Therapeutic Play Skills Certificate

General Information on CTC’s Therapeutic Play Skills Certificate

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 (Donegal, Kerry, Limerick, Mountmellick, Galway, Dunlaoighre and Claremorris )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.



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


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.




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     Phone:087 6488149