How To Track Progress in Play Therapy | Pro-Socials

As I talked about in my post How to Write Play Therapy Notes, there are a variety of ways to track progress in play therapy.

One of the easiest ways to track progress in play therapy is through pro-socials, or positive social skills that the client is demonstrating in session.

Today's post will discuss how to track pro-socials in your documentation to monitor your clients' progress in play therapy.


As I said above, pro-social are positive social skills. This can be:

  • Making eye contact

  • Sharing

  • Showing respect

  • Respecting limits and boundaries

  • Picking up toys

  • Verbally communicating

  • Using manners

  • Showing empathy

  • Being able to work with the therapist 1:1

  • Walking

  • Exhibiting self-control

  • Saying "please" and "thank you"

  • Repeating words the therapist said in session

....just to name a few!

The key, however, is consistently documenting the pro-socials that occur throughout your work with the client to see if there is a change in pro-socials.

Below are a few examples for how that might look in your work.

When first working with Bobby, he runs to your office, takes all of the toys off of the shelves, and screams at you. You document this thoroughly in your notes (even though the incident is already thoroughly documented in your brain!) By session 10, you notice that Bobby is able to walk to your office and uses an "indoor voice" when communicating.

Alice is an anxious little girl that has a hard time separating from her mother to even sit in the chair beside her. Alice doesn't make eye contact with you and is uncomfortable taking the initiative to choose what to play with in session. By session 3, Alice is able to make eye contact with you. By session 10, Alice was able to choose what toys to play with in session. By session 15, Alice was able to separate from her mother for 15 minutes and work with you 1:1.

The beauty of documenting pro-socials when writing play therapy progress notes is that you are continuing to follow the child's lead and truly make treatment centered on them and how they are progressing.

Each child is different, which means that their progress (and progress notes) will look different! At the same time, pro-socials provide play therapists with a consistent way to track children's progress in session, no matter how they are presenting!

I hope this makes your progress monitoring that much easier in your child therapy sessions!

Until next time, Play On!

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