Play is the key attribute to developing a child's emotional welling.  Through play and creative arts children learn to express their emotions and feelings, while free and imaginary play can assist  a child in developing their capability for decision making independently.  The use of Play Therapy and Therapeutic Play Skills has increased in popularity over the years.  From simple every day scenarios such as a child not integrating with their peers in the school yard through to larger significant life changing scenarios such as bullying, bereavement or divorce which could all play a part in social regression for an individual, Therapeutic Play can aide in addressing and managing theses issues in babies, young children and adolescents.  Using a number of play based interventions to address the needs of children experiencing such scenarios can create a safe environment for them to deal with simple or larger problematic issues.  The role of play can be undermined in today's busy (image by RL Hyde)             society, however the act of play demonstrates powerful, emotional and embodied experiences when sometimes the child or adolescent may struggle to verbalize their true feelings. 

Training in this area is not solely aimed at therapists or psychologists.  Anyone working in an early years setting would hugely benefit, as would a parent as they too could potentially encounter a situation with their child or children that therapeutic play skills could help problem solve on a day to day basis. The introduction of our part-time Therapeutic Play Skills course sets the foundation for working in this area or for further training at a higher level.  Our course touches on all the key elements of practicing therapeutic play equipping the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to use play and its developmental, educational and therapeutic applications and processes within a childcare, hospital  or recreational settings.  The addition of Sand Play Therapy and Creative Arts workshops included in this course further enhance the underpinning message of freedom of expression, feelings and emotion.

The course has proved successful so far.  Here are what some of our recent learners have to say;

Yifa McDonald -After finishing my masters in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy studies I felt very comfortable with the theory side of things but not as confident on the practical side. Because I work mainly with children I decided to look for a play therapy course that will provide me with additional practical tools and also with a deeper understanding of the different processes that children goes through while participating in play therapy. The play therapy course in the Portobello Institute led by Dr Meera Oke provided me with exactly that. During the course I experienced and worked with different materials, learning new techniques and was exposed to new approaches.  Furthermore, I have gained a very valuable insight into the importance of play therapy and the conscious and unconscious growth processes that occur while at play.

Lydia Murphy - I feel this course should be implemented into all early years settings. When working in my setting I was able to pick up on things that would of been normally lost because of the knowledge I gained from this course.  I found the course extremely practical and very hands on.  I was able to implemented something from the it each week into my own classroom setting and see the benefits in the children.  It was just small changes, but they did have an effect on the children and my teaching.  One thing that really helped me was mirroring what the child says instead of bombarding them with questions they don't know the answer to.  lt took the pressure off both the children and me.

If you would like to find out more about training in Therapeutic Play Skills please contact Jenny Matteazzi on 01 892 0040.  Our next course starts on 04/05/16