Module Descriptions – (The sequence and content may vary slightly from course to course)
Module 1 – Orientation to Setting Up and Development of Practice Based Play Therapy within an Integrative Holistic Model
You will learn how to:
- Use non-directive Play Therapy skills through sandplay
- Set up a safe play room and a therapeutic play service
- Recognise and be able to develop the thinking and skills required for studying at Masters level
- Successfully establish and assess therapeutic relationships
- Be able to communicate with children using music and movement therapy skills
- Analyse, present, apply and appraise the principles of the therapeutic play continuum in the context of a spectrum of needs
- Function within the essential practical, ethical, child protection and legal aspects of working therapeutically with children including stipulated health and safety procedures and under the auspices of clinical governance
- Understand PTI/PTUK standards of training and practice within the current climate of regulatory frameworks
- Start to assess the impact of current research, including your own practice data on healing children’s emotional, behaviour and mental health difficulties
The module starts with an introduction to Play Therapy principles, the latest outcomes research and putting non-directive play into practice. In addition a thorough coverage of the course requirements and what is needed to start working safely with the children is provided including confidential record keeping., safety aspects and keeping boundaries.
Music builds upon a child’s curiosity for sounds and sound making that emerges during childhood. You will be given the music therapy skills to communicate and build relationships with your clients.
During this module you will also be given an introduction to movement therapy using the Laban analysis method to understand the body, dynamics, space and relationships that develop and to communicate with the child during your sessions.
Module 2 – Using Symbolic Play Therapy Tools and Metaphor Safely
You will learn how to:
- Incorporate the use of art (drawing, painting, collage etc), puppets, therapeutic storytelling and clay in your practice
- Demonstrate a wide ranging knowledge, application and practice in relevant aspects of child development theory
- Appraise therapeutic interventions with children who have attachment/trauma based problems eg foster care situations
- Be equipped with and have an up-to-date knowledge of child protection procedures
- Assess and successfully practise therapeutic play interventions with children who have conduct, fear, anxiety, mood, sleeping, grief and bereavement problems
A comparative approach is taken in teaching child development and attachment theory. This will enable you to relate the children’s issues and their processes during therapeutic play to a theoretical framework. Therapeutic story telling is based upon the theories of Milton Erickson and incorporates principles of CBT and NLP. You will be taught how to compose a story to achieve a particular therapeutic objective. Theoretical, as well as practical and experiential work, is undertaken so that you will be able to apply and understand work with images produced by the children in drawing, painting, clay and in sand trays. The use and making of puppets and how to use them, for example to control anger, is facilitated.
Module 3 – Using Expressive Arts Therapies as a Means of Processing and Reaching the Unconscious
You will learn how to:
- Articulate and apply the relevant principles of neuroscience to working with children and their parent/carers
- Integrate and evaluate sandplay and creative visualisation (guided imagery) as therapeutic play interventions
- Assess and work with children who have learning and communication difficulties, attention and over-activity problems (including ADHD)
- Examine, apply and debate the necessity and impact of safe endings within therapeutic work
One of the reasons why therapeutic play is successful is that it reaches the unconscious parts of the brain whereas talking therapies mainly address the conscious regions. The links between neuroscience and psychological theories will be explored.
This module enables students to gain an experiential understanding of sandplay therapy skills as an ‘X-ray of the soul’.
Creative visualisation will help you and your clients to centre themselves and provides a technique to help children anchor, nurture and cherish themselves. Relaxation exercises are often a vital prelude to other interventions.
Basic statistical methods are introduced to enable you to present and analyse your case study, clinical governance and understand research data.