Introductory 1 Day Course:

April 30, 2017 - 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Cost: $150 +HST

email for more information

CLICK HERE to register

Designed For

Anyone interested in using play therapy or developing their skills in working with children. Also for those wishing to make a career decision. It is at stage 1 of the PTUK four stage training model   


The course introduces mainly non-directive play techniques based upon the humanistic model of Carl Rogers and the work of Virginia Axline, Rachel Pinney and Violet Oaklander.. We will be outlining different techniques in play therapy. Participants will experience non-directive play therapy for themselves through sandworlds and a dip into the main skills (art, music, movement and storytelling). We will also cover employment opportunities and training requirements for working therapeutically with children.   


We will be introducing you to different techniques in play therapy and you will experience: sandworlds, music, art, stories and creative visualisation.   

We will also cover employment opportunities in working therapeutically with children.   


About Play Therapy

ADLER Graduate Professional School has partnered with APAC (The Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy) who's courses are accredited by Play Therapy International (PTI) - the International Society for Play and Creative Arts Therapies Limited -  a not for profit organization dedicated to promoting the use of play and expressive arts as ways of enabling children to reach their full potential. 

Therapeutic play, (including play therapy), is a well-established discipline based upon a number of psychological theories. Research, both qualitative and quantitative shows that it is highly effective in many cases. Recent research by PTUK, an organisation affiliated to PTI, suggests that 77% of the children referred to play therapy will show a positive change. 

A safe, confidential and caring environment is created which allows the child to play with as few limits as possible but as many as necessary (for physical and emotional safety). This allows healing to occur on many levels following our natural inner trend towards health. Play and creativity operate on impulses from outside our awareness - the unconscious.

The therapist may reflect back to the child, observations of what has happened during the session, if this is felt to be appropriate. The child is given strategies to cope with difficulties they face in life and which they themselves cannot process or even change. It provides a more positive view of their future life. 

The first recorded use of therapeutic play goes back to 1919 It is developed from a number of psychological theories. Probably the most important contributions to modern practice are the work of Virginia Axline and Violet Oaklander. Two major approaches are 'Non-directive play therapy' and 'Directive play therapy'. A skilled practitioner will adopt a mix of both approaches according to circumstances.

In order to qualify as a Registered Certified Play Therapist and Psychotherapist it is necessary to complete both the post-graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills, the post graduate Diploma in Play Therapy plus whatever each individual requires to fulfil the requirements for the College Of Psychotherapists.

If you are Canadian, you must purchase a Play Therapy International membership each year through Play Therapy Canada. You will automatically become a member of both associations.

About Play Therapy International (PTI)

The PTI Accredited therapeutic play and play therapy course programme is unique. It is the only one that is offered internationally that is: 

Comprehensive – covering the main therapeutic play approaches – the “Play Therapy Tool-KitTM", offering progression from trainee to practitioner to Certified Play Therapist, to Clinical Supervisor, to a Trainer of Play Therapy.

Competency based – on the rigorous PTI International Standards, including the competencies required for each level of practice.

Cohesive – rather than attend a number of different, disjointed training days, which have a narrow specialist focus you will benefit seeing how the different approaches may be used in an integrated way 

Consistent – wherever you undertake the courses you may be assured that the content and learning methods are the same. If you decide, for example to continue to the Diploma course and wish undertake this next stage of training in another country or venue you will be joining others who have had the same prior training. Employers in any country can be assured that candidates who have received PTI accredited training will have had the same learning opportunities. 

Fully evaluated – all PTI stage 2, 3 and 4 courses are evaluated at the four levels required by the international standards. This includes the standard measurement of students’ clinical work. 

The overall purpose of the certificate is to enable participants to practice safely and effectively using therapeutic play skills in a variety of settings, to provide emotional support for individual children.  

Our core model, which is integration holistic, has evolved since 1998 from more traditional and less effective models. It makes the course unique in integrating: nondirective and directive approaches; working with both conscious and unconscious processes; the use of wide range of creative arts media and the integration of research with practice.

The certificate content is based upon the theory and practice of neurobiology, humanistic psychology, particularly that of Virgina Axline (“Dibs in Search of Self”) and Carl Rogers and the Gestalt Play Therapy approach of Violet Oaklander.  It recognises contributions made by others in the 20th century such as Barnes, Bowlby, Erikson, Freud, Jung, Lowenfeld, Mahler, Piaget, Pavlo, Vygotsky, Donald Winnicott, etc.

It also places importance on the spiritual aspect of human development. Opportunities for personal reflection and all forms of creativity will enrich your experience.

Our model offers a child the opportunity of making choices and taking responsibility for them; expressing him/herself freely; being accepted unconditionally; having his/her deepest feelings respected and accepted. For these reasons their play is not interpreted and no judgements are made.  Such freedoms may only be obtained within the provision of a strong framework. Therefore, the therapist takes responsibility for the safety of the child, themselves and the environment. Within these constraints, the child has complete freedom to choose.  Time boundaries are also considered to be very important thus adding a sense of security by adhering to beginnings and endings.

In the model of learning at ADLER, the non-directive approach is complemented by other approaches. These are introduced at appropriate points within the learning. The main items in the ‘Play Therapy Tool-Kit™’ are taught and put into practice. Students are able to experience each modality within the learning process.

The certificate commences with an orientation to setting up play therapy practice using non-directive play which enables you to work straight away on a one to one basis with children who have slight to moderate social, emotional and behaviour difficulties.  During the certificate course you will learn how to use a wide range of symbolic play therapy tools and metaphor safely, building upon knowledge gained through teaching and practice. You will acquire a sound working knowledge of ethical principles, child protection issues, child development, neurobiology and attachment theories that underpin practice.

Assessment is based on a careful balance of growing mastery within the theoretical perspectives that the programme offers, the development of greater professional confidence, and the application of competencies in practice.

Participants will learn through working with other members of the cohort as well as during their practice with children, 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 to allow for maximum opportunities for hands on experiential learning.

Learning will mainly 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 taught modules.  

CLICK HERE for Admissions Requirements and to Apply Now!


What is Psychotherapy?
Why Adler
Faculty Profiles
Sign Up For Our Free Info Session

If you are, or hope to be a professional practitioner in mental health or human systems and services, Adler's mission is to support your success.
890 Yonge St., 9th Floor
Toronto, ON M4W 3P4

phone: 416.923.4419
toll free: 1.877.923.4419
© Adler   |  Privacy Policy