Accredited Summer School Diploma Course Details

This play therapy course has been clinically accredited by PTUK and PTI. Successful completion of the course and the required clinical hours leads to PTUK certification as a Play Therapist.

Post Graduate Play Therapy Diploma Course

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Designed For

The course is designed for anyone who has completed the APAC Certificate in Therapeutic Play. Participants may come from any background such as:  

  • 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 Diploma course is the second part of a programme which may lead to an MA in Practised Based Play Therapy It is at stage 3 of the PTUK Four Stage Training Model 

The course has been designed to:

  • Enable you to the title Play Therapist
  • 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
  • Enable you to work with groups using play therapy
  • Provide you with the Profession Structure Model competencies defined by PTUK to work with individuals and groups of children who have moderate to severe problems

The Diploma course is the second part of a programme leading to an MA in Practised Based Play Therapy. It is at stage 3 of the PTUK four stage training model 

It may be undertaken as a standalone course. Normally applicants will have successfully completed the PTUK accredited Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills.  

The course is experiential in nature and will be specifically rooted in non- directive play therapy.

AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH TO PLAY THERAPY - Children and their environment


As in the Certificate course material for the Diploma builds upon the theory and practice of humanistic psychology, particularly that of Virginia Axline ("Dibs In Search of Self"), Carl Rogers and gestalt play therapy developed by Violet Oaklander. It recognises contributions made by others in the early 1900s, such as John Bowlby, Margaret Lowenfeld, Donald Winnicott, Rachel Pinney etc It extends to a deeper understanding of the unconscious processes in relation to the child’s development based upon Freud, Jung, Graff, Fairburn Hillman, Moore and Jacobson. It also places importance on the spiritual aspect of human development. Opportunities for many forms of creativity will enrich the contents of the course. 

You will be exploring ways of integrating the child as the centre of a social system, which includes schools, families, and team of support.

The Summer School course follows the same syllabus as that taught at the Fern Hill Centre but over 15 consecutive days. 

The main items in the Play Therapy Tool-Kit are re-visited at a greater level of competence, are applied to working with groups, are put into practice to enable you to work with more severe mental health  problems and are also used as assessment methods. 

Learning Objectives

The overall purpose is to enable participants to practice safely and effectively as a Play Therapist.

Upon successful completion of the course each participant will have gained: 

  • The competencies to work with all children (individual and group) of with all problems where Play therapy is suitable and with children and young people with mild to severe problems
  • To make assessments incorporating the PDM
  • A sound understanding of the principles underlying play therapy and the appropriate use of techniques
  • The competencies required for running play therapy sessions with groups of children as well as individuals
  • An ability to assess children's needs and set up a play therapy services unit
  • An ability to make decisions taking into account the ethical issues concerning all parties involved
  • Increased confidence in using play therapy with children and adolescents and communications with referrers, parents and guardians
  • The counselling, therapeutic and practical skills to carry out effective play therapy
  • Awareness of your own process and development
  • A comprehensive theoretical knowledge of child development and child psychology
  • An ability to use the taught play therapy skills as assessment tools
  • The ability to use a full play therapy tool-kit
  • A basic understanding of play therapy research issues and methods 

Course Structure  

(The sequence and content may vary slightly from course to course)

Introduction to Working with Groups; Developing Metaphors for Group Working; Introduction to Research Methods; Developing Expressive Arts Skills - 1 - Dance and Movement for Groups; Assessment; Special cases: Autism, Mental/Physical disability

Developing Expressive Arts Skills 2 - Music Working With Parents/Teachers, Assessments through observation using video case studies Special cases: adopted, fostered

Developing Theatre Form Skills - Masks; EPR; Assessment methods; Special cases: Loss/Bereavement, Separation  

Developing Symbolic Play Skills; Sand Play - Advanced Skills; Working with Metaphors; Endings, Special cases: Physically and sexually abused - children who have experienced trauma

Developing Expressive Arts Skills - 3 Art in child development; Special cases working with terminally ill and or abuse; Court Work; Student presentation  

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. Assignments will be subject of group discussions the following weekend.

It is essential that participants are working with children at the time that the course is taken.  An additional 100 supervised hours need to be completed before the full Diploma can be awarded.  Group clinical supervision of this work is a primary learning method.  The situations and problems that you encounter in real life outside the classroom together with their solutions are an essential part of the learning process.  


15 consecutive days  


The Diploma in Play Therapy will be awarded on the basis of:

  • Two written case studies, covering the work with a child for at least 1 year and showing a clear integration of theory and practice.
  • Completion of an individual practical therapeutic project, designed and documented by the participant.
  • Continuous evaluation of course work contributions and ability to work with group dynamics
  • Post training presentation
  • Evidence of a further 100 hrs supervised hours of working with children using play therapy
  • Completion an essay of about 3000 words
  • Evidence of regular play therapy supervision
  • Satisfactory attendance on the course 


La Mouline


Selected from APAC's faculty.

Course Provider


No Days

Full 15 day course Post Graduate Play Therapy Diploma




Attractive accommodation at a range of prices is available in bed and breakfast, gites, hotels and camping sites. (Many English speaking).  But you will need to book early because the Tarn is a popular area. 


Course Title

Start Date

Post Graduate Play Therapy Diploma - (15 days)

21st July to 4th August, 2018

Application Form

Diploma Application Form



Travel & Accommodation Information



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