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This play therapy course which has been clinically accredited by  PTI. It is now available in Capetown, South Africa.   It is the only course worldwide that has been validated by clinical outcome research.  Over 600 students in 12 countries are currently enrolled on APAC play therapy courses.


All APAC courses are held in venues that offer a chance to unwind after a day of experiential training that can be intense.


Email: PTI.TrainingSA@gmail.com for a brochure. To download an application forms: Winter or Spring

Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills                          

Designed For



 Course Structure

Learning Methods





Course Provider



The course is designed for anyone with experience of children or adolescents, who either works or intends to work therapeutically with them including:

  • Counsellors

  • Psychotherapists

  • Clinical Psychologists

  • Primary School Teachers/Assistants

  • Nurses

  • Nursery School Teachers/Assistants

  • Social Workers

  • Play School Teachers/Assistants

  • Care Home Staff

  • Adoption/Foster Agency Workers

 The course is at stage 2 of the PTI four stage training model

The course has been designed to:

  • Enhance your career/professional skills

  • Increase your satisfaction in working with children

  • Give you the skills to help children develop their emotional literacy

  • Give you the skills to alleviate behaviour and mental health problems

  • Assist your own personal development

  • Provide you with the  Profession Structure Model competencies defined by PTUK to work with individual children who have slight to moderate problems

The Certificate course is the first part of programme leading to an MA in Practised Based Play Therapy.  It is at stage 2 of the PTI four stage training model. It may be undertaken as a 'stand alone' course.



The course is unique in integrating both non directive and directive approaches to play therapy. The programme content is based upon the theory and practice of humanistic psychology, particularly that of Virginia Axline ("Dibs In Search of Self"), and Carl Rogers and the gestalt play therapy approach of  Violet Oaklander.   It recognises contributions made by others in the 20th century such as John Bowlby, Margaret Lowenfeld, Donald Winnicott, Rachel Pinney etc. It also places importance on the spiritual aspect of human development. Opportunities for meditation and all forms of creativity will enrich the contents of the course.

The lives of children in the present day are highly regulated and controlled. Non-directive play therapy offers a child the opportunity of making choices and taking responsibility for them; expressing him/herself freely; being accepted unconditionally; having his/her deepest feelings respected and accepted. For these reasons their play is not interpreted and no judgements are made.

Such freedoms may only be obtained by the provision of a strong framework. Therefore the adult takes responsibility for the safety of the child, themselves and the environment. Within these constraints, the child has complete freedom to choose. Time boundaries are also considered to be important thus adding a sense of security by adhering to beginnings and ends. In this way the time within a session becomes timeless and the child’s imagination is set free to explore and recreate his/her experiences and to create and make his/her own world.

There are, however, a number of cases where the non directive needs to be complemented by other approaches. For example working with terminally ill, bereaved, autistic children in organisational settings and short term work.

The main items in the 'Play Therapy Tool-Kit' are taught and put into practice, Learning Objectives

The overall purpose is to enable participants to practice safely and effectively using therapeutic play skills in a variety of settings to provide emotional support to individual children for slight to moderate problems. Upon successful completion of the course each participant will have gained:

• A sound understanding of the principles underlying play therapy and the appropriate use of techniques - the play therapy tool-kit

• Practical skills for running therapeutic play sessions with individual children

• An ability to assess children's needs and organise the provision of therapeutic play facilities

• An appreciation of the ethical issues

• Increased confidence in using therapeutic play with children and adolescents

• The counselling, therapeutic and practical skills to enable you to carry out therapeutic play

• An understanding of the ethical considerations

• Awareness of your own process and development

• Theoretical Knowledge of child development and child psychology Course Structure 

Module Descriptions - (The sequence and content may vary from course to course)

Module 1 - Course Introduction; Starting to Work Therapeutically With Children using non-directive play therapy; The Therapeutic Play Continuum; Creative Visualisation; Setting Up to Practice; Ethical Considerations; Assessment Using the SDQ;  Music Therapy Skills for Working With Individuals;  Attachment theory.

Modules 2  & 3 - Storytelling  & Puppetry Skills for Use With Individual Children; Sand play skills for working with individuals and related theory; Child Protection Issues; Child Development Theory (1); Art Therapy for Individuals; Clay; Dance and Movement skills for working with individuals; Student presentations; Endings

Learning Methods

Participants will learn through working with other members of the course about the roles and responsibilities of the therapeutic relationship. There will be tutorials on theory but formal teaching and lecturing will be kept to an essential minimum.

Learning will be experiential and collaborative using pair, group work, role-play and case presentations. Homework reading and other assignments will provide new information and consolidation of material from the experiential work encountered within the weekends.

15 days

Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills

Capetown, South Africa

Faculty / Facilitators
Selected faculty.


Contact Caroline Sullivan - Telephone: 078 388 2727 or Rene Ohlhoff - Telephone: 072 428 7106 or email us here: PTI.TrainingSA@gmail.com for detailed pricing

VenueCourse TitleStarting Date


Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills (15 days)Winter School:
15 - 29 June 2019

Spring School:
10 - 24 Oct 2019

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