26 February, 2021 | Posted by Michelle Hogan

Ready to Get Hands On With Play Therapy?

Play Therapy

The Therapeutic Play Skills (TPS) Level 6 course at Portobello Institute allows learners to gain insight into the world of play therapy with webinars designed to maximise practical engagement.  

Are you ready to get hands on with Play Therapy? Have you ever represented your work week using shells and stones in the sand?  

Our TPS course is designed to introduce you to a new way of thinking about emotional development using practical approaches with new and existing tools.

It opens you up to the world of non-directive play and how this can be used as a skill for working with challenging behaviours in early years or special needs settings. 

The course is delivered over two full Saturdays. The first Saturday is theory and information based giving a background into the history, development and main theories of play therapy. On the second Saturday learners can expect to delve into some of the practical elements of play therapy.

While webinars are delivered online there are practical elements. Learners will engage with materials such as sand, shells, clay, Lego, paint and other arts and crafts.  

Aoife Kelly has been an Early Years tutor at Portobello Institute since 2006 and has significant experience working with children in various capacities for 30 years. She began her career as a Montessori teacher, so she understands the industry in depth. From there she went into special education working in both mainstream and special schools and lectures in universities in Ireland and the UK. Learners benefit from her wealth of knowledge and experience.  

"Students are all aware of sand and they’re all aware of clay or play dough or art and we talk about therapeutic stories, Lego etc. Then I get them to experience and interact with that material from a therapeutic context for themselves. That always highlights huge interest and unexpected awareness's and outcomes.  

Now, because we are online, I give students a list of easily got materials. We start with a kitchen tray with a little bit of sand, and I ask them to have some stones and shells and to think about their week and represent what that week was like for them using the stones and the shells. At first, they might say ‘what?’ but then they get really into it.  

Then we do the clay and I give them another scenario like a challenging moment represent that in the clay or art, painting, craft.  

Some people will really connect with the sand and others will hate it and say they hate the feeling of the sand on their hands others still will say I loved the clay or I hated the clay. Same with the art, I’ll get them to look at colouring pencils, crayons and paint and look at the different utensils in terms of line, shape and colour,” she said.  

This experience of getting hands on with the materials is eye-opening for many students.

Those working in early years or special needs education will gain a new perspective on how play can be used in a therapeutic setting.  

Does this sound like something you’d like to get your hands on?  

Our admissions expert Jennifer Matteazzi is available to talk you through all aspects of the course, fees, delivery method and qualification in more detail. Book a consultation with Jennifer here, call 018920031 or email jennifer.matteazzi@portobelloinstitute.com. 

Read more about TPS tutor Aoife Kelly here

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