Figuring out what exactly needs to go into a progress note can be intimidating.
AND that intensifies when your progress notes include Play Therapy. So… how do you communicate in your progress notes that you are not “just playing” with a client but you are actually engaging in therapeutic play therapy interventions and techniques?
How do you clarify that you weren’t “just playing doctor for fun” but that you were working on goals and themes related to nurturing, support, and family?
So first, a couple of supports.
The number one thing that can help support you in demonstrating that you are engaging in play therapy vs “just playing” is getting clear on the difference between play and play therapy.
Check out this post HERE on the difference between “just playing” and play therapy. Once you understand the key defining features, such as having enough training to ethically put into practice play therapy techniques or modalities and using the framework of a play therapy theory.
AND if you are struggling to get clear on play themes check out this free guide HERE and this free mini master class HERE!
Ohhh - and for other general play therapy progress note support check out this roundup HERE!
Wheewww - okay - now on to two phrases you can use to differentiate play therapy from “just playing”:
Used play therapy technique of [insert technique] to support [symptom]
Example: Therapist used Reality Play Therapy technique of WDEP to help client understand how the need for power was leading to outbursts at home.
Used [play therapy theory] to help [related goal]
Example: Child Centered Play Therapy was used to support client in exploring themes relating to divorce.
Hopefully you can take these examples and use them in your next progress notes to get really clear on how the interventions and theories that you are using during your play therapy sessions are so much more than “just playing” and are providing clinically significant healing and growth!
If you are struggling with play therapy progress note support this is just the tip of the iceberg for what I teach in The 5 Minute Note Course. This course gives you support on all things progress notes. Learn to shrink your note writing process to write effortless and effective notes within your therapy day!
This course includes all the details, guides, and cheat sheets to help you know what to write and how to write it. AND includes templates and cheat sheets specifically for progress notes for
I'm Ann Meehan, an LPCC,