development, child psychotherapy, relational neuroscience, childhood trauma, and the clinical application of multiple models of Play Therapy.

*Currently, many other therapists are only required to have an undergraduate degree to provide therapy in Australia.

  • Completion of a lengthy and rigorous registration process through one of two Australian membership bodies, APPTA or APTA, requires at least 200 hours of supervised training in Play Therapy after completing postgraduate studies in the field.
  • Registered Play Therapists hold the abbreviated credential of RPT.

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