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Personal Qualities Required to be a Play Therapist
The practitioner's personal qualities are of the utmost importance to clients. Many of the personal qualities considered important in the provision of play therapy services have an ethical or moral component and are therefore considered as virtues or good personal qualities.

It is inappropriate to prescribe that all practitioners possess these qualities, since it is fundamental that these personal qualities are deeply rooted in the person concerned and developed out of personal commitment rather than the requirement of an external authority. Personal qualities to which practitioners are strongly encouraged to aspire include:

   

Each of these qualities is explained below.
Back to deciding what to do if a child has an emotional or behaviour problem

Empathy - the ability to understand how others feel - to put yourself in the client's position Experiential training will increase your understanding of what the children are feeling during play therapy. You will also need to empathise with parent/carers, referrers and others involved.
Sincerity - ‘you do what you say’ To gain children's trust.
Integrity - straightforwardness, honesty and coherence.
Resilience - work without being personally diminished. You must not let the, sometimes harrowing children's experiences 'get to you'.
Respect - show appropriate esteem to others Never patronise the children.
Humility - acknowledge own strengths and weaknesses No one is perfect, the children will respect your admission of mistakes and weaknesses.
Competence - effective deployment of skills Play therapy competencies must be acquired through experiential training that is practice based.
Fairness - consistent decisions and actions. Treat all children equally - they will soon find out, if you don't
Wisdom - sound judgement. This comes through experience, clinical supervision, reflection on practise, clinical governance and continuous professional development.
Courage Being able to take decisions and act in spite of known fears, risks, uncertainty and opposition.


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