The core programme is built around three subject strands that build up over the course. These 3 strands are:
2.Developing Clinical Skills
Subjects in the Play Therapy Postgraduate Diploma (years 1 and 2) are:
•Psychotherapeutic Experience: The Internal Working Model,
•Play & Expressive Arts: Theory and Practice
•Human Development including Play
•Psychotherapeutic Experience: Exploring Patterns and Relationships
•Integrative Psychotherapy and the Play Therapy Process
•Play Therapy and Counselling: Supervised Practicum
•A Comparative Analysis of Psychotherapy and Play Therapy Models
•Considering Systems and Environments in Child & Adolescent Therapy
Subjects in the MA Psychotherapy (years 3 and 4) are:
Neurobiologically Informed Therapeutic Use of Self
•Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy Practice
•Trauma Informed Psychotherapy
•Research Methods and Dissertation
This focuses on developing non-directive, client-centred, play and counselling skills, a working knowledge of child development, play, relevant psychological theories and safe working practices; developing a therapeutic relationship; using therapeutic play to facilitate children in developing psychological resilience and reaching their potential (developing self confidence, self-esteem, and a strong sense of personal identity); and to intervene with clients with a range of particular needs. It has a specific focus on the personal development of the course participants to ensure development of self-awareness, growing maturity, and the development of basic counselling and listening skills. Trainees engage in a practicum to develop observational skills, and practice facilitating creative play sessions. The focus on child observation builds a foundation for developing research skills, and the myriad of approaches to therapeutic play based interventions builds skills in assessment and programme planning. In this year there are a mixture of 2, 3 and 4-day modules based around weekends as far as possible.
This focuses on training participants to work as play therapists with a range of clients with mild and moderate emotional problems. The initial focus is on training as a Client Centred Play Therapist, then on integrating non directive approaches with more focused interventions to assist clients to develop healthy coping skills. We introduce a variety of models of psychotherapy and play therapy, their origins, their underlying personality theories and philosophies, and practice issues. This year also covers counselling skills in more depth, developing a systemic and professional framework, working with parents and carers as 'secondary clients', and involves many personal development workshops utilising creative and play media and approaches. Participants are introduced to the use of creative therapy with clients of all ages; working with clients who present with specific emotional and/or behavioural difficulties (e.g. bereavement, parental separation) and/or disorders. Participants engage in Clinical Practice with children and their families, a proportion of which is clinically supervised by core trainers (included in course fee). There is a focus on developing skills in linking theory and practice including understanding themes in play, conceptualizing the therapy process with young clients, reading play as the language of the child and facilitating developmentally appropriate creative therapy sessions. In this year there are a mixture of 1, 2 and 3 day modules based around weekends as far as possible.
This focuses on developing an understanding of the counselling and psychotherapy process, coupled with developing skills and a knowledge base to work with clients, including adolescents, with more challenging issues and complex life histories. Emphasis is given to counselling and psychotherapy through the mediums of play and creative media, supported by talk therapy, for clients who present with attachment disorders and/or have experienced child abuse and/or neglect. Continuing personal development (using the creative therapies) facilitates participants to process personal issues. Input is also given regarding Jungian Sandplay Therapy and Gestalt Therapy approaches in clinical practise, as well as an insight into other relevant approaches to psychotherapy, theories of change and human development.
Supervised clinical practice continues with clients of diverse ages.
In this year there are a mixture of 1, 2 and 3 day modules. Open House days continue.
A significant focus in the professional training element of fourth year is on developing the skills, knowledge and competencies to practice safely and ethically as a psychotherapist with a diversity of clients with complex and multifaceted needs. Trainees will engage in clinical practice throughout the year and will attend regular supervision sessions with assigned trainers/supervisors. These sessions will incorporate a significant training element and will challenge and support trainees in making links between theory and practice
Supervised practice, and theoretical content, relate to working on a deep psychotherapeutic level with clients of diverse ages, and with complex needs, while making extensive use of creative approaches.
In the MA research methods blended learning component students are introduced systematically to the range of research methods used in psychotherapy and will complete a research dissertation. Particular emphasis is given to formulating appropriate questions, objectivity, reliability, techniques used in research projects that are most relevant to practitioner researchers, ethical considerations, analysing data and presenting findings.
Each trainee must participate in Individual Therapy Sessions, a minimum of 30 per year, with an accredited psychotherapist (generally IAHIP), of their own choosing, scheduled at own convenience, over the duration of the course. The experience of being a client is vital to developing an understanding of the therapy process in an experiential way and facilitates the self-exploration and development of increased self-awareness that is central to the practice of therapy. The cost of these sessions is not included in the course fee and will be negotiated between the trainee and the therapist of their choosing. Group psychotherapy sessions take place during course time. There is no additional cost for these sessions.
Over the 4 years therapeutic/personal development sessions including both group and individual therapy sessions span 180 hours. Further personal reflective activities bring these hours up to 250. There are opportunities for personal development in the course itself and through workshops, experiential activities and relationships within the group.
Clinical Practice and Supervision
CTC take a careful and sequential approach to clinical practice: for safety reasons there are many carefully monitored stages before the work with clients will reach the level of psychotherapy. Trainees will begin by engaging in child observation sessions, then therapeutic play sessions, then play therapy sessions with children and adolescents, support session with parents, and counselling sessions with adults, as they progress through the training and are assessed as being ready to engage in increasingly complex clinical work and psychotherapy practice. Some clinical supervision is included in course fee; additional privately funded supervision is also required both during the course itself and the pre-accreditation period.
Professional Training Assessment Components:
•Self, peer, trainer and supervisor assessment.
•Self-awareness, maturity, and ability to work with group dynamics.
•Satisfactory participation, development and demonstration of appropriate skills and competencies in relation to each module as set and assessed by module tutors.
•Completion of course requirements and assignments to acceptable standard
•Satisfactory attendance and timekeeping.
Our Play Therapy and Psychotherapy Awards
This is a four-year course. The QQI award for those completing the 4 years is an MA in Creative Psychotherapy (Humanistic and Integrative Modality). A QQI exit award, Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Play Therapy, is awarded at the end of 2nd year. As the QQI award is set at level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications entry is restricted to applicants who have already completed a suitable undergraduate degree. Entry to year 3 is restricted to holders of IAPTP recognised Play Therapy course qualification, or to holders of an alternative Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy plus the IAPTP Statement of Equivalence to IAPTP Approved Play Therapy Training, which entails additional conversion training to meet IAPTP criteria.