COVID-19 Advice from PTUK / PTI - 24th March, 2020

The health and well-being of all registrants, their clients and their families is the primary concern of Play Therapy UK and Play Therapy International and our advice is based upon this concern.

The extent and effect of the COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly changing and we advise all members to keep up to date with the latest advice from their respective Governments as well as the information provided on the PTUK/PTI/APAC websites.

The APAC, PTUK and PTI offices are now operating with very restricted resources and therefore it may take longer than we would wish to respond to your individual queries.  

APAC Courses

If you are currently enrolled on a Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills or Diploma in Play Therapy course, please check your emails regularly.  All course weekends up until at least 16th April 2020 have now been postponed; your cohort will be contacted to arrange a replacement date that is convenient for all.  The APAC Office will contact you by email should it be necessary to postpone future course weekends.

Hand-in deadlines will be extended for academic and clinical portfolios.  New dates will be confirmed for each cohort, once the situation becomes clearer.

If you have any queries about your assignments/placements hours/hand in dates, please make contact with your Course Director in the first instance.

Play Therapy Sessions during School Closures

You must not see clients privately if schools are closed.

The break in sessions should be treated in the same way as if the client/play therapist were absent through illness or taking a holiday.  You should explain the situation to your client either in person or, if a face to face ending is not possible, by letter and let them know that you will be thinking of them and will be in contact again as soon as possible.

It is the opinion of PTUK that Play Therapy Sessions should not be undertaken remotely as the possibility of emerging difficulties and unconscious processes means that the session cannot be held safely on-line.

Where schools remain open for the children of key workers or for vulnerable children including those who have an Education, Social and Care Plan, you should liaise with the Head Teacher as to whether your sessions can go ahead or not.  You will need to decide on the balance between providing appropriate care for these vulnerable children as opposed to the risk of spreading the virus.  You should not use sand trays or puppets with your client during these sessions.

You should continue to take every precaution to minimise the risk of infection including ensuring that all surfaces in the playroom are regularly cleaned and disinfected and, without fail, between sessions.

The Government guidelines clearly state that regular hand washing is one of the most effective ways of countering cross-infection and you should adhere to this advice.

If you are qualified and seeing clients privately as an independent play therapist, you must make the decision of whether or not to go ahead with the play therapy session based on your own judgement and Government advice. If you do hold any sessions, you must ensure that these sessions take place in an environment that complies with all current Government advice regarding hygiene and disinfection.

Supervision

With regards to supervision, if schools are closed and your therapy sessions are suspended as a result, you will not need supervision.

If it is appropriate, you may undertake supervision by Skype.  This applies to your sessions with both Certified and Approved Supervisors during this emergency. However, you must follow the Skype protocol that each session is of 1 ½ hours duration. 

Further updates will be issued as and when necessary.