The course focuses on play therapy as a method of alleviating a child's emotional, conduct, social and mental health problems using play and creative arts therapies. Through the various therapeutic processes and techniques it enables children to help themselves and enable their potential. The course builds on practical experience, enhancing the learner's skills through exposure to theory, policy, research and work-based learning. Offered in collaboration with the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy (APAC) – course developers, this parttime blended learning course provides an opportunity to obtain an internationally recognized play therapy qualifi cation and to become a certifi ed play therapist. The course has been developed to meet the Play Therapy International (PTI) standards of practice and training, in conjunction with Play Therapy Ireland (PTIrl).
Who Should Apply?
This course is suitable for those who wish to add therapeutic play skills to their existing qualifi cation. It is aimed at individuals who work with children in roles such as counsellor psychotherapists, psychologists, teachers, occupational therapists, nurses and social workers.
Course Structure and Delivery
The taught element of the programme is organised as a 15-day residential summer school at NUI Galway, followed by independent study, course assignments and a clinical practice component of 100 hours working with children. This workload normally requires a maximum of 20 months spanning over two academic years to complete. Students can exit the programme at the end of stage one or progress into the second stage – the Diploma phase which has a similar course structure of 15-day residential summer school, course assignments and 100 hours of clinical supervision. Students are supported in their assignment work by their course tutor and their supervisor oversees their clinical practice module.
The emphasis in course delivery is on experiential and practical training. It's what you will be able to achieve with children through play that's important – not just your theoretical knowledge. The experiential training has three important aspects:
• Understanding the therapeutic processes that children undergo
• Uncovering any personal issues that may arise for you in your work and how to manage them
• Non-directive play therapy – using therapeutic methods, play and creative arts media that the children choose to use
Learning will mainly be experiential and collaborative using pair/ group work, roleplay and case presentation. The teaching team consists of experienced therapists as well as trainers who are experienced in therapeutic playroom techniques and theoretical knowledge which will inform your practice, help you to reflect and to point to ways of developing your own theoretical framework.