PQ Story Play® Level 1 & 2

This 7-day course will be for PTUK/PTI Certified PlayTherapists Along with the seven-day workshop, there will be on-line assignments for participants to complete.

Dr. Joyce Mills, Ph.D. LMFT, LLC Creative Solutions for Positive Change, Registered Play Therapy Supervisor, is a nationally and internationally recognised storyteller, keynote presenter, workshop leader, consultant, trauma specialist, and programme developer for health-care, psychological, educational, and community organisations. Founder of The StoryPlay® Center, Dr. Mills is the recipient of the 1997 Play Therapy International Award for outstanding career contributions to the field of Play Therapy and Child Psychology. A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Registered Play Therapy Supervisor, Dr. Mills is the author and co-author of seven books including the award-winning Therapeutic Metaphors for Children and the Child Within, Reconnecting to the Magic of Life, Sammy the Elephant and Mr. Camel, Gentle Willow, and Little Tree.

Definition of StoryPlay®

StoryPlay® is a multi-cultural, resiliency-based, indirective Play Therapy model that draws upon the natural inner resources, skills, and strengths of each child, adolescent, adult or family member to generate healing, growth, and change. StoryPlay® is founded upon the principles of Milton H. Erickson, Indigenous teachings, and the innovative approaches of Dr. Joyce Mills. With the power and spirit of therapeutic storytelling and play at its centre, each element of the StoryPlay® approach provides participants with play therapy, hands-on, creative tools for working with difficult or traumatized clients using their favoured treatment modality or philosophy.

Course Description

Using the twelve modules of the StoryPlay® Foundations training manual, this seven day course teaches the six roots, key elements, and essentials of the StoryPlay® model, including therapeutic metaphors, storytelling, story-crafts, sensory synchronicity, artistic, living metaphors, and therapeutic rituals and ceremonies. Award-winning Founder and author, Dr. Mills shows how StoryPlay® can be effectively utilized with specialized populations or situations, such as natural and man-made disasters, PTSD, abuse, ADHD, attachment, grief and loss; and various treatment modalities: i.e. play, family, individual, group therapy, sand tray, expressive art and movement.

Participants will also be required to complete assignments on-line demonstrating their ability to develop a treatment plan utilising therapeutic storytelling, artistic, story crafts, living metaphors, and therapeutic rituals and ceremonies.

Combined StoryPlay® Level I & II for APAC

Taught by Joyce C. Mills, StoryPlay® Founder*

Two (2) choices regarding how to proceed after attending the 7 days of StoryPlay® training:

  1. You decide not to go any further and use the skills learnt in your play therapy sessions. You will receive your Provisional Certificate but if you decide not to continue you can ask the office for a 7-day attendance certificate.
  2. In order to receive a Level II – StoryPlay Practitioner Certificate you need to commit yourself to 10 individual Skype supervision sessions with Joyce showing how you are implementing the StoryPlay model in your practice. The minimum time in which this can be done is 10 months; i.e, one supervision session per month or you can negotiate with Joyce to do the 10 sessions over a longer period. Also you need to do a group Skype once every 3 months. Arrangements made by Joyce. You pay Joyce directly for these sessions.

Level III - Qualification: In order to be considered to go on to Level III – StoryPlay Facilitator Training, all assignments and supervision requirements must be fulfilled. Level III Facilitator Training is a separate training and supervision. Once you fulfil Level III course requirements you can then, under guidance of Joyce, start teaching StoryPlay. Mentoring is part of this training. 

Course Agenda

Day 1:

  • Module One: The Six Roots of StoryPlay;
  • Module Two: Philosophy and Essential Elements;
  • Module Three: Trans-cultural Wisdom and Healing Philosophies.  

Day 2:

  • Module Four: Two Paradigms for Transformational Healing;
  • Module Five: Breathing and Relaxation Exercises.
  • Module Six: Indirect Suggestions – Developing and delivering healing messages

Day 3:

  • Module Seven: Therapeutic Metaphors: Storytelling, Nature as Co-Storyteller, Building Bridges from first session; Exercises: Developing & Utilizing real life & made up/myth stories. Integration of Indirect Suggestions within storyline.

Day 4:

  • Module Eight: Sensory Synchronicity: The Sensory Language of the Child. Recognizing Sensory Preferences during play therapy session; Retrieving and using blocked sensory systems (out of conscious). Exercises demonstrating conscious, unconscious and out of conscious sensory systems. Emphasis will be on recognition and utilization. Exercises include Integration of sensory elements within storyline.

Day 5:

  • Module Nine: Artistic Metaphors: Inner Resource Drawings; Resource Board Game; Pathway to Success Map.
  • Module 10: StoryCrafts – Natural Healing Activities for Individual, family, classroom, and community healing.  

Day 6:

  • Module Ten (continued): completing StoryCrafts;
  • Module 11: Living Metaphors;
  • Module Twelve: Creating Therapeutic Rituals and Ceremonies for Transformational Healing

Day 7:

  • Therapeutic Metamorphosis: Braiding it All Together: Participants will be asked to braid together the elements of previous days:
    • Storytelling Metaphors
    • Sensory Synchronicity
    • Artistic Metaphors
    • StoryCrafts
    • Living Metaphors
    • Therapeutic Rituals and Ceremonies  
  • Putting StoryPlay Into Play: Through review, exercises, group participation, and coaching, participants will be given an opportunity to integrate each element they have learned into their particular practice or program. 

Course Requirements/Assignments

Course Hours: Total required: Level 1 – 30; Level 2 – 72 = 102 (face to face and on-line contact)

Assignments for combined courses Level I and Level II will be on-line as follows:

  • Participants will be required to complete the Learning Guide questions at the end of each module (300 words for each of the questions approximately 1 – 2 pages double spaced)
  • Participants will choose one of their cases, redact information for confidentiality and describe in writing how they have implemented the StoryPlay® model into their work (approximately 3 pages double spaced).  

Part 1 – A Real Life and Made Up/Myth Storytelling Metaphor showing how they:

  • Introduced the story
  • Interspersed suggestions
  • Included Sensory descriptive words
  • Ended the story

Part 2 – Choose one StoryCraft and one Artistic metaphor that would be applicable for the chosen case – approximately 1 page each double spaced.  

Part 3 - Participants will write-up a Living Metaphor and a Therapeutic Ritual/Ceremony that would be applicable for their chosen case approximately one page each double spaced.  This written assignment will be typed, double spaced and approximately 5 – 7 pages in length. 

  • Participants will be required to submit a written monthly check in on line describing how they have been using the StoryPlay® modules with their clients or in their programmes.

Location and Duration

Course Fee:  £910
Date: TBC
Venue : Beaumont Estate, Burfield Road, Old Windsor SL4 2JJ

The Course will run from 9 am to 5 pm with lunch and refreshments provided during the day

Dates and prices are correct at the time of printing but may be subject to change.  

Please check with the APAC Ltd. office on 01825 761143 before booking.

Dates and prices are correct at the time of printing but may be subject to change.   Please check with the APAC Ltd. office on 01825 761143 before booking.


Costs:   A.   Individual - 1 x month for 10 months @ £40/hr./participant – these fees are paid by participants directly to the StoryPlay Account. Supervision arrangements are made directly with StoryPlay.  

B.   Groups of four – 4 x a year @ £80/per groups of 4. Group interaction is required once a month.(every 3 months) Focus will be on applying the StoryPlay model to include various and relevant topics such as child abuse, attachment, trauma, grief, challenging children, adolescents, and families.      

**NOTE:   Any reference to “supervision” only applies to the StoryPlay® model of training. It does not involve or represent ethical or legal responsibility for any cases discussed by participants.  Participants are responsible for maintaining the highest of ethical standards as they are deemed to provide by their respective licensing boards as well as their own malpractice insurance according to PTI/APAC requirements.    

Required Reading:

  • Mills, J.C. & Crowley, R.J. (2014) Therapeutic Metaphors for Children and the Child Within:  Taylor/Francis/Routledge: Philadelphia, PA
  • Mills, J.C. (1997/2004) Reconnecting to the Magic of Life: Imaginal Press: Phoenix, AZ

Recommended Reading:

  • Burnes, G.W. (2007) Healing with Stories: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ
  • Mills, J. (2003). Little Tree: A story for children with serious medical problems: Magination Press: Washington, DC
  • Mills, J. (2004) Gentle Willow: A story for children about dying).: Magination Press, Washington, DC
  • Mills, J.C. & Crowley, R.J.  (1988/2005) Sammy the Elephant & Mr. Camel: A story to help children overcome bedwetting.  Magination Press: Washington, DC
  • Short, D. Erickson, B.A. & Erickson, R.K. (2009. Hope & Resiliency. Crown House Publishing LTD, CT