Play Therapy Graduate Certificate
- Bachelor's/baccalaureate degree in Psychology, Social Work, Youth Work, Child Studies, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Teaching and other related fields in the provision of mental health or educational services, or equivalent.
- Applicants lacking a relevant undergraduate degree but able to demonstrate evidence of a professional background, including experience working with children in emotional distress within health, social or educational services may be considered for admission on a case by case basis.
Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.
Fully-qualified candidates are required to complete a minimum of 15 credits.
15 credits – Core Courses
PLTH 501 - Play Therapy 1 Introduction to Play Therapy (3 credits)
PLTH 502 - Play Therapy 2 Cognitive Behavioural Child-Centered Play Therapy (3 credits)
PLTH 503 - Play Therapy 3 Child-Centered Group Play Therapy (3 credits)
PLTH 504 - Play Therapy 4 Relational Play Therapy and Filial Play Therapy (3 credits)
PLTH 505 - Play Therapy 5 Neurobiology and Attachment in Play Therapy (3 credits)
- Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.
- Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements. It is expected that students will normally complete the certificate within one year.
- Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.70.
PLTH 501 Play Therapy 1 Introduction to Play Therapy (3 credits)
This course introduces the history, major models, and processes of play therapy. The basic model of child-centered play therapy, which evolved from the humanistic psychotherapy model, is explored through both theory and practice. Topics such as trauma, negative life experiences, the impact of these experiences on the brain and the child’s development are introduced and will continue to be explored in other course material. This course introduces students to the four structures which contain a play therapy session. Evaluation and assessment in play therapy is addressed. The course covers common themes in play therapy acknowledging the cultural diversity of clients, record-keeping, preparation for the ending of the therapy relationship and the essential materials for an effective and culturally responsive playroom.
PLTH 502 Play Therapy 2 Cognitive Behavioural Child-Centered Play Therapy (3 credits)
Prerequisite: PLTH 501.
This course focuses on the theories and techniques that inform cognitive behavioural therapy and their application in play therapy. Topics include the cognitive model and cognitive behavioual therapy assessment and evaluation, session structure, and directive interventions in play therapy.
PLTH 503 Play Therapy 3 Child-Centered Group Play Therapy (3 credits)
Prerequisites: PLTH 501, PLTH 502.
This course emphasizes the philosophy and rationale for group work with children and pre-adolescents. Focus is on the goals of group therapy, the role of the play therapist, screening and selection of group members, play and activities at various developmental levels, and planning and structuring sessions. Building on PLTH 502, this course covers when to integrate cognitive behavioual therapy into child-centered group play therapy.
PLTH 504 Play Therapy 4 Relational Play Therapy and Filial Play Therapy (3 credits)
Prerequisites: PLTH 501, PLTH 502, PLTH 503.
This course focuses on the history, theoretical foundations, research, and practical applications of relational and filial play therapy. In particular, students examine the techniques and models to work with parents including the Guerney, VanFleet and Landreth models based on attachment and self-regulation theories. Students learn techniques to support the attunement of parents to their children and facilitate a more secure attachment and the strengthening of family bonds.
PLTH 505 Play Therapy 5 Neurobiology and Attachment in Play Therapy (3 credits)
Prerequisites: PLTH 501, PLTH 502, PLTH 503, PLTH 504.
This course covers neurobiological attachment theories within child-centered play therapy. This course focuses on understanding how trauma impacts neurological development and the treatment of trauma using child-centered play therapy.