Play Therapy and Psychotherapy

Play therapists who have also trained in psychotherapy, either prior to or as part of their play therapy training, (since 2010 this takes a minimum 4 years at Masters level) are qualified to work with clients across the spectrum of need including those with complex histories and/or significant clinical issues, e.g. attachment disorders and experiences of abuse.

IAPTP has its own register of psychotherapists with a specialisation in play therapy who have been directly accredited as such with us. 

Those who are eligible to be IAPTP psychotherapist members who have completed either:

  • An IAPTP recognised play therapy and psychotherapy course
  • Separate qualifying training plus the post-qualifying training on a training course recognised by the IAPTP.

Accredited play therapist members of the IAPTP who are also accredited psychotherapists with a member association of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy (e.g. IAHIP) are also listed in this website as psychotherapists. 

    What is Psychotherapy?

    The practice of psychotherapy is the comprehensive, conscious and planned treatment of emotional, psychosocial, psychosomatic and behavioural disturbances or states of suffering which human beings can experience at any stage of their lives. It may include facilitating a client to engage with unconscious elements underpinning troublesome moods or behaviour. The treatment provided for the presenting individual draws upon scientifically proven psychotherapeutic methods. It requires both a general and a specific training/education on the part of the therapist. ICP defines psychotherapy in its broadest sense as focusing on the potential and dynamics of human relationships. It facilitates the individual, couple, family or groups’ possibilities to create more satisfying relationships and outcomes in relation to dilemmas in their lives. The central aim is to establish a therapeutic relational stance in relation to the client, be it individual, group or family, that will lead to a personal/ internal change and/or external adaptation. (From ICP Position Paper Jan 15).

    Psychotherapists with a specialisation in play therapy are mental health professionals and are qualified to provide play therapy and psychotherapy services to children who are struggling with complex emotional distress and attempting to resolve painful and distressing experiences. Such psychotherapists are qualified to work with children across the spectrum of need including those with significant clinical issues such as attachment disorders and experiences of abuse.

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