The philosophy of teaching that is subscribed to at CTC is that the role of the centre is to facilitate the learning of each trainee, that we have a responsibility to each trainee to support their learning, and that it is our job to make it as easy as possible for each trainee to learn as much as possible. We see teaching and learning as two distinct, separate, processes. It is not enough for us to teach; we are responsible for doing so in a way that facilitates our trainees to learn as much as possible, including all essential components of the course. We believe that we can help each trainee achieve their innate potential by providing an appropriate, well prepared and enriched environment. This includes providing a range of learning opportunities, facilities and resources, curriculum, supports, suitable trainers etc – a cohesive training package.
Three Constructs of Learning
CTC training courses are based on three constructs of learning – theoretical, experiential and clinical, worked from a belief in the creative and therapeutic potential of relationships and play mediums. These three areas embody key features of knowledge, skills and competence in the professional practice of play therapy and psychotherapy.
We see learning as involving three complimentary, interlinked and interweaving strands of skills, theory and personal development that cannot totally be separated into component parts – for us, the whole is definitely more that the sum of the parts! In putting this into practice we place a high emphasis on experiential learning while ensuring that the emphasis on academic learning is simultaneously maintained.
Our assignments are designed to help trainees to clarify their own thoughts, integrate new learning, critically reflect both on their practice and on theoretical frameworks in a way that facilitates them in linking theory and practice; to demonstrate to us what they know, what they can do, and that they can reflect appropriately and maturely on their professional practice (balance of skills, theory, and personal development). Our assignments are designed to help the trainee learn and to organise their learning into accessible knowledge. We take a practical focus where possible; we are training professionals who will work at the forefront of the field as competent and capable practitioners.
Our Teaching Methodologies
We place a high emphasis on experiential learning and active participation of the trainee in each session. We interweave learning across modules into learning blocks so that many training sessions interweave content from two or three subject strands (i.e. clinical skills, theoretical studies, and reflective practice). While we naturally use lectures, power point presentations, training DVD’s and other traditional didactic methods, we also incorporate trainee led sessions, tutor demonstrations, clinical groups, creative workshops, skills development sessions, creative activities (play, art, drama, music, movement), group discussions, quizzes, games, role-play etc. We believe in learning by doing as a useful methodology throughout the lifespan. Our preference is for trainees to learn something experientially first, then to extrapolate the theory (or the methodology if it was a skill based session).
We recognise that each trainee has their own individual learning style and we try to facilitate each group member to learn in the way that works best for them. We offer flexibility to trainees in how they demonstrate their learning to us – including written work, creative presentations, taping of their work, interviews, demonstrations, etc. We pride ourselves on offering emotional and practical support to trainees so that our policies reflect our humanistic beliefs. We utilise formative and summative assessments. We space assignments out throughout the year so that there is no block period in which the trainee is overburdened with written assignments. As we are training clinical practitioners, we place a high emphasis on assessment of their clinical practice skills.
We encourage and facilitate trainees in providing us with ongoing feedback, evaluation of modules, programmes, etc. We collate and analyse this data and make appropriate changes in response to the feedback that we receive from our trainees and graduates.
Our Primary Focus
CTC training courses focus extensively on the play therapy process and the therapeutic relationship as part of the healing intervention for children, adolescents, and adults, who have experienced difficult life events or who are compromised in reaching their full potential. We take a systemic approach, looking at the needs of young clients within their family and the broader needs of the family also. Therefore, in our play therapy training programme, in addition to client-centred play therapy, psychotherapy, and creative arts approaches, we include training on the counselling skillls that are essential if one is to work successfully with the child within their family.