Deciding what to do if a child has an emotional or behaviour problem  

The following guidelines may help you to decide what to do if you know a child or children with emotional, behaviour or mental health problems.   

Parent or carer

Slight or Mild

Is the child under 3?

Between 3 and 14?

Consider filial play

Consider therapeutic play, play therapy or filial play

Moderate or a number of mild problems

Over 3 years?

Over 14 years?

Consider play therapy

Consider counselling - talking therapy


Between 3 and 14?

See your doctor for a referral to a child psychotherapist etc.

How to identify the severity of a problem (guidelines)  

See also Guidelines for Referral based on observation of play  

If you work with children  

Do you wish to acquire therapeutic play skills or become a play therapist?

Personal Qualities Required

Look at - the PTUK Career Development Map  

Look at details of approved courses

Consider becoming a member of PTUK   

If you manage a school, home or centre for children?    

Ask PTUK about ways of introducing or extending an emotional support service to supplement academic and behaviour support services.

See also professional support services.  

Alternatively ask your local Play Therapist, or PTUK about our informative workshops for setting up managed play therapy services and corporate membership.       

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