The International Journal of Play and Creative Art Therapies  

The new journal was launched in November 2016.  Its purpose is to encourage and disseminate the results of original research carried out by Play Therapy UK (PTUK) and Play Therapy International (PTI) Registrants, as well as others working in this field.

Papers will need to meet the high quality standards demanded by peer reviewed research journals and written in an appropriate style.

This Journal will be published in addition to Play for Life, which is a practitioners' publication, published by PTUK and PTI, where articles may be written in a more informal style.   


Call for research papers

We would like to invite the submission of research papers between 3,000-5,000 words on empirical and conceptual research relevant to play therapy practice and its derivatives such as filial play coaching, sand play therapy, Theraplay etc.

We particularly welcome papers in the following areas:

  • Based on your M.A. dissertations
  • the historical development of play therapy
  • the nature of childhood
  • epistemological and methodological issues as applied to research and practice
  • overview and analysis of key theories and concepts used in play therapy  practice, for example: those drawn from neurobiology and also psychology such as Rogers, Jung, Freud, Bowlby, Oaklander, Piaget, Erikson, Winnicott.
  • analysis of local, national and international policies and legislation in relation to working with children
  • children's culture, rights and participation in therapy
  • ethics and values in relation to play therapy
  • children's experience of play therapy
  • reflective accounts on the implications of using play therapy in diverse settings like CAMHS teams, domestic violence units or hospitals
  • photo essays which illustrate specific aspects of play therapy practice
  • examinations of theories as applied to play therapy practice; explorations of areas of play therapy practice which identify areas for further research
  • research methodology
  • effectiveness, efficacy and efficiency

All papers will be refereed by at least two reviewers, one of whom will be an expert in the subject area of the paper and one will be someone from the editorial board. The Editor would welcome abstracts of not more than 150 words emailed to

Detailed submission guidelines will be sent to those authors whose abstracts fall within the remit of The International Journal of Play& Creative Art Therapies.   

Play Therapy Research Forum  

This section will contain: 

  • Book reviews - which may also be published in Play for Life;
  • Letters including those critiquing papers and stimulating debate  
  • Short papers on practitioner experiences which can include photographs of examples of play Short papers which outline a recent problem in practice to share with the wider play therapy community;  
  • Short papers which reflect an ethical dilemma;  

All of which should be aimed at stimulating research and/or discussion.  

These papers should be no more than 1500 words and need not contain literature reviews but will be reviewed by the Editorial Team to ensure suitability for publication. Please email your ideas to for further information and guidance on submitting an article.   

Guidelines for Authors

Submissions to the editor are welcome throughout the year and all submissions will be evaluated in terms of their relevance, interest and readability. Papers will be passed to a referee who will then submit feedback and an editorial decision will be sent to the author.

Papers should be concise with a clear understandable account of the content. A word count (excluding references and tables) must be provided at the end of all submissions and an abstract should also be included (100-150 words) detailing the rationale for the article, methods employed and conclusions drawn. Articles should be emailed to the editor in Microsoft Word format with the authors name, position and email address appearing below the title.

General Guidelines

  1. All text should be in justified body text format and double line spaced.
  2. Do not include page numbers, section breaks or headers or footers.
  3. Where possible do not include tables and figures in the main body of the text. These should be typed on a separate page of the document or on a separate document. Tables should be in a format that is easy to edit with font sizes for labels of no less that 8pt.
  4. Indicate clearly where in the text you would like figures and tables to be inserted.
  5. Where possible avoid the use of appendices and footnotes.
  6. Text should be presented in the following format:  
  • Title = New Times Roman 16pt bold
  • Name, position etc = New Times Roman 12pt
  • Section headings = New Times Roman 14 pt
  • Sub headings = New Times Roman 12pt bold + italics
  • Main body of the text = New Times Roman 12pt  

Ethical Guidelines

Authors are required to ensure the integrity of their manuscripts and, where research is being reported, to demonstrate that this conforms to internationally accepted ethical guidelines and the PTUK/PTI Ethical Framework or professional equivalent. Where relevant, an ethics statement must be included in the Methods section of the paper confirming that the study has been approved by an ethics committee or has obtained NHS/Local Authority ethics approval and that all participants have provided either verbal or written consent.

Each manuscript must be accompanied by a statement that it has not been published elsewhere and that it has not been submitted simultaneously for publication elsewhere. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce copyrighted material from other sources. As an author, you are required to secure permission if you want to reproduce any figure, table, or extract from the text of another source. This applies to direct reproduction as well as derivative reproduction (where you have created a new figure or table which derives substantially from a copyrighted source). All accepted manuscripts, artwork, and photographs become the property of PTUK who is the publisher. 


Authors are asked to pay particular attention to the accuracy, punctuation and correct presentation of references. In-text references should be cited by giving the author's name, year of publication (Smith, 1928) and specific page numbers after a direct quotation. In-text lists of references should be in chronological order. A reference list should appear at the end and should include only those references cited in the text. References should be double spaced, arranged alphabetically by author, and chronologically for each author. Publications for the same author appearing in a single year should use a,b,c etc. Please indicate secondary references.

BOOK: Kelly, L. (1988) Surviving Sexual Violence, Cambridge, Polity.

BOOK CHAPTER: Bates, J. (1997) Men, Masculinity and Child Care, in Bates, J, Pugh, R and Thompson, N. (eds), Protecting Children Challenges and Change, London, Arena.

JOURNAL ARTICLE: Wilson, K. and Ridler, A. (1996) Children and literature, British Journal of Social Work, 26(1), pp. 17-36.

MULTI-AUTHOR ARTICLE: Where there are more than two authors, the reference within the text should be cited as Smith et al. and the date, but in the reference list the names of all the authors should be included.

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