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Frequently Asked Questions 


Is this Graduate Certificate Course entirely online?

Yes! We are pleased to be able to offer this Course in a format that you do not need to travel for at all. We have had students attend from all over Australia and internationally. So as long as the time zone works for you (and you are a mental health professional) (we are based in Sydney, Australia) you can apply. The live, online components of the Course are designed to be interactive learnings so we need your camera on and a quiet, private space for you to be in to best capitalise on this training.


Do I need to attend live online or can I watch recordings?

There are 8 x 90min on-demand webinars that you get access to upon registration. You can watch these recordings at a time to suit you. All the 5 x 3 day Intensives, 33 hours of Electives, Art Therapy and Supervision Groups you would need to attend live online so you can build skills and confidence in a range of creative interventions.


I am planning to be away for the weeks of some of the Intensives - will that matter?

Unfortunately you will need to be able to commit to attend all the Intensives in any intake. The Intensives are not recorded. It is also not possible to join in another intake for some of their Intensives. We particularly take small student numbers in each intake (maximum 12 people) to build safe, supportive groups that make it easier to practice skills, give and receive feedback and feel known enough to take risks and be supported in learning. For this reason, you would not be able to join an Intensive in another intake.


Is the training recorded so I can watch it later?

Apart from 8 x 90min on-demand webinars you have access to for the duration of the Course, all training hours are live, online and you would need to be able to commit to exclusive attendance at all these interactive sessions.  


I do not have a background in mental health, can I still apply for this Course?

There are brilliant people, (including teachers, early childhood workers and others) working with children and young people in a range of ways from a range of backgrounds with a wealth of experience. However, our Graduate Certificate Course provides a pathway to Play Therapy registration with APTA which requires a specific qualification in a mental health degree which is why we are firm with our eligibility requirements for those joining us on this Course. Given this, sorry to say, you would not be eligible to apply for this Course. (Unless your qualifications make you eligible for, registration, licensing or student / trainee membership with the relevant psychology, counselling, social work or other mental health registering body, board, association or federation in Australia, or other country e.g. AHPRA, APS, AAPi, AASW, a member of one of the PACFA member associations, on the Psychotherapists and Counsellors Federation of Australia Register , or Australian Counselling Association.)

If you are working with children and young people and want extra skills, (and are not a mental health professional) you are more than welcome to register for our training calendar events.


Is this Course suitable for non-residents?

Provided you have a mental health qualification in your country of residence and the time zone works for you to attend the live, online training sessions, you could certainly apply for this Course.


How long does this Course take to complete?

This 200 hour Course can be completed in 12 months. 


How many hours a week do I need to set aside to complete this Course?

This Course is designed as flexibly as possible to fit into your work and family life. Depending on the timing of the Electives you choose and when you do the self-paced reading, activities and assessments you can spread the Course's 200 hours comfortably over 12 months. The most intense weeks, time-wise will be the 5 weeks (one a month) of the 3 day Intensives that are 21 hours each week.  Other weeks may only have a few hours of work.


What are the Electives for this Course?

There are 33 hours of Electives that need to be completed for this Course. They are made up of a curated selection from our annual calendar of training events and will be made available for you to select from upon acceptance into the Course. The Electives are facilitated by highly experienced clinicians and eductators in creative therapies nationally and internationally. These are all live only so there are no recordings available. They range from 90min webinars through to 2 x 3 hour online training events. You can select from the ones that interest you most and that will be run at the most convenient time for you to attend. Most are offered twice a year. They are held at different times and days of the week, Monday to Friday 9am  - 9pm Sydney time. 


When can I do the Electives for this Course?

The Electives can be completed within 12 months of your Course enrolment so you could start or finish them before or after the 6 months of your Intensives if you wanted to spread out your study commitments more flexibly.


Who teaches this Course?

The main teacher for this Course is Jacki Short, the Director of Sydney Centre for Creative Change. She is a registered counselling psychologist, adult educator and registered play therapist/ supervisor with over 25 years of clinical experience. Jacki facilitates all 5 Intensives, some Electives and the Art Therapy Group and Supervision Group. There are a host of highly experienced educators and clinicians from Australia, the US and the UK who facilitate the other Electives. 


Are there placements with this Course?

There are no placements required for this Course and we do recommend that you are in a place of work where you can apply the skills you are learning immediately.


What is the cost of this Course?

There is a $100 upfront administrative fee that is part of the application process for this Course. The cost of the 200 hour Course (that includes 10 hours of online group supervision) is $7500. All payments are in Australian dollars.


What is the application process for this Course?

There is a 3-step application process.

1. You need to complete and email submit your full application to

2. You will typically receive notice about the accepance of you your application within one week. If it is accepted, you will receive an invoice for the $100 application fee that you can pay with a EFT.

3. Upon receipt of payment of admin fee,  you will receive an online link to book in a convenient time for a 20-30min online application interview. Usually at the conclusion of this interview you will receive notice of your acceptance into the Course.


How can I pay the admin fee with my application for this Course?

Please see What is the application process above.


When do applications close?

As we only take a maximum of 12 people in any one intake for this Course, applications close when all places are filled. This can typically be 3-4 months before the start of any Course so it is worth getting your application in as early as you can.


How is supervision structured? 

The 10 hours of group supervision occurs at the end of the Intensives and after successful completion of all assessments. It is offered as 5 x 2 hour sessions for 5 consecutive months, at a time and day mutually convenient to all in the group. 


Is supervision included in the cost of this course?

Yes the 10 hours of group supervision is included in the cost of the Course.


How many students are in each training group?

We take a maximum of 12 students in each training group/intake.


Can I register as a Play Therapist after I have completed this Course?

Much like all other mental health associations and registration bodies, you would need to complete an accredited course (such as this is with APTA), and after training completion, you would need to show documented completion of the required number of play therapy supervision and play therapy practice hours. You can look up the details for this on the APTA website.


How many times a year is this course offered?

There are currently two intakes for this Course, March and July.


Are there exams or assessments?

There are 5 assessments for this Course. Of these, 4 involve written components and there is one practice session recording required for submission. All assessments are designed to enhance your practical understanding of training materials and assist you in your practical application of learning. There are no exams.


Are there Certificates of attendance or completion?

At the final completion of the Graduate Certificate in Play and Art Therapy you will receive a Certificate of Completion. You have access to Certificates of Attendance for all the Elective hours you complete if required.


Do you have payment plans or HECS?

For those unable to pay the full Course fee upfront,  we do have a payment plan that provides for up to 7 equal instalments to be paid over the first 6 months of the Course. The dates and details of this can be discussed at the application interview. As a private Course provider we do not have HECS available for students.



What people are saying about ...

Certificate in Art and Play Therapy with Children and Young People

The training was..


 a great course! It was very well planned and executed well. The information presented was relevant and supported with empirical evidence and experiential practice.


thoroughly enjoyable! It has enhanced my skills and opened up a massive area of interest for me. Thank you so much - it was amazing!


wonderful! I have never enjoyed a course as much as I've enjoyed yours. I would do it again in a heartbeat!


Why did you decide to do this training?


I wanted to further my knowledge, skills and competencies within child psychology. Although I attend weekly clinical supervision with a registered child psychologist, I didn't feel that this was a very practical way of meeting my needs. The experiential learning in this course allowed me to see the value in art and play therapies and better understand the application of this kind of work.


I have always had more than a passing interest in art therapy after working with some therapists almost 10 years ago. I went on a search each year thinking I would like to pursue that field but it took a little while to find something that fit.


  Filial and play therapy was my initial interest but I was interested in the sandtray too after reading the course material.


What did you get out of it?


This course has allowed me to better understand and practice how to effectively communicate with children and young people. It's allowed me to build rapport and a safe environment with my clients to better work with them.


My approach to children and their families who attend our service has, to my surprise, changed. I find I am more reflective in my listening and I sit with silence more comfortably. You have opened my eyes to many new possibilities. I did not realise how much art and play therapy would speak to me so loudly and clearly that this is the path I need to pursue.


This course has provided me with the tools to enhance my practice and has given me some amazing ideas about how to consult with children and young people.