Play Therapy

Study Play Therapy Online. Learn the theory and applications for all ages, as a therapy for anxiety, depression, physical rehabilitation, behavioural, developmental, social disorders, and more.

Course Code: BRE214
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn to Apply Play Therapy for emotional or physical healing

The Play Therapy course is ideal for children or adults.

When an injury damages muscles, or inhibits the use of muscles for a period; play may be a pathway to reeducate those muscles to again move as they once did.

When a person suffers stress, and anxiety or depression takes over, play can sometimes be a pathway to regain motivation and emotional stability. 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.

When you learn about play therapy with ACS Distance Education, you will understand how to lead play therapy and is a great addition for your professional development.

 

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. The Foundation for Using Play Therapy
    • Introduction
    • Brief History of Play Therapy
    • What is play -Functional Approach, Structural Approach, Play-Criterion Approach
    • Play and Cognitive Development
    • Play and Social Development
    • Play and Physical Activity
    • Language Play
    • Value of play
    • Play therapy defined
    • Approaches to Play Therapy - Non directive, directive, integrative
    • Axline’s Principles
    • Landreth’s Perspective
    • The Role of the Play Therapist
    • Play Therapy and Adults
    • Scope of play therapy
  2. Applications for Play and Play therapy
    • Therapeutic Play continuum - play, pla-work, therapeutic pla-work, therapeutic play, filial play, play therapy, child psychotherapy
    • Application of play therapy
    • Who is play therapy for
    • Background Information
    • Choice of toys and materials
    • Other Techniques
    • Age Appropriate Choices
    • Aggressive Toys
    • Toys to Avoid
    • Cultural considerations
    • Creating the right environment
    • Session Times
    • Playroom
    • Advantages
    • Research in Support of Play Therapy
    • Issues with play therapy
    • Problems Arising During Therapy
  3. Play Therapy for Anxiety and Depressive Disorders
    • Anxiety Disorders
    • Separation Anxiety Disorder
    • Selective Mutism
    • Specific Phobias
    • Other Anxiety Problems
    • Social Anxiety
    • School Anxiety
    • Symptoms
    • Treatment
    • Cognitive behaviour Therapy
    • Limitations of CBT
    • Medication
    • Limitations of Medication
    • Use of Play Therapy
    • Using play therapy to reduce anxiety in children
    • Tracking
    • CBT and play therapy for anxiety
    • Major depressive disorder
    • SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
    • Bipolar I & II Disorders
    • Cyclothymic Disorder
    • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
    • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
    • Persistent Depressive Disorder
    • Symptoms
    • Counselling & Medication treatments
    • Use of Play Therapy
    • Play therapy with children and adults with depression
  4. Play Therapy for Behavioural Disorders
    • Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder
    • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
    • Conduct Disorder - child onset. adolescent onset
    • Use of Play Therapy
    • ADHD - what it is, play therapy application
  5. Play Therapy for Developmental Disorders
    • Cascading Effect
    • Working with Children with Developmental Disorders
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Difficulties in Social Development and Interactions
    • Abnormal Communication
    • Repetitive Behaviour
    • Intellectual Disability
    • Physical Disability
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Use of Play Therapy with Cerebral Palsy
    • Learning Disorders & Use of Play Therapy
    • Concrete Play Metaphors
    • Clay Therapy
    • Colour and Drawing Therapy
  6. Play Therapy for Social and Family Problems
    • Types of Family & Social Problems
    • Trauma
    • Abuse and Neglect
    • Effects of Abuse
    • Attachment Disorder
    • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
    • Grief and Loss
    • Divorce
    • Death of a parent
    • Other Factors - Schooling, Location
    • Use of Play Therapy for Trauma or Abuse
    • Ball Play, Sculpting and drawing
  7. Play Therapy and Adult Populations
  8. Related Specialised Creative Therapies
  9. Play and Rehabilitation

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.

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

 

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?

  • Health Professionals
  • Playleaders
  • Therapists
  • Counsellors
  • Teachers
  • Parents
  • Toy and Game Designers, Manufacturers or Retailers

 

PLAY THERAPY CAN BE HELP ADULTS TOO!

Encouraging play in children seems obvious to most people; but often the relevance of play for adults is easily overlooked.
Play is something which all healthy children partake in to some degree or other. However, older teenagers and adults especially have often lost their ability for play other than perhaps for games with rules. Play therapy for adults can be used help them relearn the value of play.

Playful exploration has been shown to enhance both cognitive and physical behaviours. There is research from the fields of neurophysiology and molecular biology to support a role for play therapy as a therapeutic tool for adults. Although as with children, play is not going to suit all adults and may only be appropriate for limited situations and circumstances more research has been undertaken in recent years into its application as a therapeutic tool for adults. It may be that play therapy has been overlooked previously where it could potentially have been beneficial to some individuals so it shouldn’t automatically be ruled out as developmentally inappropriate without proper assessment and consideration.

How Can Play Therapy Help?

Play therapy for adults assumes that adults still retain child-like representations of the world and can make use of non-verbal expression. Through the use of play, adults of all ages can get in touch with their inner selves and work through problems such as traumas from childhood.

Some of the reported benefits of play therapy with adult populations include enhanced relationships, optimised learning, and better overall improve health and wellbeing. Play therapy with adults may be at its most efficacious when used in conjunction with other types of treatment.

Donaldson (1993) advocated the use of play therapy with adults in situations where traditional talking therapies may be less effective. In particular, it was proposed that play therapy may be of value to adults with arrested emotional development, those with developmental difficulties which continued into adulthood, and where co-morbid mental health problems existed in these groups.

Areas where play therapy has been used with adult populations include:

  • Dementia 
  • Grief and loss
  • Arrested emotional development
  • Problems associated with developmental disorders 
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder 
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

 
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

ACS is an Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching (UK).

ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Principal John Mason has been honoured to be awarded a Fellow of Parks and Leisure Australia, having been an active member since 1974.

UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

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We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


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We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.


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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

John Mason

Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner.
J

Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Over 30 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 fo

Jacinda Cole (Psychologist)

Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist.
B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA
Jacinda has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psycholo





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Lyn Quirk

Lyn has 35 years of experience in the Fitness, Health and Leisure Industries. She has a string of qualifications that are far too long to list here; being qualified and registered to teach, coach or instruct a wide range of different sports and other skills.

Lyn established and managed Health clubs at three major five star resorts on Australia's Gold Coast, including The Marriott. She was a department head for a large government vocational college (TAFE), and has conducted her own aquafitness business for many years. Lyn has among her other commitments worked as a tutor for ACS for almost 10 years, and over that time, participated in the development or upgrading of most courses in her fields of expertise.

Nicola Stewart

Nicola worked in publishing before changing direction to teach Anatomy, Physiology and various complementary therapies in the UK’s post-compulsory sector for 16 years. She is the published author of 10 books, plus a range of magazine articles and has also ghost-written across a number of genres. When she is not working for ACS, she provides specialist literacy tuition for children with dyslexia.

Tracey Jones

Tracey has over 20 years 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 is a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work. Tracey has also written a text book on Psychology and has had several short stories published.

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