Play therapy in Singapore

Document Type

Book Chapter


Chinese University Press


School of Arts and Humanities


Sock, L.K. (2018). Play therapy in Singapore. In A. F. Y. Siu & A. K. L. Pon (Eds.), Play therapy in Asia (pp. 173-202). Sha Tin, Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.

Book Available here.


In Singapore, the development and utilization of play therapy pales in comparison to that of art therapy. Before play therapy reached Singapore, experts from overseas first introduced the mental health profession to expressive and creative arts therapy. The first wave of development comes from Mr. Mark Pearson. In 2001, Mark Pearson, an Australian, Expressive Art Therapist and Trainer offered one of the first structured certification training in Expressive Therapies for children and adolescents in Singapore. Mr. Pearson's workshop and that of the use of symbolism and expressive arts brought a bout of fresh air to the community that was dominated by talk therapies—the traditional method of exchange and therapy. The expressive art and creative approaches attracted a steady group of practitioners who are keen to focus more on different expressive styles and interventions. To date, Mr. Pearson continued to be involved in the trainings and development of other expressive arts approaches such as Expressive Arts, Sandtray Therapy and Symbol Works. Another important milestone is the inauguration of a post-graduate program in Art Therapy. In 2005, LaSalle College of the Arts received their first intake for their Master program in Art Therapy approved by the Australia and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association, making it the first formalized training in art therapy towards certification and registration in Singapore.

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