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Stage 2 – Postgraduate Diploma Courses

in Play Therapy (Stage II of MA in Practice Based Play Therapy)

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A complete guide to training for carers in play and creative arts therapies

Summary

  • 18-month course
  • 5 x day or 15 day programme
  • In person
  • Course Fees are £3,940 or €4,150

An integrative approach to Play Therapy – Children and their environment

The course is experiential in nature and will be specifically rooted in non-directive Play Therapy.

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 main items in the ‘Play Therapy Tool-Kit’ covered in the ‘Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills’ are re-visited at a greater level of competence and converted into skills to be used with therapeutic groups. You will also learn how to deal with more difficult problems and using the Play Therapy Dimensions Model (PTDM) as an assessment tool.

Duration

Regarding the structure of the Diploma Course, the full course duration is 18 months. Within this period there are five, three-day weekends of experiential taught time, spread out over a period of roughly nine months. A further nine months will be spent completing the clinical work for the course.

Alternatively as a 15 day intensive course at the Summer School in La Mouline, South of France and in Hong Kong , Sydney, Australia, Hamilton , New Zealand and Ireland. Please note that this does not affect the total duration of the course, which is 18 months.

Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy Courses delivered in the UK are validated for academic standards by University of Chichester as part of the MA in Practice Based Play Therapy programme run in a collaborative partnership with APAC. The academic award is made by University of Chichester.
University College Cork is responsible for the management of academic quality and the post graduate awards for the Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy Courses delivered in the Republic of Ireland.

The professional award which enables successful students to practice clinically is made by PTUK, or for overseas students by PTI. Successful participants will be placed as ‘Certified Play Therapists’ on the Register – Play Therapy UK’s Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists which is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

We are proud to announce APAC’s Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy Courses running in La Mouline, France. Summer School for 15 days starts 22nd July 2023  Click For More Details.

The Diploma course is the second part of a programme leading to an MA in  Practised Based Play Therapy. It is at stage 3 of the PTUK 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

The Diploma course is designed for anyone who has successfully completed the APAC Certificate in Therapeutic Play and has at least 50 hours experience of working with children or adolescents using Play Therapy. Participants may come from any background such as:

  • Counsellors Psychotherapists
  • Clinical Psychologists
  • Primary School Teachers/Assistants
  • Nurses
  • Nursery School Teachers/Assistants
  • Social Workers
  • Play School Teachers/Assistants
  • Care Home Staff
  • Adoption/Foster Agency Workers

1) Entry requirements UK – as below

Students progressing to the Diploma Level must have completed at least 75 clinical hours of supervised play therapy with children prior to the course commencement date, unless otherwise stated. Students are currently able to apply once they have completed 50 clinical hours (to be reviewed in January 2024).

  • Students must have submitted their 50 hours Supervision Report to the office.
  • All Postgraduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills fees have been paid in full.
  • All Postgraduate Certificate academic assignments (excluding Case Study) must have been submitted and marked by the Course Director.

*Please note that students may only apply after one month has passed since the due date of their final Certificate academic assignments.

Written online references are also required from both the Certificate Course Director and Clinical Supervisor.

*Please note that the reference from the Course Director cannot be obtained until the students’ academic work has been marked.

Enhanced DBS/ Access NI/ Garda Vetting/ Scottish PVG Check under the role of Trainee Play Therapist or Play Therapist – please email contact@ptukorg.com for information on the associated fees.

A current membership with Play Therapy UK / Play Therapy International will be required upon enrolment on the course as a Trainee or a Certified Practitioner in Therapeutic Play Skills.

2) Entry Requirements – Republic of Ireland

  • You have completed 100 clinical hours.
  • Your Final Portfolio has been submitted and marked by the Course Director.
  • All Postgraduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills fees have been paid in full.
  • You have gone through an Exam board and have your Postgraduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills Award

*Please note that students may only apply after one month has passed since the due date of their final Certificate portfolio.

Please note that the reference from the Course Director cannot be obtained until the students’ academic work has been marked. 

Enhanced DBS/ Access NI/ Garda Vetting/ Scottish PVG Check under the role of Trainee Play Therapist or Play Therapist – please email contact@ptukorg.com for information on the associated fees.

A current membership with Play Therapy UK / Play Therapy International will be required upon enrolment on the course as a Trainee or a Certified Practitioner in Therapeutic Play Skills.

Module Descriptions (Modules 1 – 3 form the Certificate in Therapeutic Skills course)
(The sequence and content may vary slightly from course to course)

Module 4 – Working Therapeutically with Groups of Children – developing metaphorical play skills at an advanced level

The aim of this module is for students to utilise advanced play therapy interventions with children who have more severe problems and introduce working therapeutically with groups of children.

  • Revisit the play therapy tools taught in the PG Certificate to enable the students to work with more severe problems
  • Therapeutic group work.
  • New theoretical concepts are introduced including the Embodiment, Projection and Role (EPR) framework and the Play Therapy Dimensions Model (PTDM).
  • Particular attention is given throughout the module to the students’ abilities to work harmoniously and productively within a group as well as to run and be responsible for play therapy groups.

Module 5 – Therapeutic decision taking, based on deepening skills for working with more severe problems

The aim of this module is for students

  • To be able to use and critically analyse sand play and art therapy techniques at a deeper level required for children with severe problems.
  • To prepare students to act within a legal and ethical framework as advocates of children who are part of the legal process and who have disclosed abuse.  This includes responding to requests from and writing reports for the Court.

Module 6 – Integrating the therapeutic tool-kit with practice and research

The aim of this module is for students

  • To enable mastery of clay and masks for application within a broad range of conditions will be further enhanced.
  • To enable the use of the tool-kit with a wide range of conditions.
  • Extend knowledge of neurobiology and research methods.
  • This includes contributing to the play therapy practice based evidence base and the consideration of new topics for research.
  • Working therapeutically with groups is put into practice.
  • Knowledge of neurobiology and links with psychotherapy are extended.
  • Solutions are found to problems that have been encountered in setting up a play therapy service.

Award

The Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy 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 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
  • Assessment of three sand trays completed by a client.
  • Assessment of a series of three drawing completed by a client

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 PTDM
  • 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 aged 4-13 years/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

Learning Methods

The Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy Courses are divided into 3 modules some of which will gain a CPD certificate in its own right for the skills learnt as above. 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 subject of group discussions the following weekend.

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.  (These hours are additional to those required for the certificate course). 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.

NB. ALL students must be active members of PTUK before enrolling onto Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy Courses

Several intakes per year. To submit an application, please click here

LocationBlock 1 Block 2Block 3Block 4Block 5
UK
Crowne Plaza Belfast, 117 Milltown Road, Belfast BT8 7XP06/09/2024 - 08/09/202401/11/2024 - 03/11/202417/01/2025 - 19/01/202521/03/2025 - 23/03/202523/05/2025 - 25/05/2025
Salomons Estate, Broomhill Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 0TG15/03/24 – 17/03/2403/05/24 – 05/05/2406/09/24 – 08/09/2401/11/24 – 03/11/2413/12/24 – 15/12/24
Moor Hall Hotel, Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B75 6LN26/04/24 - 28/04/2407/06/24 - 09/06/2413/09/24 - 15/09/2422/11/24 - 24/11/2403/01/24 - 05/01/24
The Cambridge Belfry, Back Lane, Cambourne, Cambridge CB23 6BW05/04/24–07/04/2431/05/24–02/06/2419/07/24–21/07/2404/10/24–06/10/2429/11/24–01/12/24
ETC Venues, Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1HL13/09/2024 - 15/09/202422/11/2024 - 24/11/202417/01/2025 - 19/01/202514/03/2025 - 16/03/202506/06/2025 - 08/06/2025
Salomons Estate, Broomhill Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 0TG11/10/24 - 13/10/2412/12/24 - 15/12/2407/02/25 - 09/02/25 04/04/25 - 06/04/25 27/06/25 - 29/06/25
Ireland
Talbot Hotel Stillorgan, Stillorgan Road, Co Dublin A94 V6K5 Ireland27/09/2024 - 29/09/202422/11/2024 - 24/11/202407/02/2025 - 09/02/202504/04/2025 - 06/04/202506/06/2025 - 08/06/2025
International
India16/02/24 – 22/02/24
La Mouline, St Genest de Contest, Tarn, France20/07/24 – 03/08/24
Regal Kowloon Hotel, Hong Kong
Athens, Greece
Poland

For the Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy (Stage 2 of MA in Practice Based Play Therapy), the full cost of the course is currently £3,940.00 for University of Chichester students, or €4150.00 for University College Cork students: will pay directly to them. Full details on payment options can be found in the tables below:

University of Chichester  diploma courses:
Invoice due date Paying in full Paying 50/50 Paying 25/25/25/25 Invoice contents
One week post-application £             300.00  £         300.00  £                      300.00 Deposit (counts towards course fees)
10 weeks before block 1 £          3,640.00  £     2,005.00  £                  1,187.50 Course fees plus university registration fee (£370)
6 weeks before block 1 n/a  n/a  £                      817.50 Course fees
2 weeks before block 2 n/a  n/a  £                      817.50 Course fees
2 weeks before block 3 n/a  £     1,635.00  £                      817.50 Course fees
Total £          3,940.00  £     3,940.00  £                  3,940.00
University College Cork  diploma courses: All Payments are made directly to University College Cork
Invoice due date Paying in full Invoice contents
50% on application with UCC €          2,075.00 Deposit (counts towards course fees)
Balance by Start Dates Applicable (please refer to this information)  €          2,075.00 Course fees
Total €          4,150.00
  • Membership to Play Therapy UK – please click here for information on grades and fees
  • Enhanced DBS/ Access NI/ Garda Vetting/ Scottish PVG Check under the role of Trainee Play Therapist or Play Therapist– please email contact@ptukorg.com for information on the associated fees

We would also recommend factoring in your supervision costs with a PTUK Supervisor which you will require whilst undertaking your placement. These charges would be payable directly to the Supervisor and do vary, however if you work on the basis of between £40 and £50 per hour, this should give you a reasonable estimate. You will require around 20 hours of supervision over the course of your placement.

The University Registration Fee covers registration with University of Chichester for this course as a part of the MA in Practise Based Play Therapy programme. There will be additional University Registration Fees if you subsequently  proceed to the MA stage.

Course fees are not inclusive of accommodation or travel; onsite bed and breakfast accommodation is available at the majority of our Training Centres, but this must be booked directly with the Venue and will incur an additional charge.

 ALL students are to be active members of PTUK before joining a Diploma course.

Information on the costs associated with courses delivered in Republic of Ireland can be found here.

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