Welcome to APAC

The Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy.

The largest and most experienced dedicated play and creative arts therapies training organisation worldwide and the only play therapy training programmes validated through clinical outcomes.

APAC was established in 1998 to provide training in all aspects of child mental health and emotional well-being with play therapy at the heart. Over the years we have become the largest and most experienced dedicated training organisation worldwide. APAC's current share of the level 7 play therapy training market in the UK is now estimated at 83%. We teach the Integrative Holistic model of play therapy. It is the only play therapy training programme validated through a practice evidence base with over 46,000 outcome measures by referrers and parents.

We provide training for professionals who wish to work with children using therapeutic play and play therapy and be registered with the Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapist accredited by the Professional Standards Authority and managed by Play Therapy UK (PTUK). Overseas registrants are also accepted on the register through Play Therapy International (PTI). We also provide the advanced diploma in counselling children using the creative arts which is a conversion course for already trained counsellors and psychotherapists.

Our core training courses are at UK post graduate level 7, academically rigorous and professionally robust. CPD courses cannot be used to train initially as a Play Therapist but we do run a series of post qualifying courses.

Play Therapy is a great career

The underlying need for play therapy continues to increase due to: high divorce rates; blended families, looked after children; socio-economic pressures requiring both parents to work; the decline of the extended family; greater pressures for children to show academic proficiencies at younger ages; high screen time, and peer pressure to indulge in anti-social behaviour coupled with easy access to alcohol, drugs, etc.

In the UK the estimated latent demand for child mental health therapists is 23,370. There are an estimated 5000 existing practitioners, leaving a gap of 18,370 jobs to be filled. The government has promised an additional £1.7 billion for child mental health which will help to fill this gap. After practising for several years as a Play Therapist there are career progression opportunities in clinical supervision, filial play coaching, service management, play therapy training and the possibility of building your own children’s therapy business. APAC provides training for all of these opportunities.

(Demand models are available for 25 other countries.)

1,388 registrants trained by us are working in UK and most registrants have sufficient work to meet their needs, with some generating an income of over £60,000 per annum, which with hard work, is possible to achieve

You need a play therapy training provider with an excellent track record...

We have collaborative partnerships with: Leeds Beckett University for the UK and a number of overseas countries; the National University of Ireland (Galway) for Ireland and the College of Allied Educators in Singapore.

In 2019 we are currently training over 450 professionals in the UK and over 250 overseas. From September 2014 to July 2018, 2,371 enrolled on 78 PG Certificate and 58 PG Diploma courses.

Leeds Beckett have in 2019 revalidated our MA in Practiced Based Play Therapy programme for another six years.

This programme has appeal to a wide range of professions, including counsellors, psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, paediatricians, mental health policy makers, playworkers, special educational needs co-ordinators, teachers, professional carers, teaching assistants, educational psychologists, social workers, hospital play specialists, mentors, clinical supervisors, occupational therapists and nurses.

APAC courses are taught by blended learning methods and include essential experiential and practical exercises as well as theoretical material. The course content is the same regardless of the venue, and the APAC faculty of over 50 is used across all locations to deliver the courses. This ensures continuity and consistency of delivery to meet registration standards.

... delivered at convenient, high quality venues...

United Kingdom











Hong Kong








New Zealand

London (Waterloo and Pimlico)



Republic of China


Republic of South Africa

Tunbridge Wells




Our training venues are chosen for their therapeutic environment balanced with convenience of access – see links for details.

...one that has a superb record of trainee satisfaction...

The programme has been rated by the trainees at 91.6%. 97% would recommend it to others without any reservations.

Source: APAC/Leeds Beckett University Annual Monitoring Report

A unique experience to learn about yourself as well as new skills in an amazing environment. Loved the surroundings and the food provided. Amazing Course Director with caring and supportive assistants. Summer School 2019

It’s such a life changing course and I’ve never felt this way before. It was all amazing and so clever in how it all came together. Summer School 2019

The best, most effective thing in my personal development so far. Summer School 2019

As an adult-trained person-centred counsellor, having branched into working with children therapeutically in recent years, I was looking for a course to consolidate my learning and evidence my practice. What I got from the Advanced Diploma was so much more. Being able to experience play and art-based ways of communicating with children has enhanced my ability to use non-verbal techniques and really appreciate the absolute necessity of this for this client group. I feel much more grounded in current theories and research surrounding child development, neurobiology and play which has allowed me to make better sense of my practice and assess client's needs more effectively. The experiential nature of the course has developed not only my professional skills but has enhanced my personal development beyond what I would have expected. It has challenged me to re-visit parts of myself and to safely do so in a supportive, well-held environment. The self-awareness I have gained has deeply and positively affected not only my personal wellbeing and confidence but also my relationships with others. Advanced Diploma 2018

I am the Deputy Headteacher at XXXXXX Junior School at the moment but I am leaving in the summer to become the Headteacher of XXXXXXX. We have enjoyed having an APAC Play Therapy placement this year and I am really keen to see if there are any opportunities to do this at my new school. Seeing the tremendous results that it has produced, I would be thrilled to access this service again! Placement reference 2017

...very good academic achievements...

The average academic mark achieved by trainees over the last four years for all assignments has been 64.15% where 50% is a pass and 70% is a distinction. We had only six failures out of 2371 trainees.
Source: APAC/Leeds Beckett University Annual Monitoring Report

...and very importantly, excellent, measured professional (job) outcomes...

This evidence comes from PTUK's research which is carried out every three/four years:

"The overall effectiveness of the Integrative Holistic model of play therapy when measured by the SDQ Total Difficulties domain shows that a positive change was observed by referrers of 77% to 84% as observed by parents is shown to be statistically reliable."

"The amount of change varied according to gender, age, condition, severity of the issue and country. As an example, when the population of children with a greater severity of problem (SDQ total difficulties score of over 20) was examined, 93% observed by referrers and 87% by parents show a positive change."

All registrants in the survey qualified on an APAC course.
Source: The International Journal of Play and Creative Arts Therapies Research 2017.

One experience:

Thursday came and although I felt very nervous I managed to hold myself together and present about Play Therapy very proudly to 10 Head teachers and some other professionals.

I was asked to come 11am and I walked into a room full of discussions and as soon as I started I felt that I had all their attention and they all seemed very focused.

After your very helpful and practical advice I managed to find out the main areas of focus. They were mainly about pupil premium, new children and Ofsted targets, so focusing on those I presented how therapy could be a leading and linking factor to meet their needs in every area of those mentioned.

The next day I received an email from my head teacher and she said “XXXXXX, it was very well received by all the head teachers and I was so proud of you and from the feedback I received I think you are going to be very busy." Diploma Trainee

For more information - including the 'Complete Guide to Careers in Play Therapy' - a 28 page full colour brochure contact Susi by phone 01825 761143 or email contact@apac.org.uk


About APAC

About APAC


Training Courses

Training Courses


Training Centres

Training Centres




Student Resources

Student Resources





Our Policies






The courses are designed for:

  • - Counsellors
  • - Occupational Therapists
  • - TA/LAs
  • - Psychotherapists
  • - Professional Carers
  • - Mentors
  • - Clinical Psychologists
  • - Teachers
  • - Social Workers
  • - Psychiatrists
  • - SENCOs
  • - Mental Health Policy Makers
  • - Paediatricians
  • - Educational Psychologists
  • - Clinical Supervisors
  • - Nurses

Applicants with a relevant degree such as Childhood Studies and those with considerable experience of working with children but without formal academic qualifications are also accepted, subject to review.

Our play therapy training programme is the only one in the world that is validated through clinical outcomes research (over 10,000 cases).  It is accredited by leading play therapy professional organisations. The courses delivered in the UK are validated by Leeds Beckett (formerly Leeds Metropolitan) University for academic standards.

Summer School 2019

At La Mouline, St Genest de Contest, Tarn

APAC also runs in-house playtherapy training courses for schools, social services and local counselling services.

Summer School 2017


This course is intended to meet the needs of those who cannot find time during the year to undertake a long term course but would like to obtain a recognised and accredited qualification in the field of play therapy.


Request our complete guide for career advice and our full range of university accredited play therapy training courses by phoning + 44 (0)1825 761143 or email mokijep@majemail.com

Adverse Weather
  •    In the event of adverse weather, please consider your own safety. Unless you have been advised otherwise by APAC, all courses will run as scheduled at all venues. Please regularly check your emails. If you decide that you are unable to make your journey, please contact your Course Director or the APAC Office to let them know. If you are attending the first weekend of a course, please email Monika Jephcott on mokijep@majemail.com

What's On
Play Therapy Poland
  •   Diploma in Play Therapy starts on 17-Sep-2021 - Poland
Play Therapy Jakarta, Indonesia
  •   Certificate in Play Therapy starts on 23-Sep-2021 - College of Allied Educators
Play Therapy Surabaya, Indonesia
  •   Certificate in Play Therapy starts on 30-Sep-2021 - College of Allied Educators
Play Therapy Jakarta, Indonesia
  •   Diploma in Play Therapy starts on 14-Oct-2021 - College of Allied Educators