Play Therapy Course Descriptions:

SW 8701 Introduction to Play Therapy

This course provides the theoretical basis for play therapy and is the first course in the Post Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy program. It offers an overview of the essential theories and principles of play therapy, and provides an arena for the direct comparison of the major theoretical models of play therapy and their implications for treatment. In addition, the course teaches the history of play therapy, as required by the Association of Play Therapy for registration as a play therapist. Interwoven through the theories is the role of the play therapist in a variety of settings, the stages of the play therapy relationship, the evolving research that guides play therapy interventions, the basic play therapy skills and the training/supervision guidelines. Foundational to this course is the belief that involvement of family in the treatment of children is imperative, however uniquely family is described. An experiential component will focus on exposure to basic play therapy skills through observation of local professionals, instructors or videotaped experts performing play therapy. The content will contain materials to develop play therapy practice skills and an understanding of theoretical approaches of play therapy at the level required for eventual registration as a play therapist.

SW 8805 Play Therapy Techniques

This next course in the graduate play therapy certificate program provides an understanding of the essential elements and principles of several primary techniques of conducting and evaluating play therapy including filial therapy, family play therapy, and group play therapy. An experiential component will focus on advanced play therapy techniques and skill development within the context of ethical and diversity sensitive practice. The content will contain materials to develop practice skills at the level required for eventual registration as a play therapist

SW 8806 Play Therapy Applications for Special Populations

This third course in the graduate play therapy certificate program provides theoretical and applied skills for the assessment and treatment of special populations, including children who have been neglected, physically or sexually abused or otherwise traumatized, as well as children who are trying to cope with parental loss as a result of divorce, death, or abandonment. Play therapy with children who have special physical or developmental needs will also be explored, including children with medical problems, chronic or terminal illness, and/or challenging psychopathology such as autism, attachment issues, and psychosis.

SW 8820 Special Topics in Play Therapy Practice

This fourth course continues to build on the subject matter of the introductory course on play therapy, the course on techniques and methods and the course on applications to special populations. It provides an in depth review of the advanced elements and principles of play therapy, including ethics and legal issues of therapy with children and adolescents, attachment issues and disorders of children, therapy with children diagnosed with serious mental illness, children and resiliency, play therapy in schools, hospitals, and other host settings; sand tray therapy and play therapy across the lifespan. The goal of this course is to further prepare play therapists for the special practice issues that are likely to be confronted in everyday evidence based practice, as well as an expansion of skills for eventual work as a play therapy supervisor. The content will contain materials to develop advanced play therapy practice skills and an understanding of in depth approaches of assessment, intervention and evaluation of play therapy at the level required for eventual registration as a play therapist.

SW 9087 Advanced Play Therapy Practice and Seminar

This is the final course within the graduate play therapy certificate program. It is an advanced experiential course in Play Therapy theory and practice. The goal of this course is to increase students´ effectiveness with and knowledge of play therapy through intensive study of practical application and theoretical approaches and therefore provides an opportunity for the integration of theory, applications, and techniques in play therapy. Additionally, through critical analysis of theoretical approaches to play therapy with an emphasis on the dimensions of the process (i.e., the student´s understanding of children´s behavior and their perceptions of self, the client and the therapeutic play relationship) students will have opportunities through supervision to discuss and examine the value conflicts and ethical dilemmas that arise in the practice of play therapy with a vulnerable population.

Through the seminar component, which may accompany a field placement in a setting which provides play therapy, students will have exposure to and/or involvement in play therapy sessions both mock and real, group supervision of play therapy sessions and clinical supervision of play therapy sessions. This will provide students with opportunities to process the clinical experience of play therapy with an emphasis on advanced skill development, assessment, treatment planning, intervention and evaluation of practice. In short, this seminar course sets the stage for the transition from the learning environment to professional practice as a play therapist. Lecture, large group discussion, role playing, group supervision, video demonstrations and participation in play therapy session labs are primary methods of instruction.