Ireland's foremost provider of training in Play Therapy

Whether you're expanding your skills, or starting a new career as a Play Therapist and Psychotherapist, we have the training for you. From short courses to a full Masters, we have professionally and academically recognised training for all levels across the country.

Academically & Professionally recognised

We are the only institution in Ireland where you can gain a dual qualification as a Play Therapist and Psychotherapist with full academic and professional validation. We offer QQI awards at both Level 6 and Masters Level 9 and have professional recognition by both IAHIP and IAPTP. Ours is the only humanistic and integrative child and adolescent training to hold such accreditation.

Courses for all levels and all localities

We run courses across the country, and for all levels. From short introductory and professional development courses, to our QQI Level 6 Theraputic Play Skills Certificate all the way to our Masters-level professional qualification, we ensure our courses are accessible to everyone regardless of where they are based in Ireland.

Expand your employment potential

There is a large and growing demand for people with play therapy training. Our short courses and QQI Level 6 Certificate provides new skills to incorporate into your current work, while our Masters Level course opens up a whole new profession as a much sought-after Psychotherapist with a specialisation in Play Therapy with statutory services, NGO’s, or working in private practice

Frequently Asked Questions

Play Therapy is a powerful form of therapy that recognises children’s play as more than just fun; it is a language through which they communicate and develop. Rather than seeking to apply standard adult talk-therapy methods to children, play therapy seeks to engage with them at their own level, developing a strong relationship with the child through the medium of play, and through that help children prevent or resolve a wide array of psychosocial difficulties so they can achieve their potential. >> Read More >>

A play therapist is someone trained to communicate with children through the medium of play. A psychotherapist is a mental health professional who is accredited and/or registered to provide psychological treatment to clients with complex emotional needs.

A play therapist that is not also a psychotherapist, or other mental health professional, uses play therapy to work with children who do not have clinical issues, for instance, they may work with children with developmental challenges and those who are struggling with changes in their lives. The aim is to promote emotional wellbeing and help children adjust to new situations so that they can regain the happiness and security that may have been lost due to a difficult experience such as a bereavement, illness, or single incident trauma.

At CTC we believe it is best for play therapists to also be psychotherapists. This means that they are trained mental health professionals able to provide developmental and therapeutic play, play therapy, and psychological treatment to clients across the spectrum of need including those with significant clinical issues and those with complex histories including multiple traumas. >> Read More >>

CTC run four types of courses: a wide array of short courses, QQI validated courses in Therapeutic Play Skills and Principles of Art Therapy, our full QQI Level 9 Masters in Creative Psychotherapy which includes a postgraduate diploma in Play Therapy and also a Diploma in Creative Supervision for therapists looking to become supervisors.

Our short courses include great introductions for those new to play therapy, providing opportunities to learn more therapeutic play to incorporate it into your work or parenting, or prepare you for more in-depth training. We also have short courses for play therapists, psychotherapists and othe professionals wishing to expand their knowledge and skill set and continue their professional development. These can vary from one-day to week-long events.

Our QQI Certificates build on the content of the one-day courses and provide a recognised academic award in either therapeutic play or art therapy. They equip participants to provide individual and group play or art interventions that support children’s development and enhances the general skill set of professionals including teachers, child care workers, social workers, so that they can provide therapeutic play experiences within their current professional role.

Our Masters programme is a four-year part time course that qualifies you as both a Play Therapist and Psychotherapist, and is fully recognised by professional bodies such as IAHIP and IAPTP, while our Diploma in Creative Supervision is a one year course for those who wish to become qualified supervisors.  >> Read More >>

What Others Have to Say

Eileen Prendiville, an international expert in the field of play therapy, is a dynamic, engaging teacher, supervisor, and consultant. I highly endorse the quality of her work!
Charles E. Schaefer, Ph.D., RPT-S
Cofounder of USA Association for Play Therapy, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Fairleigh Dickinson University
CTC is set in the green lush Irish countryside. It is a tranquil setting to learn and absorb information on play therapy. The centre is well resourced with books, toys, journal articles, and resources from around the world.
Dr. Karen Stagnitti
Associate Professor, School of Health of Social Development, Deakin University.
At CTC I learned....the rules of the world, that kids are the boss of play, that touchstones can not be done from the chair, that big feelings happen, that feelings get muddled, that attachment is where it starts." "That you need to be prepared to come home with paint, glitter glue, grass, and glupe on your clothes".  "That lectures can be embodied, projected and roleplayed.... from under the table, or on the floor, or in the garden or even from the chair." I learned about Eileen's passion, her generousity of wisdom, and her encouragment.  I left knackered, but ALWAYS looking forward to going back.
Past student
I've really enjoyed my first year of the play therapy course. I am amazed at how much I've learned. The course is very practical, which means I've learned without realising it. While doing, not just listening, which is so much more meaningful. Everything I've learned I feel is relevant in some way. I'm really looking forward to next year.
Past student
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  • 24
    October 24, 2020

    Online Course: Involving Parents in the Therapy Process

    10:00 -16:45
    October 24, 2020

    You can chose to pay only a €50 deposit now, with the remainder automatically charged three weeks prior to the course begining.

    View course information

  • 31
    October 31, 2020

    Online: Working with Grief: Supporting children, teenagers, and families with grief and loss.

    10:00 -16:45
    October 31, 2020

    You can choose to pay only a €50 deposit now, with the remainder automatically charged three weeks prior to the course beginning.

    View course information

  • 07
    November 7, 2020

    Online Course: 'From messy play to monsters'

    14:00 -17:00
    November 7, 2020
  • 12
    November 12, 2020

    Advanced Skills for Tele-Play Therapy

    17:30 -20:30
    November 12, 2020

    No additional detail for this event.

  • 14
    November 14, 2020

    Online Course: Play Therapy Techniques

    10:00 -16:45
    November 14, 2020

    You can chose to pay only a €50 deposit now, with the remainder automatically charged three weeks prior to the course begining.

    View course information


    Emer McDonagh

    Emer 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 has been involved in the Daphne III programme Responding to Child Parent Violence action research project, training in Non Violent Resistance and the Break 4 Change programme targeting services to families affected by Child Parent Violence. Emer has also completed Intensive Filial Therapy Training, and mindfulness training. Emer also provides a family support role with families affected by meningitis. She has developed a number of workshops to support adults such as “You, Your Thoughts & Your ACTions”, addressing stress and anxiety, “Don’t Just Survive, Thrive!, parenting children affected by Meningitis”. She has also developed and facilitated workshops to support whole families including “Reconnecting after Meningitis” and the sibling support workshop “Me Too!”. 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 Therapy Services and also provides trainings for professionals working with vulnerable children. Emer facilitates our Level 6 Therapeutic Play Skills Certificate in Galway and also works as a CTC supervisor.