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The Play Therapy Dimensions Model as Adopted by Play Therapy Australasia

The Play Therapy Dimensions Model (PTDM) has been developed by Lorri Yasenik and Ken Gardner, certified play therapy supervisors and co-directors of The Rocky Mountain Play Therapy Institute. PTAU has adopted the PTDM as a standard for good quality play therapy practice and clinical supervision. It is incorporated into the competency framework becoming an essential part of the initial training of play therapists and a CPD/CE requirement. It is an excellent method to use as a part of clinical governance procedures.

It is also recommended that the book and accompanying DVD 'Play Therapy Dimensions Model - A Decision-Making Guide for Therapists' by Lorri Yasenik and Ken Gardner ISBN 0-9735628-0-3 is studied by every PTAU member. Copies may be obtained through PTI.

A brief introduction is given below:

Origins of the model
Application of the Model
The Quadrants

Origins of the Model

  • Developed by Lorri Yasenik & Ken Gardner
  • Based upon the Prescriptive Play Therapy approach as expounded by Charles Schaefer
  • The PTDM incorporates the theories and techniques of a variety of play therapy approaches to address a spectrum of presenting issues and problems enabling the construction of an individualised treatment plan
  • The model encourages therapists to consider moving from their original point of intervention or approach
  • But it does not presume that movement has to take place
  • It allows for movement within a session eg a child stops metaphorical play and starts talking about problems as well as between sessions
    Application of the Model

    The Play Therapy Dimensions Model is a conceptual framework for:

  • Play therapy practice and supervision
  • Analysing changes in child’s play / behaviour
  • Assisting session planning & decision taking
    It works with a number of theoretical approaches & techniques; is integrative; two dimensional.


    The two axes are directiveness and consciousness:

    Directiveness takes account of:

  • The degree of therapist immersion
  • The level of interpretation by the therapist
    Consciousness considers:

  • The child’s representation of consciousness in play
  • The play activities and verbalisations
    The four quadrants derived from the two axes are shown below:


    The Quadrants

    The book and DVD explains in detail, with case examples, how the PTDM may be applied to practice and supervision.

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