Need Assistance? 01384 442752 (UK)


Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Study Play Therapy - learn techniques to address emotional and psychological problems.

The goal of play therapy is to help individuals attain improvement in psychological health and well-being.

  • Study Play therapy - a therapeutic aid used for children and adults.
  • Understand how play can be used as a pathway to generate a more positive outlook and improve well-being in those suffering from stress, anxiety or depression.
  • Learn approaches and applications of play therapy for those with developmental or behavioural disorders.
  • Develop your understanding of play therapy and your ability to apply play therapy techniques to address emotional and psychological problems in children and adults.

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Learn how play can be used to treat psychological problems in children and adults.

  • Learn the approaches to play therapy that encourage the expression of thoughts and feelings as an aid to resolving psychological problems in children and adults.
  • Learn how play can be used as a therapeutic tool in the treatment of injury, illness or disability.
  • Develop your understanding of applying play therapy techniques to address psychological problems in children and adults.

What is Play Therapy

Play therapy is a therapeutic approach which can be used to help children express their thoughts and feelings through play. Although it is mostly used with children between the ages of 3 and 12 years, more recently it has also be used with older children and infants as well as special populations of adults such as people living with dementia, adults with emotional disturbances and those with developmental disabilities.

As with other psychotherapies, the goal of play therapy is to help individuals attain improvement in psychological health and well-being.

Course Structure and Lesson Content

There are 9 lessons in this course:

Lesson 1 The Foundation for Using Play Therapy
  • Introduction
  • What is Play?
  • The Value of Play
  • What is Play Therapy?
  • Scope of Play Therapy
Lesson 2 Applications of Play and Play Therapy
  • Introduction
  • Therapeutic Play Continuum
  • Application of Play Therapy
  • Choice of Toys and Materials
  • Creating the Right Environment for Play Therapy
  • Issues in Play Therapy
Lesson 3 Play Therapy for Anxiety and Depressive Disorders
  • Introduction
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depressive Disorders
Lesson 4 Play Therapy for Behavioural Disorders
  • Introduction
  • Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Use of Play Therapy
Lesson 5 Play Therapy for Developmental Disorders
  • Introduction
  • Autism
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Learning Disorders
Lesson 6 Play Therapy for Social and Family Problems
  • Introduction
  • Types of Social and Family Problems - Abuse and Neglect, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Grief And Loss, Divorce, Death of a Parent
  • Other Factors - Schooling, Location
  • Uses of Play Therapy
Lesson 7 Play Therapy and Adult Populations
  • Introduction
  • Play Therapy For Adults
  • Research Supporting Use of Play Therapy with Adults
Lesson 8 Related Specialised Creative Therapies
  • Introduction
  • Music Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Drama Therapy
  • Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT)
Lesson 9   Play and Rehabilitation
  • Introduction
  • Injury and Illness
  • Disability
  • Science and Technology

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Course Aims

  • Explain the purpose for using play therapy, potential of what it might achieve, and determine situations where it is appropriate to use it as a therapeutic technique.
  • Explain the therapeutic play continuum, applications of play and play therapy, play therapy tools, advantages and issues arising in therapy.
  • Explain how play therapy can be used to help children with emotional disturbances such as depression and anxiety disorders.
  • Explain how play therapy can be used to help children with behavioural disorders such as conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and problems with anger and impulse control.
  • Explain how play therapy can be used to treat developmental disorders such as autism, intellectual disability and learning disorders.
  • Determine appropriate uses of play therapy for children suffering from social and family related problems such as grief and loss, crises such as divorce, and trauma-related issues.
  • Determine uses of play therapy to assist adult populations with specific emotional and psychological problems which can benefit from play.
  • Explain a range of different but closely related therapies including music, art, and drama therapy, and techniques used in these therapies which are incorporated into play therapy.
  • Explain how play can be used in occupational therapy and other contexts to help people manage or rehabilitate from physical and mental disabilities, and the role of science and technology.

Why Study Play Therapy?

Like other types of therapy, play therapy helps to reduce or eliminate negative or maladaptive behaviours whilst encouraging the use of positive or adaptive ones. Some of the benefits attributed to play therapy include:

  • Improved mood and positive feelings
  • Better coping skills
  • Enhanced problem solving
  • Less internal conflict and stress
  • Greater self-awareness
  • Increased impulse control
  • Appropriate emotional expression
  • Improved verbal skills
  • Better communication
  • Improved social skills
  • Increased confidence and self-esteem
  • Greater trust of others
  • Increased maturity

Find Out More

You can enrol on Play Therapy today. If you have any questions or want to know more about studying with ACS then call us today on (UK) 01384 442752 or (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or submit your questions to our specialist Health and Fitness tutors.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Towergate Insurance welcomes Professional Liability insurance applications from ACS graduates across all disciplines. Click here for more details.

Meet some of our academics

Tracey Jones (psychology)B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies) Tracey began studying psychology in 1990. She has a wide range of experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects. She has been a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work and has also written many textbooks, blogs, articles and ebooks on psychology, writing, sociology, child development and more. She has had also several short stories published.
Lyn Quirk M.Ed.,Dip.Med.,Dip.SportsOver 35 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy

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