Childcare Practitioners’ Knowledge and Perceptions of Play Therapy

Gemma Clack, Kevin Crowley, Lisa Waycott, Jane Price, Nicola Birdsey

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This study investigated the awareness of play therapy in childcare practitioners working in the areas of health, social care, education and childcare. Questionnaires were distributed to 65 workers drawn from these occupational categories in order to investigate their understanding of issues such as the nature of play therapy, the referral process, and the distinction between play therapy and other forms of play based interventions. In addition, one child care professional from each of the four sectors was selected to take part in a follow-up interview to build on the information generated from the questionnaires. The results from the questionnaires and follow-up interviews showed that while most of the child care professionals had heard of this approach, they had a limited knowledge of the nature of play therapy. There was also much confusion amongst the child care professionals around the difference between play therapy and other play based interventions as well as around different professionals’ roles and responsibilities for referring children and young people to therapeutic interventions. The implications of these findings for the practice of play therapy are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)19-
Number of pages34
JournalBritish Journal of Play Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2010


  • Play therapy, childcare practitioners, awareness, knowledge, perceptions


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