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Accredited Diploma Course Details

This play therapy course has been clinically accredited by PTI. Successful completion of the course and the required clinical hours leads to PTI certification as a Play Therapist.

The course is also validated for academic standards by the Leeds Beckett University as part of the MA in Practised based Play Therapy programme run in a collaborative partnership with APAC at a number of centres – see course provider details.

Content Details
Designed for: The post graduate course is designed for those that have completed a PTI accredited Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills course. Participants may come from any background such as:

  • Counsellors
  • Psychotherapists
  • Clinical Psychologists
  • Primary School Teachers/Assistants
  • Nurses
  • Nursery School Teachers/Assistants
  • Social Workers & Clinical Social Workers
  • Play School Teachers/Assistants
  • Care Home Staff
  • Adoption/Foster Agency Workers
Designed to: 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 Profession Structure Model competencies defined by PTI to work with individuals and groups of children who have moderate to severe problems

The Certificate course is the first part of programme leading to an MA in Practised Based Play Therapy.

The Diploma course is the second part of a programme leading (optionally) to the MA in Practised Based Play Therapy course.

This course is at stage 3 of the PTI four stage training model

Synopsis 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, and others. 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.

Learning Objectives: 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
Course Structure Module Descriptors (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 abused children; Court Work; Student presentation

Learning Methods: The course is divided into 5 modules.

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 be experiential 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 weekends. Assignments will be the subject of group discussions during the following module

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.

Venues: APACPTUKPTC & PTirl have permanent training centres in Canada, France, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

These courses are also run according to demand in other countries.

Awards: Successful participants will receive two awards:

Professional: PTI/PTUK Diploma in Play Therapy

Academic: (if registered with Leeds Beckett University): Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy with 60 ‘M’ points

The awards are made on the basis of:

  • Two written case studies, covering the work with a child for at least 1 year and 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 completion of the case work summaries and submission of pre and post outcome measures
  • Satisfactory attendance on the course
Duration: 15 days normally consisting of 5 x 3 day modules (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays)

Other options are: 15 days continuous at APAC’s Summer School in the South of France

15 days consisting of 3 x 5 days for in-house training courses and for countries outside Canada, Ireland and the UK.

  • APAC – the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy
  • PTUK – Play Therapy United Kingdom
  • PTirl – Play Therapy Ireland
  • PTAu – Play Therapy Australasia
Fees: Please check with your chosen training provider above.

After successful application you can pay online at Play Therapy Shop

Dates: Up to 4 intakes per year according to demand – please check with your chosen training provider.
Faculty / Facilitators: Chosen from a faculty of presenters accredited by PTI, APAC and approved by Leeds Beckett University.