Blended Learning Programme

QQI Level 9 Certificate in the Therapeutic Use of Play, Creative Media & Expressive Arts

*Subject to Revalidation by QQI

  • Award: QQI L9 Certificate (subject to validation)

  • Start Date: 27th September 2024

  • Language requirement: If English is your second language you are required to submit an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) cert at Level 6.5, or equivalent. For more information please click HERE

  • Course Fees:

    • €975.00 [A deposit of €292.50 secures your place]

Who Should Apply

This course will be of interest to those who are working in a supportive capacity with children and adolescents i.e. counsellors, psychotherapists, social workers, social care workers, keyworkers, mental health nurses, guidance counsellors, SNAs, teachers etc.

  • Applicants are required to evidence attainment of a minimum of Level 8 in counselling and/or psychotherapy or a minimum of a Level 8 Degree in cognate discipline, or equivalent.
  • Applicants are required to be able to demonstrate relevant experience in working with people in a responsible and caring role.
  • Applicants must be in a work setting or role which will provide them with opportunities to implement their learning from this module, such as paid or voluntary work with children within the helping professions, counselling support services, psychological settings, social care settings and /or project / youth /community work.


In this module, learners will engage in formal didactic lectures, skills practice, group discussion, reflective exercises and experiential exercises related to the following:

  • (a) The theoretical underpinnings to play/creative media/expressive arts in therapy.
  • (b) Creative counselling and therapeutic play skills
  • (c) Therapeutic use of Sensory and Embodiment activities and tools
  • (d) Projection; use of metaphor, bibliotherapy
  • (e) Use of Role-Play
  • (f) Sand in therapy
  • (g) Art in Therapy
  • (h) Development Considerations
    • Creative mediums and Development
    • Developmental art stages and play development.
    • Stages in therapeutic play, and stages of creative process
    • Developmental considerations in sand tray
  • (i) Therapeutic Process
    • Lusebrink’s Expressive Arts Continuum
    • Norton’s Stages of Developmental Play
    • Jennings EPR Developmental Play Paradigm
    • Play and Creative Themes


Date Time: Location
Friday 27/09/2024 6:30pm – 10:00pm Online
Saturday 28/09/2024 9:00am – 5:00pm Classroom
Sunday 29/09/2024 9:00am – 5:00pm Classroom
Saturday 19/10/2024 9:30am – 1:00pm Online
Saturday 16/11/2024 9:00am – 5:00pm Classroom


The Certificate in the Therapeutic Use of Play, Creative Media and Expressive Arts is delivered using blended learning. This consists of a rotational module, where learners attend onsite classes and online classes. We do not utilise hybrid approaches, therefore onsite classes are integral to the programme.

Student Benefits & Support

We hold that it is not enough to simply teach the skills of CBT. Learners are given the space to learn, practice and be supported as they integrate CBT into their professional practice, in their particular context.

Work Based learning

Prior to commencing on the programme, learners must be working or volunteering in a setting where they are actively supporting children and/or adolescents. The programme requires that you evidence a minimum of 20 hours of practice where play, creative media and expressive arts are integrated into your professional practice, in your specific context. This must be supervised at a ratio of 1:5, so one supervision session should occur for every 5 hours of practice.


Learners must produce a comprehensive case study that showcases integration of play/creative/expressive arts interventions with a clinical case. The case study should commence with a literature review of the evidence supporting this approach to work with children and adolescents, and should include research demonstrating its efficacy (if available, learners may also want to include evidence of its efficacy specific to the presenting issue in the case). The case presentation should demonstrate how creative therapeutic methods were used to join with and assess the client. Learners must evidence how they selected and used interventions that were developmentally appropriate. Learners must bring the case to supervision and demonstrate how the learning and insights obtained in supervision were addressed in the clinical room. Word Count: 4,000.

Validation & Accreditation of Award

This Certificate is awarded as a Minor Award at Level 9 on the NFQ and is subject to validation by QQI.



Programme Lecturers

Lecturers on this programme include:

Protection for Enrolled Learners

This programme is covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby, in the event of IICP College ceasing to provide the programme for any reason, enrolled learners may transfer to a similar programme at another provider, or, in the event that this is not practicable, the fees most recently paid will be refunded. Current PEL arrangements consist of a 2% levy on course fees. IICP do not pass the cost of this on to learners.

Therapeutic Use of Play, Creative Media & Expressive Arts

Malchiodi (2005, p. 8) argues that expressive and creative methods add a unique dimension to therapy, as they offer characteristics that are not usually found in verbal approaches. When working have the emotional vocabulary that adults seeking therapy have. Engaging through play, creativity and expressive arts allows therapeutic work to occur through a medium that is comfortable to younger clients. In this module, learners will engage in teaching and learning related to theoretical underpinnings to play, creative media and expressive arts in therapy. Projection and the use of metaphor and creative methods including art, sandtray work and sensory and embodiment activities will be utilised.

IICP understand that while partaking in further education is an incredibly rewarding experience it can also be a financial challenge for some students. In order to minimise the financial impact caused to students, IICP strive to keep our course fees as competitive as possible. We also provide payment plan options to facilitate learners paying the balance of their fees throughout the duration of their course.

Overall Programme Fees

  • Certificate Fee: €975.00 [Inclusive of €50 QQI Fee]
  • A deposit of €292.50 secures your place

Payment Options

(1) The balance is due on or before the first day of the course


29250On acceptance of course offer

Balance of Fees




(2) Learners can also opt to sign up to our direct debit scheme if they wish to pay in instalments. Please note, the Direct Debit Scheme incurs an administration fee of €100.00

  • Please Contact the IICP office to find out more!

Extra Costs

  • Except where stated, course fees cover tuition only. Learners on this programme must also complete 20 hours of practice work and, if not provided in their work context, learners will be required to engage an individual supervisor for this work. Supervision fees are negotiable between learners and individual supervisors.

Getting Started

Should you have any questions in relation to making your online application please contact Triona on 086-0499154.

Simply click the below button to be brought to our online application process. When prompted, please select ‘Validated & Accredited Courses’, then select ‘QQI L9 Certificate in the Therapeutic Use of Play, Creative Media & Expressive Arts – Autumn 2024’ option and complete the form.

Online Application Form

If you have any trouble at any stage of the application please click here to get in touch and we will be happy to help.