Play Therapist

Play Therapist

  • Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City
  • Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Specialized in providing therapeutic support to children. The ideal candidate will have expertise in play therapy techniques tailored to address the unique emotional and psychological needs of pediatric patients.


  • Mental Health Bachelor’s degree (i.e. Psychology, Social Work, Counselling)
  • Master’s degree in Play Therapy, Child Life, Counselling, or a related field.
  • Certification in Child-Centered Play Therapy or other specialized play therapy approaches.


  •  Two (2) years of experience post qualification in social work or psychology

Job Duties and Responsibilities:


  • To assess the emotional needs of children in consultation with other professionals as necessary
  •  To assess children for their suitability for play therapy and provide it when appropriate
  • To provide treatment of children using evidence-based interventions:
    – Conduct thorough assessments to understand the emotional impact of burn injuries on pediatric patients.
    – Develop and implement individualized play therapy treatment plans to address trauma, anxiety, and emotional distress.
  • To provide treatment of children through Therapeutic Play Sessions:
    – Utilize creative and age-appropriate play materials to engage children in therapeutic activities.
    – Facilitate play sessions that encourage expression, emotional release, and coping strategies specific to burn recovery.
  • To evaluate clinical treatment and to maintain a clinical caseload in collaboration with the multi-disciplinary team.
    – Work closely with the multidisciplinary medical team to integrate play therapy into the overall care plan.
    – Provide insights into the psychological well-being of pediatric patients and contribute to holistic treatment approaches.
  • To provide advice, consultation, training and support to other SSMC staff as appropriate.
  • To attend and inform review/progress meetings with SSMC staff/parents and care givers and multi-agency meetings as required.
  •  To complete a pre-admission assessment on all children referred.
  • To support the delivery of treatment plans and risk assessments.
  • To undertake Assessment and Play Therapy with children in response to referrals via the hospital’s referral process.
  • To liaise with the appropriate multidisciplinary team, regarding referrals and to coordinate referral to other external agencies.
  • To produce and maintain accurate case records and to maintain clinical records according to SSMC policies and government regulations.
  • Within an established discipline policy, to anticipate and manage challenging behavior constructively, promoting self-confidence and independence and encouraging children to take responsibility for their own behavior.
  • To contribute to creating a purposeful, orderly and supportive learning environment, which promotes positive attitudes and independence.
  •  To develop a 1:1 supportive relationship with children needing particular support aimed at achieving the goals defined in their Support Plans.
  • To build up a full and working knowledge of the range of support available for children (e.g. activities, course opportunities, and organizations) that could be drawn upon to provide extra support and to share this information with colleagues.
  • To contribute to and leverage parental involvement programs.
  • To actively engage as a team player within the team, to contribute to the success of the team and as needed support other team members in their work.
  • To actively inform policy development and contribute to the strategic SSMC’s planning process
  • To contribute to the development; ordering and maintenance of learning resources for the activity area, within an agreed budget.
  • To contribute to the development and implementation of Risk Assessments in line with Health and Safety policy.
  •  To provide general training to staff on psychosocial needs of burn patients.


  • To establish and maintain good relationships with other members of staff, parents and children.
  • Collaborate with families to provide education on play therapy benefits and involve them in the therapeutic process.
  • Offer guidance on play-based activities that families can continue at home to support the child’s recovery.
  • To develop and implement evidence based practice
  • To maintain high standards of professional practice
  • To be familiar with and comply with the Child Protection Policy and general policies of SSMC and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as a mandated reporter.
  • Maintain detailed records of play therapy sessions, observations, and children’s progress.
  •  Generate comprehensive reports for the medical team and contribute to ongoing assessments

Role-specific Job Responsibilities

  • Working in the burn unit requires exceptional sensitivity to the physical and emotional challenges faced by pediatric patients. The Play Therapist will play a crucial role in creating a supportive and healing environment through engaging and tailored play therapy interventions.
  • By joining our pediatric burn unit team, the Play Therapist will contribute significantly to the emotional resilience and recovery of young patients on their journey towards healing.