Play Therapy Australasia (PTAU) - 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 and support from Play Therapy
On this page we summarise:
Practitioner Membership is open, at
various levels, to ALL those
working therapeutically with children AND those who have an
interest in the subject:
Special Needs Teachers
Child Care Workers
Anyone who is training to work with children
and wishes to acquire play or creative arts therapy skills at sometime.
PTAU exists to further the good practice of
therapeutic work with children. This includes improving children's
emotional literacy as well as alleviating social, 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 critical stage in Australia.
There is overwhelming evidence to support the
efficacy of therapeutic play. A number of countries such as Canada,
Ireland, the UK and USA have an established play therapy profession. Play
therapy is starting to emerge in Australia and New Zealand and now needs an
innovative organisation to support the profession. PTAU intends to
provide this role.
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.
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.
PTAU welcomes into membership anyone interested
in working with children including those who
have 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.
PTAU is a forum for working together with a
respect for each other's role.
To be the leading professional body, in Australia 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.
To act as a professional organisation for anyone working therapeutically
with children in Australia.
To promote the benefits of
therapeutic work with children.
standards and provide an
training and other resources available for
therapeutic work with children by working with training providers,
disseminating information and accrediting appropriate courses in creative
To promote and advance discussion,
education and research in play therapy, creative arts therapies and child
To establish and develop
professional standards for all those working
therapeutically with children.
addition to this web site, PTAU distributes the world's leading play
therapy practitioners journal 'Play for Life' to
communicate with all those interested in working therapeutically with
Play Therapy Australasia's constitution reflect s the principles of its founding
- A wide range of therapeutic interventions using play or creative arts
therapies and filial play 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 and sandplay.
- 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.
- 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.
- PTAU must provide a lead and meet all of the obligations required of a
- 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.
- 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. PTAU believes that liberty is an even more important
principle than democracy in corporate governance..
- PTAU will work collaboratively with any organisation that aims to
The governing documents are the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
The Board of Directors are responsible for the strategic direction and
day to day operation of PTAU. They are legally and financially responsible
for running the Society.
The Board of Directors takes into account recommendations from the
Advisory Board which in turn receives suggestions and proposals from PTAus’
There are two main classes of members:
Practitioner members for whom PTAU provides a professional
infrastructure and a range of services
Shareholding members – these are persons or organisations that
provided and continue to provide funds, over and above practitioner
membership fees, subscriptions and other revenue to enable PTAU to become
established and grow. Since PTAU is a not for profit company these members
do not receive dividends neither will they receive any appreciation on the
value of their shares. Any eligible person may apply for shares.
The Articles of Association specifically determines that the company is
prevented from distributing any profits arising from its activities.
PTAU aims, in the medium term, to generate sufficient excess of revenues
over costs in order to:
- Invest these surpluses in research, development, growth and bursaries
- Become independent of raising funds through the sale of shares, gifts,
It is not currently the intention to work towards charity status.
The Board of Directors feels strongly that if an organisation is meeting the
needs of the children in Australia and its practitioner members and
is run effectively and efficiently it should not be necessary to rely on
charitable donations to fund its operations.
Good Corporate Governance
The structure of PTAU allows its practitioner members to propose changes
in policies, rules or procedures through the mechanisms of:
- The Advisory Board
- Ad Hoc consultations
- Referenda – held from time to time
These processes speed up decision taking and avoid the use of a laborious
system of committees and sub-committees. It also ensures that proposals for
change are filtered through an experienced panel of multi-disciplined
professionals – The Advisory Board.
This two tier structure is similar to that adopted by many European
The continued success of PTAU depends upon providing good service to its
practitioner members so that the needs of the majority are always taken into
account. We are market led.
Working with Other
PTAU liaises and works with other
professional societies, associations and institutions whose members work
affiliated to Play Therapy International (PTI)
the foremost international association in the field. Other
affiliates include Canada, France, Ireland, Malaysia, Romania,
Russia, Spain, and the UK
In the absence of any regulation or registration in the field of
therapeutic play and play therapy by governments, PTAU acts as a governing
body in a self regulating profession. In accepting this responsibility we
have set the highest standards of education, training and practice
appropriate to the level of working.