Green Stream: Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills
Play Therapist: Certification/Registration Route
The Green Stream–Foundations of Play Therapy is a certificate in therapeutic play skills that offers 75 hours of approved/certified training. It consists of 9 days of face-to-face training (63 contact hours of approved play therapy training), plus a pre-course on-line component (with a Mastery Test) and a post-course case conceptualization assignment (totaling 12 non-contact hours). Students will have three months to complete the required written assignment.
The Green Stream Foundations of Play Therapy Program is a fully integrated training program, versus a series of workshops or courses. It is ideal for those currently in post-secondary or graduate programs, or graduate/mental health practitioners who wish to build on their current professional designations. You do not require a Master’s degree to complete the Foundations of Play Therapy Program. You may stop your training here and obtain a Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills.
Note: In North America there are two routes to choose from. The APT route is shorter in terms of training, supervision and practice hours, and gains access to a large internationally recognized professional organization.
APT Route: To become a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) with the Association of Play Therapy (APT) one of the requirements is to complete 150 hours of approved training. The Green Stream, combined with the Red Stream, provides all of the required play therapy training hours.
CACPT Route: To become a Certified Play Therapist (CPT) with the Canadian Association for Child and Play Therapy (CACPT), Canadian standards require 180 hours of play therapy training from a CACPT Approved Provider, or from an institute of higher learning. Participants who intend to become Certified Play Therapists should take the Green Stream, Red Stream, plus 1 core (3-day) Yellow Stream Certificate Program. It is recommended that participants take the Yellow Stream Certificate in Sandplay with Special Populations to fulfill the 180-hour requirement.
RMPTI is not a registering body for play therapists. Rather, RMPTI provides approved training. For details for being registered with the 2 main bodies, see links below.
Based on the Play Therapy Dimensions Model, which is an integrative decision-making model for play therapists, participants learn not only a range of play therapy theories, approaches and techniques, but also how to conceptualize the play therapy process from an integrative perspective. Emphasis is place on developing skills in tracking client progress and therapist use of self. Participant learning is enhanced through role-plays and use of fully equipped play therapy rooms.
Receive a Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills
You can stop training at the Green Stream level and receive a Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills to apply to your work with children in non-clinical settings such as pre-schools and school counseling services. Due to its practical and experiential approach to learning, participants leave the program ready to use therapeutic play-based interventions.
The primary goal of this program is to develop practical skills and theoretical knowledge base necessary to use play-based interventions from an integrative perspective. Additionally, participants learn about:
- The history of play therapy
- The role of the play therapist
- Core play therapy theories/approaches (e.g., Adlerian, Child-Centered & Gestalt Play Therapy)
- Play therapy techniques
- Play therapy modalities (e.g., sandplay, art making; music & movement)
- The play therapy process
- Play-based observation and treatment planning strategies
Who Should Attend?
The Green Stream, Foundations of Play Therapy program will be of interest to those individuals who are currently working with children in a number of capacities such as teachers, youth and child care counselors, social service workers, early childhood educators, health care providers, therapists or other professionals who wish to enhance their skills when working with children. Those enrolled in post-secondary institutions or graduate programs may use this program as a way to build on their current professional designations.
Entrance Requirements: Attending or completed post-secondary education.
Assigned Text Books:
- Play therapy dimensions model: A decision-making guide for integrative play therapists (Yasenik & Gardner, 2012 – 2nd edition; Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London).
NOTE: This book, which includes a 1-hour DVD, is provided free to all course participants.
- Play therapy: The art of the relationship (Gary Landreth; 2012; 3rd edition; Routledge, Ney York).
How can I apply these skills?
Participants will be able to follow a basic case conceptualization process and identify ways to work with children with mild to moderate adjustment difficulties. They may use specific play techniques in their own settings and identify children who are in need of play therapy and make appropriate referrals to a Certified Play Therapist.
On-Line Component (7 non-contact hours): An Introduction to Play Therapy
Two months prior to the course date, registered participants will be provided with a passcode for the RMPTI training website (www.rmpti.org), where they take a 3-hour on-line program. The on-line program provides an introduction to the following topics and activities:
- Introduction to program
- Defining Play Therapy and the play therapy continuum
- Therapeutic powers of play
- Play modalities
- History of play therapy
- Self-assessment and experiential exercises
Participants should simultaneously begin reading the two assigned textbooks, Play Therapy Dimensions Model: A Decision-Making Guide for Integrative play Therapists (Yasenik & Gardner, 2nd edition, 2012) and, Play Therapy: The art of the relationship (Gary Landreth, 3rd edition, 2012).
At the end of the on-line section participants are to complete a mastery test (true/false) to demonstrate understanding or core concepts covered on-line and in the textbooks. The Mastery Test is to be handed in on the first day of class.
Day 1: Understanding the play therapy process & essential play therapy skills
- Program Introduction & opening activity
- Experiential/self-reflection activity
- Understanding neurobiology of play
- Experiential activity – “Your Play Style”
- Therapeutic powers of play
- The therapeutic play continuum
- Defining Play Therapy
- Understanding the play therapy process: From intake to discharge
- Play Therapy Dimensions Model (an integrative model for conceptualizing directive and non-directive work)
- Models of play therapy (video examples); Non-Directive & Child-Centered
- Experiential exercise – tracking & reflection skills
- Play modality: Clay
Day 2: Exploring Models of Play Therapy
- Categories of play activity- video examples & learning activities
- A detailed examination of the PTDM – understanding the 4 quadrants
- Models of play therapy – a historical & current perspectives
- Comparative analyses of models – the “grid” worksheet
- Model – Relationship Play Therapy (C. Moustakas): Video example
- Model – Gestalt Play Therapy (V. Oaklander): Video example
- Experiential learning activity: projective drawings
- Play modality: Expressive Art
- Self-assessment (homework activity)
Day 3: Symbols & Metaphors:
- Review of Self-Assessment
- Understanding symbols & metaphors
- Experiential learning activity – from symbols to metaphors
- Developing a relationship with the play room (experiential exercise in play therapy rooms) Stages of symbolic play
- Model of Play Therapy – Ecosystemic (K. O’Connor)
- Model of Play Therapy – Adlerian (T. Kottman): Video example
- Play modality: Expressive art activities
Day 4: Understanding the Directiveness Dimension
- The play therapy process & case conceptualization along the Directiveness dimension
- Practice exercises; Acknowledging non-verbal behavior; reflection of content & feeling
- Experiential activity: Moving from Quadrant III to Quadrant IV
- Play & development: A neurobiological perspective
- Understanding play themes
- Therapeutic Limit Setting: The A-C-T approach (G. Landreth)
- Model of Play Therapy – Ericksonian (J. Mills): Video example
- Model of Play Therapy – Narrative
- Play Modality: Integrating dance & movement
- Building a playroom (homework assignment)
Day 5: Play Therapy Process
- Review of homework – Building a playroom
- Common themes in children’s play Examining child moderating factors
- Therapist Immersion
- Experiential activity- movement from Quadrant III to Quadrant IV
- Therapeutic stages in play therapy
- Play Modality: Sandplay
Day 6: Play Therapy Conceptualization Tools
- Working with caregivers: The review meeting; giving parents feedback
- Child moderating factors
- Case conceptualization
- Play Modality: Therapeutic Storytelling (an “inside-out” perspective based on cognitive neuroscience & interpersonal neurobiology)
Day 7: Children & Trauma
- Understanding children’s play
- Defining trauma
- Traumagenic states
- Typical vs. maladjusted play: Traumatic play
- Video examples
- Identifying traumatized children
- The psychobiology of trauma
- Case examples
Day 8: Play Therapy Process – Part II
- Transference & countertransference
- Experiential activity: Creative beginnings, middles and endings in play therapy
- Specialized play therapy case notes
- Case conceptualization using the PTDM: Case illustration
- Play modality: Puppets
Day 9: Play-Based Assessments, Ethics and Professional Guidelines for Play Therapists
- Assessment domains
- Assessment approaches: structured vs. unstructured observations
- 5-session screening assessment plan
- Summarizing and communicating assessment results
- Report writing guidelines
- Managing issues of confidentiality when working with child clients
- “Who is the client”
- Applicable codes of ethics
- Experiential learning activity: Case examples for decision-making
- Group exercise: ethical dilemmas
- Closing activity
To provide participants with an introduction to play therapy history, theory, techniques and skills in play therapy. Upon successful completion of the five modules each participant will have gained:
- A sound understanding of the therapeutic powers of play and the principles underlying play therapy
- An ability to identify at least six different models of play therapy
- An understanding of integrative approaches and decision making: awareness of the continuum of directive-nondirectiveness in play therapy
- An awareness of the importance child development and play development in play therapy
- An understanding of the play therapy process and the role of the play therapist
- An ability to structure a play-based assessment to guide treatment planning
- Knowledge of the importance of ethical issues for play therapists
- Exposure to 6 different play modalities
- Awareness of use of self in play therapy
- An ability to identify traumatic versus non-traumatic play
- Understanding the importance of relationship development in the therapy process
- Experiential activities
- Video presentations
- Case examples
- Power point slides
- Experiential learning through role plays
- Session seminars
- Reading assignments
- Written homework exercises
- Small group learning activities
Participants will receive a Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills from RMPTI, indicating completion of both the academic and experiential learning components of the Green Stream – Foundations of Play Therapy Program. The certificate confirms the completion of 75 hours of specialized play therapy training approved by APT and CACPT. All training hours count toward registration/certification as Play Therapist.
The Certificate is awarded on the basis of:
- Satisfactory completion of a written assignment
- Satisfactory attendance (no whole module may be missed unless there are extenuating circumstances. A makeup assignment may be requested depending on time missed)