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Why have APAC’s play therapy courses have become the most successful, setting standards that no others reach?

Don’t waste your time and money on play therapy courses that don't give you a recognised professional qualification, a full set of skills and are unproven in terms of the quality of the training. 

Don’t have your expectations let down. 

APAC courses are probably not the cheapest, – but are certainly the best value because of the total benefits for your career. 

As the use of play therapy develops it is inevitable that people will ‘jump on the band wagon’ by offering training.  APAC has a number of imitators and welcomes competition to keep us on our toes.  But don’t be mislead into thinking that they are at the same level of content or quality as APAC’s. 

Our claims are based on facts – not opinions or generalisations. 

Twenty reasons to substantiate our claims, each one backed up by detail, just follow the links.

Why have APAC’s play therapy courses have become the most successful, setting standards that no others reach?

Don’t waste your time and money on play therapy courses that don't give you a recognised professional qualification, a full set of skills and are unproven in terms of the quality of the training. 

Don’t have your expectations let down. 

APAC courses are probably not the cheapest, – but are certainly the best value because of the total benefits for your career. 

As the use of play therapy develops it is inevitable that people will ‘jump on the band wagon’ by offering training.  APAC has a number of imitators and welcomes competition to keep us on our toes.  But don’t be mislead into thinking that they are at the same level of content or quality as APAC’s. 

Our claims are based on facts – not opinions or generalisations. 

Twenty reasons to substantiate our claims, each one backed up by detail, just follow the links.

  1. A well established course – proven methods, proven results, over 1500 very satisfied participants

  2. We produce safe and effective play therapy practitioners and have the proof

  3. Complete training for a recognised qualification in therapeutic play and play therapy with international certification to practice

  4. A standardised course – valued by employers

  5. Accredited academically - recognised as genuine post graduate education by a government authorised university

  6. Accredited professionally – meeting international standards

  7. Rigorous assessment by assignments – to prove to others how good you are

  8. Thoroughly measured quality of training – data so that you can judge for yourself

  9. The most comprehensive programme – to need children’s different needs

  10. A coherent programme – it all adds up and fits together, not a piecemeal design

  11. Emphasis upon experiential and practical training – but what does this mean?

  12. Practice work as well as ‘classroom’ training – you don’t have to wait until the end of the programme before you can start practising

  13. Support during the courses – to help you over ‘difficult’ bits and adapt to your learning style and pace

  14. Support – after the course – you’re not left on your own, total career support

  15. Faculty – you’re not reliant on a few facilitators

  16. 3 stages to suit your needs – you don’t have to commit to all stages

  17. Flexibility – to study when, what and where suits you best

  18. Multi service delivery channels – you’ll be able to use your skills in any sector that helps children – not just the mental health professions

  19. Local venues – minimise travel costs and time away from home

  20. Transparency – APAC will tell you all that you need to know, usually in a great deal of detail.  There should be only pleasant surprises.

A well  established course as well as an established training provider

 An important criterion of success is how long a training programme has been established.  APAC first delivered the Certificate and Diploma courses in 2000 – in the UK.  Although the programme has evolved with the addition of new therapeutic media, neuroscience and research methods the core and training methods have remained the same- a successful formula!.  During these years we have trained over 2000 participants and delivered over 370 courses to a very high level of quality

APAC is bringing the programme to New Zealand having delivered the programme in Australia for five years (nine courses), making adjustments to take account of the Maori culture and other social and legal aspects.

The alternative options are less well established and experienced.  Some courses are new and therefore do not have a track record.  Some providers continually introduce new courses, because they haven’t yet found a successful formula.

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The longer the programme has been running the more you can be assured that your training will be successful.

This is, of course, provided that the course content is kept up to date..

The purpose of our training is to produce safe and effective play therapy practitioners.  This means measuring the clinical outcome of our trainees using ‘hard’, objective quantified data.  We can predict the success of our trainees.

APAC latest annual quality management report.

 No other provider of play therapy training in the world appears to have the ability or confidence to do this.

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Confidence – how will you know how successful you are likely to be after the training?

Complete training for a recognised qualification. Your academic and professional awards are given directly, arising from successfully completing the course(s). 

Other courses work through the participants building up ‘points’ or credits from a series of short, often disjointed courses.

This means that anyone qualifying in this way usually has a different training from someone else – there’s no consistency.

In some cases 2000 practice hours and 450 hours of supervision are required, compared to 200 practice hours and 40 hours of supervision with APAC,  to become certified.  This is because the other courses are not standardised on competencies based on evidence based practice, there is insufficient experiential work during the training and also because there is no measurement of clinical outcomes.

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A known, common standard, is more acceptable by employers – they know what they are getting.

 The APAC method is a faster and safer way to certification as a Practitioner in Therapeutic Play or as a Play Therapist.

The standard course.  APAC’s course content and training methods are standardised across the world, with appropriate cultural adaptations.

 Other courses are individual – they all have different content and learning methods.  Very few are delivered in more than one location.

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We suggest that a course recognised around the world, based on international standards, will give you more flexibility in your career and in scheduling your training.

Academic accreditation.  Our courses are accredited at post graduate academic level. This means that very high academic standards, required by the QAA for higher education, are imposed on APAC.

The primary responsibility for academic standards and quality in UK higher education rests with individual universities and colleges, each of which is independent and self-governing. QAA checks how well they meet their responsibilities, identifying good practice and making recommendations for improvement. QAA also publish guidelines to help institutions develop effective systems to ensure students have high quality experiences.

Some courses claim to be at ‘post graduate level’.  This is meaningless and misleading if a university is not accrediting the course.  In the UK only university accredited courses can provide post graduate awards.

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Recognition – a University post graduate award carries a higher degree of recognition by employers and referrers.  This will lead to better career progression and higher  remuneration.

Each stage gives you 60 ‘M’ points towards your Masters.

Professional accreditation  Our courses are also accredited  by the leading international organisation that recognises play therapy as a distinct profession – Play Therapy International (PTI).

APAC has to conform to the recognised international training standards administered by PTI that were originally established in 1986.  These include a detailed competency framework initially developed in 2002.  PTI issues the practice certification for those successfully completing APAC courses.

PTI establishes autonomous play therapy professional organisations in each country where APAC delivers its training courses. Eg Play Therapy UK, Play Therapy New Zealand.  These are affiliated to PTI and provide the essential infrastructure to support safe and effective play therapy practice.  They also act as regulating bodies where there is no government body performing this role.

There are two main professional organisations in the play therapy field. APAC is aligned to PTI – for more details on this subject.

Many providers do not have their courses accredited by a recognised, well established, independent professional body.  Some set up their own, directly linked and far from independent body.  Others may use recently set up organisations who accredit the provider but not specific courses.

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Further recognition from employers and referrers comes through professional certification as well as through academic awards.

 Professional credibility is vital in a profession that is not yet State regulated, such as play therapy.

Assessment by assignments.  APAC believes that in order for its course participants to be credible as professional practitioners they must be assessed using appropriate methods.  This is essential to gain a recognised award.

Many courses in this field do not assess their students using a rigorous University process.  They merely issue a ‘Certificate of Attendance’.  What value is this?

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You and your employers will know that you  have reached a high standard that has been rigously  assessed.

APAC has by far the best record of the quality of training.   We use the most comprehensive quality management system of any play therapy training provider in the world and publish our annual results.- ‘Warts as well as beauty spots’.  See details.   Our specially developed internal system exceeds the quality management requirements of the University and the QAA.

Other providers may make claims about the quality of their training but do not back them up with published hard data.  They only measure at one level.

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Proof (for you or your employer) that it is a very high quality course – a good investment of your time and money.  Maybe not the lowest cost but certainly the best value.

Perhaps you could use this proof to obtain funding.

The most comprehensive programme. The integrative holistic model of play therapy developed by APAC and aligned with PTI standards has been thoroughly proven in practice.  An important element is a comprehensive ‘Play Therapy Tool-Kit’.  We teach how to communicate with the children by means of a wide range of creative arts media:

·         Art (drawing and painting) therapy skills

·         Clay therapy skills

·         Creative visualisation – guided imagery

·         Masks used therapeutically

·         Movement therapy skills

·         Music therapy skills

·         Puppets used therapeutic

·         Sand play therapy skills

·         Therapeutic story telling and writing

No other course includes such a range of media.  Many courses teach just a few so that the trainees experience them but not how to use them to communicate with children nor how to integrate them.  APAC also teaches the use of these media with groups as well as with individual children.

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Every child is different.  By acquiring the ability to use a  comprehensive ‘Play Therapy Tool-Kit’ you will be able to help more children, meet more of their needs – and alleviate a wider range of problems.

A Coherent programme.  The content and learning methods have been carefully devised as a coherent programme using the competencies required to be a safe and effective practitioner.  These are based upon the considerable play therapy evidence base  Our learning objectives are derived from these.  The learning methods are 70% experiential 30% theoretical honed over 11 years and proven to be highly effective.

Many other play therapy training courses read like a conference or seminar programme - just thrown together.  Conferences are fine for discovering new ideas, although these are often not proven by extensive practice,  and fine for ‘top up’ training but they are not designed to produce qualified practitioners.  (Any more than you’d expect a doctor to become qualified by attending a conference).

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Save time and money – get your recognised play therapy qualification in the most effective way and the quickest time.


APAC’s emphasis is on experiential and practical training.  It’s what you will be able to do in the play room that’s important – not just your theoretical knowledge. 

Experiential training has three equally important aspects:

 1.     Understanding the therapeutic processes that the children will undergo

 2.     Uncovering any personal issues that may arise for you in the work and how to manage themAPAC does not make personal therapy compulsory unless it really is neccessary to resolve issues that would prevent you being a safe practitioner.

 3.     Using the therapeutic methods and the play and creative arts media that the children choose to use.  (Non-directive play therapy is child led – the therapist follows).

APAC Course Directors are all experienced therapists as well as trainers – not just lecturers.  They know how to deal with the personal issues that might arise as well as how to use the techniques in the play room.

Some play therapy courses cover just one or two of the above points not all three.  Check out very carefully how alternative courses cover these.

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Proven best learning method for play therapy practice and personal development.

Most participants will save having to have personal therapy when it isn't necessary.

Practice as well as theory. The programme embodies clinical work – 'doing' is a vital part of the learning process - just 'knowing' is not sufficient.  Completing 100 supervised therapeutic play clinical hours with children per course, either in your place of work or in a placement, is a mandatory requirement.  How can you, or we, otherwise see if you are becoming a successful practitioner?

Very few other play therapy courses have this requirement built into their course requirements.

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Gain practice experience as well as knowledge – you’ll get up to speed more quickly. 

 Where our 15 day courses are run in 3-day or 5-day modules you usually don’t have to wait until the end of the course to start practising.

When you do start to practice, you'll do so with confidence.

Support during the courses – APAC provides constant emotional, academic and practical support during the courses. 

Emotional support for the experiential work is available, when needed. through our Course Directors who are all trained counsellors or psychotherapists. 

Academic support is given in the form of written as well as verbal feedback and formative assessments to make sure that you are on the right track before you submit your assignments/written work.

Practical support

We supply all the documentation that you need to set up an effective play therapy service.  This includes a CDROM with assessment questionnaires, scoring sheets, templates and forms that you can easily adapt to your own particular needs.

We also provide a PowerPoint template with 80 slides with suggestions upon how you can adapt them for your own presentation to your colleagues, managers and providers of funds..  They cover the need for Play Therapy, how it works, why it works, how well it works and what is needed to establish a safe and effective service.

All most all other play therapy training courses focus more narrowly on a limited range of skills, do not have the resources for a total package of emotional, academic and practical support.  Often they do not cover the systemic aspects of making play therapy actually happen for you.

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Ensures the high quality of your academic work and experience of the therapeutic exercises, whatever your learning style and pace. 

This enables you to gain confidence and make progress more quickly in your studies. 

Access to research and other learning material is essential for studying at Post Graduate level.  Only a University or a training provider working in partnership can provide this level of support.

You will save a lot of   time and effort in setting up a play therapy service.

Enables you to establish a reputation for being a professional, from the start.

Support – after the course.  APAC has a very close relationship with and obligations to the professional organisations Play Therapy International (PTI) and PT New Zealand (PTNZ).  Jointly we provide ‘through career’ support.  This includes:

 ·         Practical help in getting work – either a new job or as an independent practitioner

 ·         Advice in setting up as an independent practitioner

 ·         Results from our continuous research programmes to take you and the play therapy profession forward

 ·         Shared experience of over 1000 other play therapy practitioners from many countries

 ·         A CPD/CE (professional development) programme of events that lead on from APAC’s MA in Practice Based Play Therapy programme to keep you up to date, enhance your skills in specialist areas and take your career to a higher level.

The majority of training providers stop supporting you once the course has finished.  Think of your previous experiences.  APAC is different.  As long as you have completed a course satisfactorily and continue to be a member of PTI and PTAu our support continues for your whole career.

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You will be repaid your  investment in time, effort and money through greater career satisfaction, more effective work with children as well as higher earnings.

You will add new career paths and opportunities.

Your potential will be more fully enabled.




Faculty – APAC’s teaching faculty has 15 members and grows each year.  Each is an experienced counsellor, psychotherapist  or play therapist.  Most have worked in two or three of these fields.  They have completed the courses themselves so are empathetic with trainees’ issues and feelings. 

The Course Directors work to course manuals – to ensure consistency of teaching – but each one is encouraged to present according to their own personalities and adapt to the learning styles of the group.

This is believed to be the largest faculty in the world specialising in play therapy.  Its experience in practice and teaching is unmatched.  Most other providers have a permanent faculty of two or three and use other external speakers on an ad hoc basis.  This can depart from the principle of consistency and in some cases relevance because they are used as ‘programme fillers’.

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A large faculty provides security and continuity of training.  If a trainer is incapacitated through illness or other personal problems, as will happen from time to time,  APAC has the capacity to provide cover without diluting the content or delivery of the training.

3 stages to suit your needs

The APAC programme which makes up the total MA in Practice Based Play Therapy programme is in three stages.  You can choose to exit the programme at any stage.

The Post Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills – teaches safe and effective practice for working, on a one to one basis, with children who have slight to moderate problems, using mainly non-directive therapeutic play.  The professional award, given by Play Therapy International, is ‘Practitioner With Therapeutic Play Skills’.  The academic award is ‘Post Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills’ with 60 masters points.

The Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy – will give you the skills to work therapeutically with groups of children and with those who have severe problems. The professional award, given by Play Therapy International  is ‘Certified Play Therapist’. The academic award is ‘Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy with another 60 Masters points.

The MA in Practice Based Play Therapy stage teaches research methods and provides tutorial support for writing a dissertation of 12000 words on a topic related to play therapy.  The academic award made is an ‘M.A. in Practice Based Play Therapy’ with another 60 Masters points.

 It is necessary to progress through all three stages to accumulate 180 masters points to be awarded the MA.  To qualify as a Certified Play Therapist you need to complete stages one and two only – the Certificate and the Diploma.  It is not possible to enter the programme at stages 2 or 3 because no other training programme will have given you the required skills and clinical experience in play therapy.

Other play therapy training programmes teach at a lower level of practice and academic qualification.  They are not as rigorous.  Comparatively few training providers offer the opportunity to gain a Masters degree in Play Therapy.

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The programme gives you a range of choices.  You may be looking to extend the skills you already have as a psychologist, psychiatrist, teacher, social worker or other professional to work more effectively with children.

 Perhaps you already have a Masters degree in a related discipline. In which case the Certificate level may be sufficient for you.

 You might be looking for significant advancement of your career or a move into a new one.  In this case become a Certified Play Therapist by completing the Certificate and the Diploma stages.

 The third stage will earn you a Masters degree.  This may help you move to a higher grade in your job, providing increased remuneration as well as a personal achievement.  In some countries this level of qualification may become necessary if the play therapy profession becomes state regulated.  Obtaining a Masters degree is a good ‘insurance policy’.

Flexibility - Schedule course work according to your needs.  The APAC Post Graduate play therapy programme involves attending the formal, taught/experiential sessions and delivering therapeutic sessions with the children.

In New Zealand the formal part of the courses are at present delivered in an intensive 15 day blocks.  The practice hours may be completed over a year to 18 months.

Further flexibility is available through the number of venues where the formal sessions are delivered throughout the year: 7 in the UK and also in Australia, France, Hong Kong, Ireland and Malta.   So you could attend the Certificate in Hamilton and the Diploma in the UK or France (as well as Hamilton).

The maximum time allowed for the completion of all three stages (PG Certificate, PG Diploma and Masters) is five years from your starting date.  In genuine cases of illness or other very difficult personal circumstances extensions may be granted.

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This flexible schedule allows  you to integrate your study plan with your personal needs.

Multi service delivery channels.  APAC and its professional organisation – PTI -  recognise that therapeutic play and play therapy should  be delivered through a variety of channels to reach as many children possible in easily accessible ways. These include: education, social services, justice and physical health – not only through conventional mental health services.

Some play therapy training providers are accredited by a professional organisation that doesn’t recognise play therapy as a separate profession delivering across a number of channels but only as an extension to the mental health profession.

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APAC courses provide more opportunities for work and to serve more children

Local venues – now there is the opportunity to obtain a UK University Post Graduate Certificate, Diploma and Masters by studying in New Zealand.

No other University accredited play therapy course is currently offered in New Zealand or Australia.

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Save travel time, costs and time way from the family.

APAC believes in transparency.  Our brochure gives detailed descriptions of the course content – not just headings. It’s important that you know in advance, in as much detail as possible, what you are going to experience, so that you can determine how useful the training will be to you.

APAC also publishes its annual quality monitoring report in considerable detail – ‘warts as well as beauty spots’.

No other provider of play therapy training in the world manages the quality of its training to the extent that we do – see details nor as far as can be seen produce equivalent results,

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You won’t waste time on irrelevant topics.


Make sure the quality of the course is managed well and the results are published.












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