Play Therapy Canada

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Play Therapy Canada (PTC) -  is a not for profit organisation dedicated to promoting the use of play and creative arts therapies as ways of enabling children to reach their full potential. We are funded mainly by our membership subscriptions with fees for services provided and secondarily by philanthropic investments.  On this page we summarise:
About Play Therapy
Users & Commisioners
Professional Practitioners

Our Mission and Purpose

Our History

Members' Services Who we are for? Working with other organisations
Conferences & Events Our Objectives  Our Role in Professional Regulation
Publications & Books Our Constitution and Structure  
Links to Related Sites Our Mission  
Affiliations To maintain our position as the leading professional body, in Canada, dedicated to promoting the use of play and creative arts therapies (the therapies) as ways of enabling children to reach their full potential by alleviating emotional, behaviour and mental health problems.
Consultancy Services
Contacting PTC

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Our Purpose

PTC exists to further the good practice of therapeutic work with children.  This includes improving children's emotional literacy as well as alleviating behaviour and mental health problems. We believe that the use of various forms of recognised therapies to help children fulfil their potential and overcome emotional and behavioural problems has reached a crucial stage in Canada.

A prime need is to combine, co-ordinate and integrate the valuable skills that all therapists possess for the benefit of all children in need.


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  Since therapeutic work with children draws its strength from a multi-disciplinary approach, it is vital to be completely open in considering and accepting many different approaches for working with children.  Play therapy is a comparatively recent discipline. Because of its relative newness it is important that its evolution is encouraged, that new ideas and methods are considered, tried and evaluated.

PTC welcomes into  membership anyone who has satisfactorily completed a recognised course for working therapeutically with children such as drama, art, music, dance and movement - as all these disciplines may be used on their own or as an integrative part of play therapy.  They all have an equally valuable contribution to make.

PTC is a forum for working together with a respect for each other's role.

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Who are we for?

Practitioner Membership is open, at various levels,  to ALL those working therapeutically with children AND also to those who have an interest in the subject:

Therapists Related Professions Others
  • Play Therapists

  • Music Therapists

  • Dance & Movement Therapists

  • Art Therapists

  • Drama Therapists

  • Sandplay Therapists

  • Counsellors

  • Psychotherapists

  • Psychologists

  • Psychiatrists

  • Paediatricians

  • Occupational Therapists

  • Nursery/Primary Teachers

  • Special Needs Teachers

  • Learning Assistants

  • Child Care Workers

  • Social Workers

  • Nurses

Play Workers and anyone who is training to work with children and wishes to acquire play or creative arts therapy skills at sometime.

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Our Objectives

To act as a professional organisation for anyone working therapeutically with children in Canada.

To promote the benefits of therapeutic work with children.

To set standards and provide an ethical framework.

To make training and other resources available for therapeutic work with children by working with training providers, disseminating information and accrediting appropriate courses in creative therapies.  PTC aims to form links with a number of colleges and other specialised training providers which can offer a variety of Introductory, Certificate, Diploma, Supervisor and Trainer courses up to Post Graduate Level.

To promote and advance discussion, education and research in play therapy, creative arts therapies and child psychotherapy.

Our detailed objectives are set out formally in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

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Our Constitution

Play Therapy Canada's constitution reflect s the principles of its founding members and those enacted successfully by PTI, PTUK and PTC.:

  1. A wide range of therapeutic interventions using play or creative arts therapies can be used to benefit many children. A qualified practitioner requires a range of ‘tools’ including: art, creative visualisations, clay, dance/movement, drama, masks, music, puppets, sandplay and therapeutic storytelling.
  2. Many practitioners, working in a variety of settings, as well as ‘Play Therapists’ can use these interventions safely and effectively if supported by an appropriate professional infrastructure.
  3. The infrastructure must include a modern ethical system that embodies clinical governance as well as the provision of ethical guidelines, a professional conduct procedure and a register of certified members.
  4. PTC must provide a lead and meet all of the obligations required of a profession.
  5. The varied needs of the children, their carers, commissioning organisations and users of the therapies together with the existing skills, aspirations and resources of potential and existing practitioners must be realistically accommodated in setting standards of competence and training.  The emphasis must be on what a practitioner can do not merely what a practitioner knows.
  6. The organisation structure must be sufficiently flexible to enable decisions to be taken quickly, reflect the needs of the public and practitioner members, enable innovation to take place and alter according to growth and changing needs.  We do not want to be bogged down by numerous committees or bureaucratic procedures that so often hamper the progress of other professional associations.  We believe that the majority of members are content to be consulted on important issues but do not have the time to be closely involved in decision taking.  The direction of some professional organisations, with a traditional organisation, can be high-jacked by a small cabal using 'democratic' procedures.  PTC believes that liberty is an even more important principle than democracy in corporate governance..
  7. PTC will work collaboratively with any organisation that aims to benefit children.

The governing documents are the Memorandum and Articles of Association, since the term ‘constitution’ is not a term which is generally used within the Companies Act and is not defined generally by the Act. These two documents together form a ‘constitution’.

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Our History

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Working With Other Professional Bodies

PTC's policy is to work both directly and through PTI and its affiliates with any other professional society, association and institution whose members work with children.

Examples are:

The Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists managed by Play Therapy UK and accredited by the PSA was the first play therapy register in the world to be accredited at this level. The register includes members of Play Therapy Canada who meet the high standards required.' Training to meet these standards is provided by APAC in conjunction with Adler Graduate Professional School - see below.

Play Therapy UK works closely with the PSA to improve the implementation of standards for play therapy to increase the quality of practice following the principles of Right Touch Regulation.

Play Therapy International, through Play Therapy Canada, administers the PSA/PTUK standards in countries outside the UK where they are used as de facto standards until a country develops its own equivalents.


  • APAC - the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy is the accredited training provider of PTI, PTUK and PTC.

It delivers the Post Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills, Diploma in Play Therapy and M.A. (Masters) in Practice Based Play Therapy in a collaborative partnership with Adler Graduate Professional School, Toronto.

The APAC programme currently has over 500 participants worldwide with 21 training centres in ten countries.


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Our Role in Regulation

Children with emotional, behaviour and mental health problems are vulnerable clients.  So very often are their parents and carers.  Anyone at present can practice 'play therapy' without any training or clinical supervision and call themselves a 'Play Therapist' in Canada and in most of the countries of the world. This is obviously unsafe and unacceptable.

PTC will support any legislation that requires a Play Therapist to be trained to reasonable, adequate standards and is required to adhere to other professional procedures.  In the meantime PTC will adminster the PSA/PTUK standards, as stated above, in Canada to provide the assurance of high quality and effective practice.

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