This play therapy course has been clinically accredited by Play Therapy International (PTI). Successful completion of the course and the required clinical hours leads to PTI certification as a Play Therapist. It is based on PTI's International standards of competencies. Like the Certificate, it is the only course in the world that has been validated through clinical outcomes research - see news. Participants who complete the course successfully will have considerable credibility with employers.
It is validated for academic standards by the National University of Ireland as part of the MA in Practised based Play Therapy programme run in a collaborative partnership with APAC. Phone either Monika Jephcott on 0044 1825 761143 or email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for Career Guide & full Brochure or download an Application Form - MS Word or PDF - versions available.
For Garda vetting please contact email@example.com.
You can start on the course but must be successfully vetted before you can start your practice. This process takes around 6 weeks so please apply for this as early as possible.
The Diploma course is the second part of a programme leading to an MA in Practised Based Play Therapy. The course is at stage 3 of the PTIRl's four stage training model
The course has been designed to:
Enhance your career/professional skills
Increase your satisfaction in working with children
Give you the skills to help children develop their emotional literacy
Give you the skills to alleviate behaviour and mental health problems
Assist your own personal development
Provide you with the Profession Structure Model competencies defined by PTUK to work with individuals and groups of children who have moderate to severe problems
Successful participants will be awarded 60 M/CAT points by the university.
The course is designed for anyone who has had at least 100 hrs experience of working with children or adolescents using therapeutic play or creative arts and has an appropriate first degree or equivalent. Participants may come from any background such as:
Primary School Teachers/Assistants
Nursery School Teachers/Assistants
Play School Teachers/Assistants
Care Home Staff
Adoption/Foster Agency Workers
The course is experiential in nature and will be specifically rooted in non- directive play therapy.
AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH TO PLAY THERAPY - Children and their environment
As in the Certificate course material for the Diploma builds upon the theory and practice of humanistic psychology, particularly that of Virginia Axline ("Dibs In Search of Self") and Carl Rogers and gestalt play therapy developed by Violet Oaklander. It recognises contributions made by others in the early 1900s, such as John Bowlby, Margaret Lowenfeld, Donald Winnicott, Rachel Pinney etc. It extends to a deeper understanding of the unconscious processes in relation to the child's development based upon Freud, Jung, Graff, Fairburn Hillman, Moore and Jacobson. It also places importance on the spiritual aspect of human development. Opportunities for many forms of creativity will enrich the contents of the course.
You will be exploring ways of integrating the child as the centre of a social system, which includes schools, families, and team of support.
The course is divided into 5 free standing modules.
The main items in the 'Play Therapy Tool-Kit' are re-visited at a greater level of competence, put into practice with more difficult problems and used as assessment methods.
The overall purpose is to enable participants to practice safely and effectively as a Play Therapist.
Upon successful completion of the course each participant will have gained:
- the competencies to work with all children (individual and group) of with all problems where Play therapy is suitable and with children and young people with mild to severe problems
- to make assessments incorporating the PDM
- A sound understanding of the principles underlying play therapy and the appropriate use of techniques
- The competencies required for running play therapy sessions with groups of children as well as individuals
- An ability to assess children's needs and set up a play therapy services unit
- An ability to make decisions taking into account the ethical issues concerning all parties involved
- Increased confidence in using play therapy with children and adolescents and communications with referrers, parents and guardians
- The counselling, therapeutic and practical skills to carry out effective play therapy
- Awareness of your own process and development
- A comprehensive theoretical knowledge of child development and child psychology
- An ability to use the taught play therapy skills as assessment tools
- The ability to use a full play therapy tool-kit
- A basic understanding of play therapy research issues and methods
Module Descriptions (Modules 1 - 5 form the Certificate in Therapeutic Skills course
(The sequence and content may vary slightly from course to course)
Module 6 - Introduction to Working with Groups; Developing Metaphors for Group Working; Introduction to Research Methods;. Developing Expressive Arts Skills - 1 - Dance and Movement for Groups; Assessment; Special cases: Autism, Mental/Physical disability
Module 7 - Developing Expressive Arts Skills 2 - Music Working With Parents/Teachers, Assessments through observation using video case studies Special cases: adopted, fostered
Module 8 - Developing Theatre Form Skills -Therapeutic Story Telling;. EPR; Assessment methods; Special cases: Loss/Bereavement, Separation
Module 9 - Developing Symbolic Play Skills; Sand Play - Advanced Skills; Working with Metaphors; Endings, Special cases: Physically and sexually abused - children who have experienced trauma
Module 10 - Developing Expressive Arts Skills - 3 Art in child development; Special cases working with Terminally Ill and or abuse; Court Work; Student presentation
Participants will learn through working with other members of the course about the roles and responsibilities of the therapeutic relationship. There will be tutorials on theory but formal teaching and lecturing will be kept to an essential minimum.
Learning will mainly be experiential, practical and collaborative using pair, group work, role-play and case presentations. Homework reading and other assignments will provide new information and consolidation of material from the experiential work encountered within the modules. Writing a process diary and working therapeutically with children are essential parts of the course work. Assignments and a project will be subject of group discussions during the following module.
The experiential aspect of the course will enable you to get in touch with your own inner child, to help you to understand the children's processes during therapeutic play.
It is essential that participants are working with children whilst the course is in progress. 100 supervised hours need to be completed before the Diploma can be awarded. Group clinical supervision of this work is a primary learning method. The situations and problems that you encounter in real life outside the classroom together with their solutions are an essential part of the learning process.
15 days consisting of 5 x 3 day modules (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays) spaced 6 - 8 weeks apart.
will be awarded, with 60 'M' points, on the basis of:
Two written case studies, covering the work with a child for at least 1 year and a group of children showing a clear integration of theory and practice.
Completion of an individual practical therapeutic project, designed and documented by the participant.
Continuous evaluation of course work contributions and ability to work with group dynamics
Post training presentation
Evidence of a further 100 hrs supervised hours of working with children using play therapy
Completion an an essay of about 3000 words
Evidence of regular play therapy supervision
Satisfactory attendance on the course
In addition to the University award, with 60 'M/CAT' points, Play Therapy International will award the Diploma in Play Therapy entitling the use of the title PTI Certified Play Therapist (subject to observing PTI's ethical and CPD requirements).
Click here for NUI Galway details
Venues already validated by Leeds Beckett (formerly Leeds Metropolitan) University are marked LBU
Venues in Ireland validated by National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway and marked NUI
- Clotworthy Arts Centre, AntrimLBU, Antrim Castle Gardens, Randalstown Road, Antrim, BT41 4LH.
- Marino Conference CentreNUI, Dublin, Ireland. For Garda vetting please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Carnloch Court Training CentreNUI, The Glen Cork, Ireland. For Garda vetting please contact email@example.com.
Selected from APAC's faculty of 12 specialist play therapy and creative arts facilitators.
APAC in collaboration with the National University of Ireland
Irish Courses (Cork and Dublin) - €3950 including University Registration fee
Irish Courses (Galway Summer School) - €3900 including University Registration fee
Northern Ireland (All UK Courses) - £3250 plus University Registration fee - £370
After successful application you can pay online at Play Therapy Shop
The University registration fee is for receiving the University award, you must have previously registered for the Certificate course.You should also budget for books and 12 hours of clinical supervision if your employer cannot provide this.