in Counselling and Psychotherapy


This is the website of John Barton, psychotherapist, and practitioner and teacher of the use of small figures in counselling and psychotherapy.

Small figure work can be easily learnt by practising counsellors and psychotherapists and provides a useful tool in the therapist’s repertoire. The use of small figures produces different self-knowledge in the client from the use of talking therapies and is effective alongside talking therapies. The work is primarily used in the one-to-one setting, however it can be used with couples and in family therapy, in supervision and in workplace/management settings.

John Barton lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand and was, until 2013, in Melbourne, Australia. He runs workshops on small figure work worldwide. He has both one and two-day workshops. After a one-day workshop experienced counsellors are likely to feel confident about using small figures with their clients.

He also teaches this work via the internet.

The figures used by John Barton are the toy Playmobil® figures and these are combined with some simple props. Playmobil® figures can be found on ebay and other second hand sites as well as in shops. They can also be bought via this website.

John Barton was introduced to this work by Dr Carlos Raimundo who calls his work Play of Life®. More information about Play of Life® can be found at

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