A play therapist works with children on a one-to-one basis, using games and role-play to help them communicate their problems. They often work with children who have experienced a wide range of problems including abuse, family breakdown and trauma. They may also work with children who have learning disabilities or other physical or emotional challenges.
The amount of money a play therapist makes depends on their level of experience and where they work. If they work with the NHS, for example, they will be paid on their national pay scale. Those working in social services, education and healthcare settings can expect to earn a salary in the region of PS26,000 to PS32,000 per year depending on their level of experience.
Some play therapists also take on private clients and charge a sessional rate. This typically starts at PS40/PS50 for newly qualified BAPT Registered Play Therapists and can rise to over PS90 per hour for experienced therapists.
Many play therapists also take on additional responsibilities and duties such as acting as client advocates or resolving emergency problems in crisis situations. They may also need to carry out detailed clinical assessments and prepare reports for their clients or supervisors. Keeping up with their professional development is essential for this type of role, with short courses on specific topics such as working with families and gender and sexuality identity being available to support their career progression. They can also join relevant professional bodies to network with their peers and gain access to continuing professional development opportunities.