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TraumaPlay℠: A Flexibly Sequential Play Therapy Model for Treating Traumatized Children

Paris Goodyear-Brown is coming to Ireland to deliver a 2 day training event on her incredible TraumaPlay℠ model!

Save the dates: 16th and 17th June 2019.

Learn how to use this playful, components-based, evidence informed treatment with traumatized children and teens. Paris will share her flexibly sequential model, identifying specific treatment goals with corresponding interventions.  TraumaPlay℠ views all change through an attachment focused, neurobiologically informed lens. The training will differentiate between trauma treatment goals that are best accomplished through non-directive methods and goals that are best served by integrating parents as partners, and utilizing somatic grounding interventions, cognitive-behavioral play therapy interventions, expressive therapy techniques and playful ways to complete trauma narrative work. Participants will leave with an overarching paradigm for trauma treatment expanded toolkit of interventions and a revived sense of excitement about the process. Come prepared to play!

Download details and booking form here.

Note: Our International Play Therapy Conference (Applying Play Therapy Concepts Across Diverse Settings) is being held at the same venue on the day before this – 15th June. What not attend all 3 days? You will receive an additional €40 discount if booking both and paying in full before 28th Feb!

See Paris’s Ted Talk: Trauma & Play Therapy: Holding Hard Stories

Introduction to Humanistic Play Therapy

An introductory day long training!

Limerick 13th April 2019            Fee €110 

This experiential day will introduce participants to non-directive play therapy skills and practice. It is not designed to qualify participants to engage in this work with clients – it is an introduction and skill building session that will introduce the theory and practice of play therapy. However, participants will develop skills which can be used to enhance relationships with children with whom they have contact in their personal and/or professional life. Participants will also experience the power of play in a very personal way. It is an ideal introduction to the field and will aid decision making in regard to possible subsequent training in the field.

Non Directive Play Skills – Demonstrations, practice and feedback

  • Selecting and equipping play spaces for non-directive play
  • Appropriate play materials
  • Developing a relationship of trust with the player
  • Providing structure
  • Attending and responding to play
  • Tracking and reflecting skills
  • Reflecting content and feelings
  • Non-verbal messages
    • Child’s level
    • Facial expression and body language
  • Verbal messages
    • Tone
    • Pitch
    • Developmental considerations
  • Esteem building responses
  • Recognising efforts and achievements

Learning Outcome: Participants will have developed:

  • An awareness of the principles of non directive play therapy
  • Non-directive therapeutic skills
  • An increased ability to assist children in developing their capacity for self regulation and decision making within the context of a safe, ethical relationship

Therapeutic Play Skills Certificate

This Level 6 (NFQ) blended learning course runs in Donegal (February 2017), Kerry and Limerick (March 17), Mountmellick (April 2017), Galway, Dunlaoighre and Claremorris (Dates not yet set).  Now booking.

Therapeutic Play Skills is a Level 6 Minor Award (6N4705) offered on a part-time, blended learning basis. It is an experientially based learning programme which will equip participants to plan, deliver and evaluate both group and individual play based interventions. Participants will engage in creative activities that will enhance personal development, develop insight and awareness, and contribute to understanding, and meeting, the needs of all children including those living in adverse circumstances. Directive and non-directive therapeutic approaches will be addressed. This course will be available at various locations around the country.

On completion of the programme and the attainment of 15 credits the learner will be awarded a Level 6 component certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills. This can be used as a component of the Level 6 Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education (6M2007) or other Major Awards.

This programme runs at a variety of locations around Ireland and can be run specifically for interested groups or agencies.

Online Component:            Each learner will also have access to the online component of this course for a three month period.

Currently enrolling  for a variety of locations  – email childrenstherapycentre@gmail.com for dates


Applications are accepted by letter giving details of the applicants name, address, email and phone numbers, educational background, current employment, and reasons for wishing to complete the course. An up to date C.V. should be included.

Post / Email Application Letter and CV to: Children’s Therapy Centre, Slievenagorta, Ballymore, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, or email to childrenstherapycentre@gmail.com

Learner Profile: this programme is aimed at learners who:

• Have a particular interest in the therapeutic powers of play and wish to acquire skills to facilitate children and young people to overcome negative influences and circumstances in their lives.

• Wish to attain a recognized qualification and embark on, or enhance, a professional career in working with children in a range of settings.

• Wish to further their own knowledge and understanding of play and its developmental, educational and therapeutic applications.

• Would like to upskill to enhance employment prospects and/or job satisfaction and promotion opportunities

This award will also be of interest to holders of the Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education and to others including teachers, therapists, social workers etc whose professional life brings them into regular contact with at-risk children and children in crisis. It is also suitable for a broad range of childcare staff in community based or residential settings.

To access this programme learners should have reached the standards of knowledge, skills and competence associated with level 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications. This may have been achieved through a formal qualification or through relevant life and work experiences.

It is the aim of this programme to:

1. Equip participants with skills to plan and deliver, individual and group, developmentally appropriate play intervention with children and young people;
2. Enable learners to focus on meeting children’s specific needs and facilitation therapeutic interventions in the context of holistic development using play;
3. Enable participants to use play as a therapeutic and developmental medium in a wide range of settings including educational/learning, residential and day care, recreational and hospital;
4. Equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to use play and its developmental, educational and therapeutic applications.

Unit 1 – Play, Child Development, and Service Provision

Unit 2 – Plan for and Support Self-directed Play

Unit 3 – Planning and Implementing Play Interventions: Non Directive Play Skills

Unit 4 – Planning and Implementing Play Interventions: Therapeutic Storytelling

Unit 5 – Planning and implementing Play Interventions: Creative Visualization

Unit 6 – Planning and Implementing Play Interventions: Interactive Play

Unit 7 – Planning and Implementing Play Interventions: Therapeutic Use of Puppets

Unit 8 – Planning and Implementing Play Interventions: Medical Play

Unit 9 – Working with Groups for Personal and Social Development

Unit 10 – Professional Practice

Cost:          €680 (Payment plan options available on request)


Anne Brennan MIAHIP, MIAPTP, MIACP is a humanistic and integrative psychotherapist and play therapist involved in private practice, training and supervision. She is active as a trainer in the field of adult education, training people entering the therapeutic field and the fields of human care, especially childcare and special needs.  She is also a core trainer on play therapy and psychotherapy courses.

Dera Mulholland MIAPTP is a Play and Psychotherapist working in private practice in Donadea, Co. Kildare. She has worked with children for over twenty-five years in settings that have included play school, learning support in primary school, hospital wards and special education for children with autism. She has also worked with children at risk living in socially and economically deprived areas of Dublin.

Edel Lawlor is the founder and Director of Expressive play and has been working with children for over sixteen years and is highly skilled at encouraging children to reach their own unique potential. Edel has a background in Play Therapy, Sand tray Therapy, Art Therapy, Puppetry and Social Care.

Elaine Cunningham H.Dip Applied Social Studies in Social Care, MIAPTP: Elaine is an Accredited Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapist and Play Therapist, working with children and families for over 15 years in residential, foster care, and community settings. Elaine has also trained in Filial Therapy, Sandplay Therapy and Theraplay. Elaine works closely with parents exploring parenting, psycho-education and parent-child interventions and specialises working with children with developmental delay & ASD, anxieties & phobias, bereavement & separation, attachment issues and children affected by substance abuse, domestic violence and child neglect. Elaine currently works in a family centre and runs a private practice, Solas Psychotherapy Services, within schools and her private practice in Leixlip, Co. Kildare.

Emer Mc Donagh holds an MA in Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy and Play Therapy and a BA (HONS) in Applied Social Studies in Social Care. She has extensive experience working with children who have experienced domestic violence and also with non residential parents and their children, maintaining and promoting quality contact. Emer also provides a family support role with families affected by meningitis. Emer has worked with the Brothers of Charity services and been involved in a number of Humanitarian aid projects in both Ethiopia and Peru.  Currently Emer is in private practice at Acorns 2 Oaks Play Therapy and also provides trainings for professionals working with vulnerable children.

Monique McEvoy, MIAPTP, Play and Creative Arts Therapist (dance & movement), who has worked for over 25 years supporting children and families in community and residential settings. Monique has extensive experience working with children experiencing social and emotional difficulties, intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, communication disorders, and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Currently, Monique facilitates children with special needs inclusion in mainstream pre-schools, offers staff support in early years school settings and works as a play therapist in community service and private practise at the Listening Tree Play Therapy Centre in Mountmellick.

Nicola Kee, MIAPTP is a Psychotherapist with a Specialisation in Play Therapy. She has a BA (Hons) in Childhood Studies with Behavioural Studies and a BA (Hons) in Social Studies in Social Care. She also holds a Certificate in Autism Studies. For over 20 years Nicola has been working with parents and their children who experience psychological distress such as trauma, bereavement, parental separation and separation anxiety. She also works with issues concerning adoption, attachment and behavioural difficulties. Nicola also has a background in working with children with disability using therapeutic play to aid their learning and development.

Laura Coleman MIAHIP is a humanistic and integrative psychotherapist and play therapist working from an adolescent and child centred perspective. She is also involved in the training and supervision of youth workers, play therapists, and psychotherapists. She maintains a private psychotherapy and supervision practice and specializes in palliative care therapy services, play therapy, group work with adolescents, and with groups dealing with bereavement issues.

Majella Ryan M.I.A.C.P is a very experienced child, adolescent and adult psychotherapist and utilises play therapy in her work with children. She has a strong interest in supporting healthy attachments. She specialises in working creatively with traumatised children and adolescents and their families. She has worked in a variety of settings including private practice, a family therapy service and in CARI for 20 years. Majella is a supervisor for play therapists, creative arts therapists, and child, adolescent, and adult psychotherapists.

Siobhán Prendiville, BEd, PG Ed., MEd., Diploma Play Therapy and Psychotherapy, MIAPTP, is a teacher and play therapist who specializes in the use of play in education and in therapy. She teaches widely in a number of institutions in Ireland and has been involved in training teachers in pilot programmes to influence the teaching methodologies utilized. Siobhan maintains a private play therapy practice. She has book chapters in ‘The Therapeutic Powers of Play: 20 Core Agents of Change’ and in “Play Therapy Today: Contemporary Practice with Individuals, Groups and Carers.

Overview of Assignments:

1. Project (Practical) 40%: Plan, facilitate and record 1 groupwork and 2 individual play sessions

2. Written Assignment 30%:  Write a well presented paper (1500 words) in relation to the planning and execution of the 3 creative play sessions presented in portfolio above

3. Skills Demonstration 30%: Complete 3 tasks during modules (demonstrate play facilitation skills, lead a group game, make a puppet)

For information / booking for all venues: Email childrenstherapycentre@gmail.com     Phone:087 6488149

Therapeutic Play Skills Certificate

This Level 6 blended learning course will run in Donegal (February 2017), Kerry and Limerick (March 17), Mountmellick (April 2017), Galway, Dunlaoighre and Claremorris (Dates not yet set). Now booking, limited availability. Click on FETAC Level 6 link for details.

A Natural Space for Healing

Due to the incredible success of the Easter School 2014, Maggie Fearn is returning  to Ireland to deliver the 3 day course again in 2015! Very limited places so early booking is essential.

Easter School 2015: 30th March – 1st April 2015

Understanding the relationship between movement and perception is particularly vital to those working in therapeutic relationships with children, because children’s natural medium of communication and expression is a dynamic and subtle process of cue and response within a myriad of environmental stimuli. Being able to tune in on this level of environmental awareness provides opportunities for healing communication.

Underpinning theory draws on the embodiment, projection, role (EPR) dynamic (Jennings, 1999), narrative techniques (Gersie, 1997; Sunderland, 2000) and somatic theory (Bainbridge Cohen, 2008; Olsen, 2002; McHose & Frank, 2006).

Day 1: Understanding a Natural Space for Healing (Theory and Practice)
Play and emotional development: a sensory journey
The influence of environment
Sensory attachment and the development of emotional awareness

Learning Outcomes:
• Review theory that explains the relationship between emotion, perception and attachment
• Explore sensory relationship through play
• Explore inside and outside environments with our senses

Day 2: Exploring a Natural Space for Healing (Practical experiential sessions)
The role of the practitioner in therapeutic outdoor play:
Somatic observation of self
Exploring sensory information
The importance of nonverbal communication

You will have the time and space in which to experience total immersion in sensory awareness and playful relationship drawing on the teaching of movement specialists, nature awareness educators, and creators of environmental art and stories, in a process that combines self discovery, inspiration, and guidance for transferring knowledge and skills into therapeutic practice with children.

Learning Outcomes:
• Experience our physiological response to our environment in relation to somatic theory
• Understand how perceptive awareness can support children’s emotional development and resilience
• Take away a range of simple ideas that support immersion in the natural world and access sensory awareness

Day 3: Developing a Natural Space for Healing (Experiential, discussion and review)
Encouraging the use of outdoor/indoor spaces, natural materials and everyday objects in creating a therapeutic playspace. Exploring the practicalities, and relevant considerations.

Learning Outcomes:
• To understand how to transfer learning into providing a therapeutic space.
• To begin to develop your own strategies and ideas.
• To take away a plan for developing a natural space for healing within your practice.

Maggie Fearn is a specialist in therapeutic outdoor play and environmental arts. She has been a play and community arts practitioner for 30 years and a Forest School practitioner since 2001. She facilitates play sessions with children and young people of all ages and abilities in Wales, and she trains adults in non-directive play skills. She is also a graduate teacher of Body & Earth, experiential anatomy, somatics and authentic movement.

She is in demand as a speaker about the therapeutic value of outdoor play, and the importance of attending to children’s perspectives. In 2011 she co-founded Movement Sense, a community interest company established to manage and develop places, spaces and experiences for individuals, groups and communities to access and engage with the natural environment for wellbeing, learning and creative expression, through the moving body.

Price: €300 – Contact childrenstherapycentre@gmail.com for booking form

Legal Issues for Psychotherapists, Play Therapists, and Counsellors

Legal Issues for Psychotherapists, Play Therapists, and Counsellors

All you need to know when working with children, adolescents and vulnerable adults 

Date: 21st April 2018        Dublin                                                            Cost: €130

Content will focus on legal issues involved in therapy work with clients of all ages from childhood up, and will including issues related to:

  • Explicit Consent;
  • Confidentiality;
  • Contracting for therapy;
  • Relevant legislation:
  • Legal system in Ireland:
  • Subpoenas and orders for discovery;
  • Court reports and disclosure of notes, including distinguishing between assessment and therapy reports;
  • Access to notes by client and/or family of child clients:
  • Files and record keeping, including duration of storage;
  • Issues in relation to work setting of therapist – e.g. private practice rather than employee in agency;
  • Responsibilities of practitioners, supervisors and agencies

Essential training for all those engaged in therapy work with children, adolescents, vulnerable adults and for those involved in supervising or managing practitioners, or developing policies for such work.  Anybody engaged in working with vulnerable clients in a variety of settings, will also benefit from this specialized training.

Legal Conference Booking Form

Graduation 2012

CTC Graduation 2012CTC Graduation 2012

Play Therapy Bazaar

Play Therapy Bazaar @ CTCPlay Therapy Bazaar @ CTC

Puppet making workshop

Puppet making workshop

Principles in Art Therapy Certificate

Starts 13th Jan 2017 in Dublin

The aim of the course is to offer an introduction to the basic principles of Art Therapy. For many this introduction may be a step towards training as a qualified Art Therapist, for others it may introduce them to a more sympathetic understanding of the role of art and creativity in therapy, rehabilitation and development work. Each weekend students will participate in experiential workshops with qualified arts therapists. A variety of approaches to the process of Art Therapy will be introduced through workshops, lectures and seminars. The award is a 10 credit, Level 8 Certificate. The next course runs over 8 weekends (Friday night and full day Saturday) over a six month period.

Crawford College of Art & Design Award delivered by CTC

The Principles of Art Therapy Certificate (formerly Art Therapy Foundation Course) is a HETAC Level 8 (10 credits) certificate comprising of two 5 credit assessed modules. This course provides an opportunity to explore Art Therapy within a group setting. Each weekend students will participate in experiential workshops with qualified arts therapists. A variety of approaches to the process of Art Therapy will be introduced through workshops, lectures and seminars.

For many this certificate course may be a step towards training as a qualified Art Therapist or Play Therapist; for others it may contribute to continuing professional development and serve as an introduction to a more sympathetic understanding of the role of the arts in rehabilitation and development work.

• During the course each weekend is themed around a key principle of the art therapy process. Lectures will be delivered exploring how the process can work in a range of contexts, and with clients of various ages, from Psychiatry, Probation, Pallative Care, Education, to Learning Disabilities. Topics vary from year to year.
• Experiential workshops, facilitated by qualified, registered arts therapists, will provide participants with experience of a range of different approaches to facilitating a group; directive, theme-based, non-directive, etc.
• Seminars offer opportunities to ask questions and discuss ideas with visiting and course tutors.
• Participants are required to complete a couple of written assignments and keep a personal journal throughout the course.
• A HETAC level 8 Principles of Art Therapy Certificate is awarded on completion of the course.

The experiential nature of this course can be emotionally and psychologically challenging. The candidate’s previous life experiences will be explored at interview with this in mind. Applicants should be aware of this. Any concerns can be addressed at interview.

The course runs over 8 weekends between January and June 2017, Friday night from 7.30 – 9pm, and Saturday from 9.30 – 5.30. Training dates are 13/14th Jan, 3/4th Feb, 3/4th Mar, 24/25th Mar, 7/8th Apr, 5/6th May, 19/20th May, 10th June

Friday 7.30pm – 9pm: Lecture
Saturday 9.30 – 12.00: Experiential Workshop 1
12.00 – 1pm: Lunch
1pm – 3.30pm: Experiential Workshop 2
3.30 – 4pm: Tidy up and Tea/Coffee Break
4pm – 5.30pm: Seminar, Feedback, Reflections

The cost is €1450 including application, registration and exam fees.

Training Venue

MACRO Community Resource Centre, 1 Green St, Dublin 7 (http://www.macrobuilding.ie/index.php)

Car Parking available in Dublin City Council’s Car Park in Mary’s Lane or Parnell Street Car Park or on-street parking on North King Street. Luas from Jervis St or Four Courts (5 mins). Buses to Manor St and Bolton St.

Entry Criteria

It is recommended that applicants have a level 7 award, or prior experience in community education, art, health or social sector work (including counselling and/or psychotherapy). Those with no formal qualifications or art experience will also be considered
E-Mail: childrenstherapycentre@gmail.com or Claire.c.donnelly@gmail.com
Phone 087 6488149 or 087 2055616

Principles of Art Therapy Leaflet & Application Form