Hospital Play Therapy is an integral part of the treatment of children and adolescents in hospitals.

Children and adolescents who are in hospitals need to have the same opportunity for stimulation and development as their healthy peers. It is their legal right to receive play therapy according to article 24, section 16 in the Education act:

§16 If a child is cared for in a hospital or other institution, the head of the institutions shall be responsible for giving the child the opportunity to participate in education that as far as possible corresponds to that offered in preschool, preschool class or after-school center. (SFS 2010: 800)

Children and adolescents have the right to receive comprehensive information regarding treatment according to article 19, section 763 of the Health and Medical Care Act of 1982.

Play/Child Specialists generally have a Bachelor in Child and Youth Education or in Recreation and Leisure Education, often with additional certification in Special Education.

Hospital Play Therapy facilities are usually located in the paediatric wards.

And also supported by the UN Convention on Children’s Rights and the standards of the Nordic Association for Sick Children in Hospitals.

The Child Care Program seeks to achieve the following goals:

  • Promote normal, healthy growth and development by providing therapeutic play and creative arts opportunities.

  • Enable children and adolescents to work through the stressful experience of hospitalisation, resolving anxiety and regaining strength.

  • Emphasize the importance of play therapy as a Free Area, a place of security.

  • In cooperation with medical staff, provide support to parents and siblings.

  • Provide and encourage a suitable environment for children and adolescents in hospital.

Play and creativity are important

Hospitalized children and adolescents are in a new and unfamiliar environment, surrounded by strangers. This may be a frightening and difficult experience. Children and adolescents express their feelings and needs individually. Through their play and creative activities they are able to work through their experiences and receive help in understanding and handling their reality.

Hospital Play Therapy is a place of security within the hospital environment, a safe haven where children, adolescents and their families can play, create and relax. The play/child specialist is attentive to the way each child or adolescent expresses them selves, and supports them in their communications.

Our Association was founded in 1987

The Association goals are to:

  • Promote public knowledge of play therapy.

  • Provide a point of contact for members.

  • Monitor methodology and development aspects within the field.

  • Initiate contacts with other countries regarding play therapy.

  • Cooperate with similar associations for hospitalised children abroad.

  • Provide a point of contact for government and other organisations.

  • The Association of Swedish Hospital Play Therapy is not affiliated with any political or religious group.