Play and Playing Working Group (PPWG) – Expression of interest

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Organised by:

Independent Psychoanalytic Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Association (IPCAPA) - British Psychotherapy Foundation (bpf)

28 March 2022 - 31 May 2022

Time: 10:00

Price: free

Location: online


This new study closed group will be thinking specifically about the meaning and nuances of play and playing in clinical practice. It will be consisted of 9-11 members who will present clinical material on a rotating basis. The group will try to draw and think about the clinical material, theoretically, clinically and research-wise in understanding the multi-layered meaning of play and playing. It will take place via Zoom, online and is for both qualified and trainee Child Psychotherapists or Child Analysts to express their interest.

Dates will be confirmed once the number of members are confirmed.

This closed working group will be meeting once every 2 weeks/once a month, present clinical material and focus on understanding the material around playing. The group would preferably bring together clinicians from the 3 different theoretical groups; Winnicottian, Kleinian and Anna Freudian. This will help us on building a diverse understanding on why and how play is used by children. Some examples are that the group will try to understand if play is a form of dealing with unconscious anxieties, and/or representations of phantasies, and/or a way to master skills and emotions, and/or a way of defence, etc. The group will take into account the developmental framework and think also of the sensory and motor developments, language and processing information and the qualities of engagement with the therapist, when child is playing or not playing.

An important aspect of the group is also to build and think on ideas on technique, when for example a therapist needs to become more active and/or more interpretative and/or when can work more in displacement.

After the selection process, a group will be formed and it will consider further the framework of the 1.5 hour meetings, how often (twice or once in a month) and the structure of it. One of the tasks of this Working Group will be to bridge theory, clinical experience and research into understanding the nuances of Play and Playing in the material presented by each member in the group.

Intended audience

This study group will be of interest to Child Psychotherapists or Child Analysts both trainees and qualified members, whether in private practice or in the NHS.

The expected time commitment is approximately 1.5-hour meetings you would need to be available on Monday or Wednesday evenings. Appropriate reading will be available for the group members to go through it at their own time.

For any questions or queries about this group and to note your interest in participating , please email Nikolaos Tzikas on

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