MA Creative Psychotherapy (Humanistic & Integrative Modality)

Master of Arts in Creative Psychotherapy

(Humanistic & Integrative Modality)

Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy

This is the first accredited programme of its kind here in Ireland to offer a comprehensive, experiential training in Play Therapy as part of a fully professionally recognised MA qualification as a Psychotherapist with a major emphasis on the practice of Play Therapy. Our focus on younger clients is unique in a humanistic and integrative psychotherapy training, as is our intense focus on utilising creative, action methods that bring neuroscientific learning and interpersonal neurobiological concepts into the heart of developmentally appropriate clinical practice.   Graduates will be ideally placed to work as therapists with children and young people presenting with emotional difficulties that may be mild or severe in nature and to practice as humanistic counsellors (PG Diploma) or psychotherapists (MA).   This course incorporates both professional and academic training.   The MA is awarded by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). The QQI course code is PG21811 (9M18873). It is an IAHIP recognised course – the only child and adolescent psychotherapy training to achieve this status. IAHIP (Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy) is a section of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy so accredited members will be eligible to receive the European Certificate in Psychotherapy through the ICP.  This course is also directly recognised by the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP).

The Children’s Therapy Centre (CTC) is the longest established and foremost provider of professional play therapy and humanistic & integrative child psychotherapy training and CPD courses in Ireland and has been delivering specialised training since the 90’s. We have approved quality assurance standards with both FETAC and HETAC and are a recognised QQI training provider. We are a registered third level educational institute.   We are also an APT approved provider of play therapy training – the only one approved to deliver training in Ireland. In addition, CTC is now recognised as a European Accredited Psychotherapy Training Institute (EAPTI) by the EAP.

QQI replaced the National Qualification Authority of Ireland (NQAI), The Further Education and Training Awards Council of Ireland (FETAC), and the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) in November 2012. It also took over functions of the Irish Universities Quality Board.

See Paris Goodyear-Brown’s Ted Talk on Play Therapy to see how play therapy as practiced by psychotherapists with a specialisation in play therapy can help children who have been traumatised.

Introduction to the course

This is a four-year part-time experiential and eclectic child and adolescent psychotherapy training with theoretical, practical and skills development components. It is made up of two distinct stages: the first two years comprise the play therapy programme and forms the basis for the final two year component which leads to the psychotherapy award. All 4 years are structured in a way that builds on prior learning so as to develop the necessary personal characteristics, skills and competence and acquire the depth and breath of knowledge that is core to the formation of a psychotherapist. There are clear distinctions between the professional roles of play therapists and psychotherapists, mainly linked to the fact that psychotherapists are mental health professionals. The title of psychotherapist is one of the protected titles currently in the process of becoming subject to CORU regulation and practitioner registration.

We utilise role-play, small and large group work, lectures, presentations, discussions, creative activities, etc. This course is designed for mature students who wish to engage in training in the use of creative interventions and approaches, therapeutic play, play therapy, child psychotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy.  Great emphasis is put on personal development and experiential learning, skills development, supervised clinical practice, utilising action methods, active imagination, and on working in accordance with a clear theoretical framework. Core play therapy, counselling and psychotherapy trainers, and clinical supervisors, all meet the required standards for professional and academic training. Course content pays particular attention to humanistic and integrative approaches, the psychotherapy process with children and adolescents, neurobiology, and to trauma issues. Neurobiologically informed psychotherapists take a neuroscientific perspective and are mindful of the biology of attachment and arousal. Such knowledge is used to inform clinical decision-making.  In addition to ongoing clinical training, a research project with relevance to the field of psychotherapy is completed in the final year.

Play therapy is a developmentally sensitive therapeutic modality in which a trained play therapist uses the therapeutic powers of play to help children prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.  Play therapy is relationship based – the power of the therapy comes from the strength of the relationship between the Play Therapist and the child.

Children must be approached and understood from a developmental perspective. They must not be viewed as miniature adults. Their world is one of concrete realities and their experiences are often communicated through play. Unlike adults whose natural medium of communication is verbalization, the natural medium of communication for children is play activity. (Landreth, 1991)

Play therapists use approaches, interventions, media, and activities that are appropriate to the age and developmental stage of the client. Play permits the child to communicate with adults nonverbally, symbolically, and in an action-oriented manner.

When the practitioner does not hold a separate mental health qualification to practice as a psychotherapist, play therapy is practiced as a non-mental health profession often in the context of another professional career (e.g. teacher, social worker, childcare). The play therapist may provide services for typically developing children and clients who do not have clinical issues: they may work with children with mild adjustment issues or those struggling with developmental challenges. The aim is to promote emotional wellbeing and assist the child, including those facing adversity (e.g. stressful events including e.g. hospitalisation, parental separation, bereavement, or single incident trauma in previously well adjusted children) to master developmental milestones and develop emotional literacy and resiliency.

 Play therapists who are also psychotherapists (i.e. on completion of the full MA) are mental health professionals and, in addition to the developmental and therapeutic services offered by play therapists, are involved in providing psychological treatment to clients with complex emotional needs and issues. In addition to the benefits identified above, the aim of the intervention can also include the resolution of particular psychological and/or psychiatric issues that compromise the child’s healthy interactions with the world. This includes children and adolescents who have experienced adversity, experience chronic distress, and who may struggle with emotional, psychological, or mental health related difficulties.  This practice is designed to help facilitate personal growth, allieviate distress and overcome emotional and behavioural problems. It is concerned with resolving issues, building resources, repairing damage and restoring (or enabling for the first time) positive mental health. It plays a significant role in reorganising the personality and helping those who have experienced developmental trauma that has interrupted or distorted development to enable and maximise their true potential. Such psychotherapists are qualified to work with children across the spectrum of need including those with significant clinical issues, e.g. disrupted and disorganised attachments, histories of neglect, experiences of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and those whose development has been distorted by living in situations of chronic distress, unpredictability and lack of supportive, attuned caregiving.

Counselling in Action ©

This course focuses extensively on the play therapy process and the therapeutic relationship as part of the healing intervention for children and adolescents who have experienced difficult life events or who are compromised in reaching their full potential.  In addition, it takes a systemic approach, looking at the needs of young clients within their family and the broader needs of the family also. Therefore, in addition to client-centred play therapy, psychotherapy, and creative arts approaches, we include training on the counselling skills that are essential if one is to work successfully with the child within their family.

We utilise humanistic and integrative models that incorporate the use of non-directive and focused approaches as indicated, to respond to the changing needs of the specific client as they present to us in therapy. Students will also become proficient in the use of therapeutic activities and interventions utilising play and the creative arts to enrich their therapy practice.

Unique Features of this training programme

Our training programme is very unusual in that it qualifies graduates to work as humanistic and integrative child and adolescent psychotherapists, and as play therapists. While many courses address working with adult clients, our focus on younger clients is unique in a humanistic and integrative psychotherapy training, as is our intense focus on the use of play and creative therapies.  Many of our trainees are attracted to our course specifically because of these two factors. Our experience has been that there is a lot of interest in training in the field of play therapy as part of psychotherapy training and that many graduates from the social sciences are interested in pursuing a career as a psychotherapist to work with children and adolescents.

Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Play Therapy  (60 level 9 credit embedded award)

This embedded award (which is not offered outside of the MA) is probably the most in depth programme in play therapy that currently exists anywhere in the world.  The professional body (Irish Association for Play Therapy and Psychotherapy) that recognises this course has the most stringent standards for this work, greatly exceeding the training hours requirements of other play therapy professional bodies around the world. We have an extensive focus on the therapy process itself, intensive supervision by core trainers (fully accredited psychotherapists) and we consider a broad range of human development theories, neurobiology perspectives, models of play therapy and psychotherapy, developmentally appropriate counselling skills (for children and adults), clinical and professional practice issues etc. We have ensured that our learning outcomes encompass all the benchmark criteria that have been agreed as being necessary in educating competent play therapists. While play therapists most commonly work with children under 14 years of age, they may also work with older adolescents and adults using creative approaches rooted in play. Play therapy is a developmental counselling approach in which the therapist takes the client’s age and stage of development into account in all aspects of their work.  The play process is central to the therapy which relies on its’ specific therapeutic powers as the agents of change in facilitating the client to prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.

Upon entering 3rd year, graduates of the Postgraduate Diploma stage of the programme become eligible first for pre-accredited membership of the Irish Association for Play Therapy and Psychotherapy (IAPTP). The additional requirements are included as part of the 3rd year of the MA. The programme is a recognised course of the IAPTP. Many graduates have already achieved full accreditation.

Master of Arts in Creative Psychotherapy (Humanistic and Integrative Modality) – additional 60 Level 9 credits.

The whole ethos of the programme, and its content, aims, methodologies, learning outcomes, philosophy etc. is humanistic and integrative in nature. Our focus is on utilising creative, action methods that bring interpersonal neurobiological concepts into the heart of developmentally appropriate clinical practice with children and adolescents. The core model of psychotherapy that we teach is Client Centred, and we compare and contrast this with other models (e.g. Psychoanalytic, Cognitive Behavioural) within the programme. In addition we integrate the use of the expressive arts therapies and play therapy to equip learners to provide a creative psychotherapy practice. Supervised practice, and theoretical content, relate to working on a deep psychotherapeutic level with clients of diverse ages, and with complex needs, while making extensive use of creative psychotherapeutic approaches. Each learner is facilitated in developing their own individual practice style based on the integration of theories that allows them to be most authentic in their work.

Course content pays particular attention to the humanistic and integrative approach, the psychotherapy process with adolescents, neurobiology, and to trauma issues, in the 3rd year of the programme.  In addition to ongoing clinical training, a research project with relevance to the field of psychotherapy is completed in the final year.

The four-year programme has been designed to match the criteria of the European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP) for core psychotherapy training courses. Graduates of the four-year programme are eligible for professional accreditation as a psychotherapist and the course is already a recognised course of the Irish Association of Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy (IAHIP), the Irish Association for Psychotherapy in Primary Care (IAP PC) and the Irish Association for Play Therapy and Psychotherapy (IAPTP).

Subject Strands

 The core programme is built around three subject strands that build up over the course. These 3 strands are:

  1. Reflective Practice
  2. Developing Clinical Skills
  3. Theoretical Studies

Subjects in the Play Therapy Postgraduate Diploma (years 1 and 2) are:

  • Psychotherapeutic Experience: The Internal Working Model,
  • Play & Expressive Arts: Theory and Practice
  • Human Development including Play
  • Psychotherapeutic Experience: Exploring Patterns and Relationships
  • Integrative Psychotherapy and the Play Therapy Process
  • Play Therapy and Counselling: Supervised Practicum
  • A Comparative Analysis of Psychotherapy and Play Therapy Models
  • Considering Systems and Environments in Child & Adolescent Therapy

Subjects in the 2nd half of the MA Creative Psychotherapy (years 3 and 4) are:

  • Neurobiologically Informed Therapeutic Use of Self
  • Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy Practice
  • Trauma Informed Psychotherapy
  • Creative Psychotherapy
  • Research Methods and Dissertation

 Year 1

This focuses on developing non-directive, client-centred, play and counselling skills, a working knowledge of child development, play, relevant psychological theories and safe working practices; developing a therapeutic relationship; using therapeutic play to facilitate children in developing psychological resilience and reaching their potential (developing self confidence, self-esteem, and a strong sense of personal identity); and to intervene with clients with a range of particular needs.  It has a specific focus on the personal development of the course participants to ensure development of self-awareness, growing maturity, and the development of basic counselling and listening skills. Trainees engage in a practicum to develop observational skills, and practice facilitating creative play sessions. The focus on child observation builds a foundation for developing research skills, and the myriad of approaches to therapeutic play based interventions builds skills in assessment and programme planning. In this year there are a mixture of 2, 3 and 4-day modules based around weekends as far as possible.

Year 2

This focuses on training participants to work as play therapists with a range of clients with mild and moderate emotional problems. The initial focus is on training as a Client Centred Play Therapist, then on integrating non-directive approaches with more focused interventions to assist clients to develop healthy coping skills. We introduce a variety of models of psychotherapy and play therapy, their origins, their underlying personality theories and philosophies, and practice issues. This year also covers counselling skills in more depth, developing a systemic and professional framework, working with parents and carers as ‘secondary clients’, and involves many personal development workshops utilising creative and play media and approaches. Participants are introduced to the use of creative therapy with clients of all ages; working with clients who present with specific emotional and/or behavioural difficulties (e.g. bereavement, parental separation) and/or disorders. Participants engage in Clinical Practice with children and their families, a proportion of which is clinically supervised by core trainers (included in course fee). There is a focus on developing skills in linking theory and practice including understanding themes in play, conceptualizing the therapy process with young clients, reading play as the language of the child and facilitating developmentally appropriate creative therapy sessions.  In this year there are a mixture of 1, 2 and 3-day modules based around weekends as far as possible.

Year 3

This focuses on developing a deeper understanding of the psychotherapy process, coupled with developing skills and a knowledge base to work with clients, including adolescents, with more challenging issues and complex life histories. Emphasis is given to utilising the mediums of play and creative media, supported by talk therapy, for clients who present with attachment disorders and/or have experienced child abuse and/or neglect. Continuing personal development (using the creative therapies) facilitates participants to process personal issues. Input is also given regarding sandtray therapy and integrative approaches in clinical practise, as well as an insight into other relevant approaches to psychotherapy, theories of change and human development.  A neurobiological perspective is maintained to enhance intuitive practice, making therapeutic use of self, and clinical decision-making. We place very high emphasis on the integration of theory and practice and developing advanced skills in conceptualising the therapy process. Supervised clinical practice continues over the full year with clients of diverse ages, with diverse issues, and in diverse settings.

In this year there are a mixture of 1, 2 and 3-day modules.

Year 4

A significant focus in the professional training element of fourth year is on developing the skills, knowledge and competencies to practice safely and ethically as a psychotherapist with a diversity of clients with complex and multifaceted needs. Trainees continue to engage in clinical practice throughout the year and will attend regular supervision sessions with assigned supervisors. These sessions will incorporate a significant training element and will challenge and support trainees in making links between theory and practice

Supervised practice, and theoretical content, relate to working on a deep psychotherapeutic level with clients of diverse ages, and with complex needs, while making extensive use of creative approaches.

In the MA research methods blended learning component students are introduced systematically to the range of research methods used in psychotherapy and will complete a research dissertation. Particular emphasis is given to formulating appropriate questions, objectivity, reliability, techniques used in research projects that are most relevant to practitioner researchers, ethical considerations, analysing data and presenting findings.

Personal Therapy

Each trainee must participate in Individual Therapy Sessions, a minimum of 30 per year, with an accredited psychotherapist (generally IAHIP), of their own choosing, scheduled at own convenience, over the duration of the course. The experience of being a client is vital to developing an understanding of the therapy process in an experiential way and facilitates the self-exploration and development of increased self-awareness that is central to the practice of therapy. The cost of these sessions is not included in the course fee and will be negotiated between the trainee and the therapist of their choosing.  Group psychotherapy sessions take place during course time. There is no additional cost for these sessions.

Over the 4 years therapeutic/personal development sessions including both group and individual therapy sessions span 180 hours. Further personal reflective activities bring these hours up to 250. There are opportunities for personal development in the course itself and through workshops, experiential activities and relationships within the group.

Clinical Practice and Supervision

CTC take a careful and sequential approach to clinical practice: for safety reasons there are many carefully monitored stages before the work with clients will reach the level of psychotherapy. Trainees will begin by engaging in child observation sessions, then therapeutic play sessions, then play therapy sessions with children and adolescents, intake, review and support session with parents and relevant adults, as they progress through the training and are assessed as being ready to engage in increasingly complex clinical work and psychotherapy practice. Some clinical supervision (during the academic year) is included in course fee; additional privately funded supervision is also required both during the course itself and the pre-accreditation period.

Professional Training Assessment Components:

  • Self, peer, trainer and supervisor assessment.
  • Self-awareness, maturity, and ability to work with group dynamics.
  • Satisfactory participation, development and demonstration of appropriate skills and competencies in relation to each module.
  • Completion of course requirements and assignments to acceptable standard
  • Satisfactory attendance and timekeeping.

Our Play Therapy and Psychotherapy Awards

This is a four-year course. The QQI award for those completing the 4 years is an MA in Creative Psychotherapy (Humanistic and Integrative Modality). A QQI exit award, Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Play Therapy, is awarded at the end of 2nd year.  As the QQI award is set at level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications entry is restricted to applicants who have already completed a suitable undergraduate degree.  Entry to year 3 is restricted to holders of IAPTP recognised Play Therapy course qualification, or to  holders of an alternative Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy plus the IAPTP Statement of Equivalence to IAPTP Approved Play Therapy Training, which entails additional conversion training to meet IAPTP criteria.

Registering for the QQI award: Direct Entry to year 1

For admission to the M.A. in Creative Psychotherapy (Humanistic and Integrative Modality), entrants will normally:

  • Have a 2.2 or higher in a relevant undergraduate (generally a level 8) degree (for example, though not exhaustively, social science, social care, psychology, nursing, community development, education, counselling, psychotherapy etc.) or equivalent
  • Have at least two years relevant professional experience (for example, social care, counsellor, helpline worker, childcare, social work, education or nursing) working with children.
  • Be able to demonstrate maturity, personal readiness and suitability for psychotherapy training including commitment to personal & professional development and a willingness to engage in a self-reflective process that includes personal therapy
  • Have participated in relevant foundation level training or CPD events (e.g. in play, therapeutic play, play therapy, creative arts, counselling skills. Ideal foundation training courses are the Therapeutic Play Skills Certificate and/or the Principles of Art Therapy Certificate)
  • Successfully undertake a selection interview
  • Commit to full attendance for all 4 years of the course

 Registering for the QQI award: Indirect Entry

A small number of applicants, with extensive relevant professional experience, who do not have honours on a suitable level 8 degree may be eligible for entry to year 1 of the academic programme via Recognition of Prior Learning (e.g. completion of training that is at a lower academic level than is generally required). Such applicants must demonstrate, and provide evidence to attest to their acquisition of suitable learning outcomes in a relevant area.

Processing Applications

The application form is below and can be found here  Please complete the application form in full and post to:
The Children’s Therapy Centre,
Slievenagorta,
Ballymore,
Mullingar,
Co. Westmeath
N91 CC65
Ireland
Please include two passport photos with your application. You can email soft copies of the other required documents to ctcsiobhan@gmail.com . Your application will not be processed unless we have all relevant documentation. If you have any queries please email ctcsiobhan@gmail.com

We begin processing applications at least six months to a year prior to the start of the course, although applicants are advised to apply as early as possible. The first stage our process is a review of the application form and documents. A short list of applicants are selected for interview. Interviews take place in January. When all places have been allocated the intake for the year will close and subsequent applications will be held for the following year. Applicants are advised that there is tough competition for entry to this course due to the number of high calibre applicants.  We process applications throughout the year.

Venue

The venues for most of the on-site training days are 1) Ballymore, (near Moate) Co. Westmeath, and 2) Limerick.  We have fully equipped and resourced training centres in both counties. Some modules are also delivered at alternative locations including Claremorris and Leixlip. Library facilities are available.

Trainees complete their clinical practice (from 2nd year onwards) in their own area. These begin with play therapy and progress to psychotherapy practice in year 3. Fortnightly supervision sessions take place at a variety of locations around the country.

Fees

The course fee for year one entrants in 2021 is €4150 (Year 2 will be €4250, years 3 and 4 are estimated to be in the region of €4350 each), including library and access to the online portal. Trainees are facilitated in making a payment plan, to suit their individual circumstances where necessary rather than being required to pay for the year in advance although the full fee is due for each person starting on the course. An additional fee for academic registration and certification with QQI is currently set by QQI at €200 for each Level 9 award (Postgraduate Diploma (2nd yr) and MA (4th yr). Students are required to be insured for Enrolled Learner Protection to meet QQI and legal requirements – the cost of this is approximately €115 pa. Also budget for private personal therapy and clinical supervision costs as described above. Factor in travel and local accommodation (if required) costs also.

Course fees are eligible for tax relief under section 473A, Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997. Details available from Revenue (Revenue Leaflet IT 1 ‘Tax Credits, Rates and Reliefs’ and IT 31 ‘Tax Relief for Tuition Fees in respect of Third Level education) or from www.revenue.ie.

Provisional Course Dates for 2021-2022

There are two intakes each year. The course runs for the full day on each date. A similar schedule of dates are set each year. The following dates are provisional and subject to change. The location in brackets after each date identifies the location for that module.

 Year 1 July 2021-2022:

2nd – 5th July (Limerick), 20th – 22nd August (Westmeath), 24th – 26th Sept (Limerick), 27th – 28th November (Westmeath), 28th – 30th January (Limerick), 25th – 27th February (Limerick) 23rd – 24th April (Limerick).

Year 1 July 2021-2022:

27th – 30th August (Limerick), 15th – 17th October (Westmeath), 3rd – 5th December (Limerick), 15th – 16th January (Westmeath), 18th – 20th February (Limerick), 18th – 20th March (Limerick), 14th – 15th May (Limerick).

 Year 2 Group 1 2021-2022

3rd – 5th Sept (Limerick), 2nd – 3rd Oct (online), 6th – 8th Nov (Limerick), 4th – 5th December (Westmeath), 8th-9th Jan (Westmeath), 12th – 13th Feb (Westmeath), 12th-13th March (Westmeath), 2nd April (Online), 8th – 10th April (Westmeath), 30th April – 2nd May (Westmeath).

Year 2 Group 2 2021-2022

17th-19th Sept (Limerick), 16th – 17th Oct (Westmeath), 13th-15th Nov (Limerick), 11th-12th Dec (Westmeath), 22nd – 23rd Jan (Westmeath), 26th – 27th Feb) (Westmeath), 26th – 27th Mar (Westmeath), 2nd April (Online), 22nd – 24th April (Westmeath), 20th – 22nd May (Westmeath)

Year 3 Group 1 2021-2022

10th -12th Sept (Westmeath), 9th Oct (Online), 1st – 3rd Oct (Westmeath), 29th -31st Oct (Westmeath), 26th – 28th Nov (Claremorris), 7th – 9th Jan (Limerick), 5th – 6th Feb (Westmeath), 5th – 6th March (Limerick), 9th April (Limerick), 7th May (Online?) 27th – 30th May (Online).

Year 3 Group 2 2021-2022

17th – 19th Sept (Westmeath), 10th Oct (Online), 12th – 14th Nov (Westmeath), 10th -12th Dec (Claremorris), 21st – 23rd Jan (Limerick), 19th – 20th Feb (Westmeath), 19th – 20th Mar (Limerick), 10th April (Limerick), 8th May (Online), 27th – 30th May (Online).

Year 4 Group 1 2021-2022

9th May (Online), 14th – 15th Aug (Online), 28th – 29th Aug (Claremorris), 11th – 12th Sept (Online and SDL), 24th – 26th Sept (Online), 15th – 17th Oct (Online and SDL), 5th – 7th Nov (SDL and Westmeath), 10th – 12th Dec (Limerick), 4th – 6th March (Online & SDL), 2nd April (Online)

Year 4 Group 2 2021-2022

23rd  May (Online), 21st – 22nd Aug (Online), 4th – 5th Sept (Claremorris), 11th – 12th Sept (TBC) (Online and SDL), 24th – 26th Sept (TBC) (Online), 15th – 17th Oct (Online and SDL), 19th – 21st Nov (SDL and Westmeath), 17th – 19th Dec (Limerick), 4th – 6th March (Online & SDL), 2nd April (Online)

Peer group meetings, personal therapy, clinical practice, and clinical supervision sessions take place between the modules listed above. There is also an online learning site for each group plus online courses. An online site for Academic Writing support is also provided.

See www.childrenstherapycentre.ie for details of upcoming course dates as they are set.

Safety Provisions 

It will be necessary for participants be vetted by An Garda Siochana and to be covered by professional insurance cover prior to undertaking direct work with children.  To be eligible for professional insurance cover, as required, (details available), each participant must be a member of the Irish Association for Play Therapy and Psychotherapy and act in accordance with their Code of Ethics (www.iaptp.ie) and the IAHIP Code of Ethics. Trainees can secure Garda vetting through the IAPTP or IAHIP.

Programme Aims and Objectives

We are committed to training leading practitioners who are professionally competent in the expanding field of psychotherapy and who will have a specialisation in the use of play and creative approaches.  As the longest established and foremost provider of this training in Ireland we have a responsibility to respond to the needs of the sector and to the increasing demand for training of prospective students and the continuing professional development of graduates and allied professionals.

This 4 year course is based on three constructs of learning – theoretical, experiential and clinical, which form a central core of learning defined as ‘professional practice’ 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.

 Programme Aims: Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Play Therapy

  • To develop the learners’ understanding of the principles underlying play therapy and psychotherapy and develop skills in utilizing play and creative mediums in their work with appropriate clients throughout the lifespan.
  • Provide learners with knowledge, skills and competence to initiate and manage the professional delivery of play therapy and associated counselling services and practice in compliance with a relevant professional code of ethics.
  • Equip learners to demonstrate the expertise to work therapeutically with a wide range of individuals and groups within a variety of clinical, community and/or educational settings.

 Programme Aims: MA Creative Psychotherapy (Humanistic & Integrative Modality)

Includes the aims of the interim award (Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy) plus the following:

  • Build on prior clinical training and supervised practice to equip the learner to extend their client base, which may already include children, adolescents and adults, to include practice with more complex referral issues including trauma.
  • Provide learners with the knowledge, skills and competence to initiate and manage the professional delivery of creative psychotherapy services and implement new models of practice through an advanced ability to compare and critique a range of models and integrate relevant theory and clinical practice.
  • Critically evaluate and reflect on the effectiveness of their practice, including the relevance of their own personal process within the therapeutic relationship.
  • Provide learners with opportunities for personal development that will facilitate increased self-awareness, and an understanding of the process of healing through the medium of person-centred and humanistic and integrative psychotherapies utilising creative mediums.
  • To enable learners to carry out, analyse and present research with relevance to the field of psychotherapy.

Objectives

  • To develop the trainees’ person-centred counselling skills, enhance the ability to develop therapeutic relationships, and become skilled in responding therapeutically to the client’s play, words, and non-verbal communications.
  • To introduce the trainees to a range of models of psychotherapy and play therapy, and the use of expressive arts in the therapeutic and developmental process.
  • To develop the trainees’ understanding of the principles underlying play therapy and psychotherapy and develop skills in utilising play and creative mediums including music, movement, storytelling, symbolism, metaphor, art, drama, and sand play in their work.
  • To facilitate the personal and professional development of the trainees both through the group process and by providing other opportunities for increased self-awareness and growth in maturity.
  • To develop the trainees’ ability to assess the client’s therapeutic needs and provide appropriate services and/or refer onwards as appropriate.
  • To equip trainees with clinical skills to engage confidently in child and adolescent psychotherapy sessions, utilising play therapy and the creative arts, and in support sessions with their adult carers.
  • To facilitate trainees in understanding and critically reflecting on lifespan development, psychotherapy, and associated relevant theoretical frameworks, including newly emerging knowledge, to enable the use of theory to inform professional practice.
  • To enable each trainee to discover the integration of theoretical frameworks and practice models that works best for them as a therapist in enabling them to be authentic in their relationships with clients.
  • To raise the trainees’ awareness of the relevant current legal and ethical frameworks.
  • To facilitate trainees in developing an understanding of the relevant research issues and methods.

We aim to provide trainees with opportunities for personal development that will facilitate increased self-awareness, and an understanding of the process of healing through the medium of person-centred and humanistic and integrative psychotherapies utilising creative mediums.  This will assist each trainee in the integration of any unresolved issues, facilitating emotional development and the attainment of greater maturity, thus preparing them to provide safety and containment in therapeutic relationships with children, adolescents, and adults.  In combination with our focus on safe working practices, ethical considerations and skills development, this will contribute to providing a secure foundation for therapeutic work with clients of all ages.

We pay particular attention to working in respectful, non-intrusive ways that respect the clients’ potential to direct their own healing, at their own pace, within a therapeutic environment and within the context of a therapeutic relationship with a congruent, accepting, non-judgemental, therapist.  The utilisation of play and creative approaches is seen as central in activating true creativity and spontaneity – the freedom to be oneself.

Further Details and information on other courses from: Siobhan 086 1962501, or ctcsiobhan@gmail.com   www.childrenstherapycentre.ie or Facebook

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Today we had great fun playing “Covid Busters!” I normally facilitate some ghostbuster play around Halloween, but this year I decided to change it up and turn it into Covid busting play instead! ... See more

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Spider themed Hallowe’en play today! We had fun with spider web walks, and enjoyed cracking and dissolving the frozen spider eggs we made yesterday. We made our own playdough and turned it into ... See more

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We had an action packed day here today. So much fun with sensory Hallowe’en themed play. I hope some of the ideas will be helpful to others. You can see all that we got up to in my Instagram ... See more