Samantha Woodard, from Cheltenham, is a graduate of the MS Play Therapy qualification.
"Play therapy can help children make sense of difficult life experiences and situations, and explore feelings that are causing them upset and disruption in a safe and accepting environment through their natural form of communication – play!
"With previous degrees in psychology and teaching, I often dreamed of a career in which I could provide greater support to the emotional wellbeing of many of the children, young people and families with whom I worked. It wasn’t until I found the MSc Play Therapy course offered at USW that I realised this could become a reality!
"Requiring a high level of commitment and dedication to both clinical practice and academic study, the play therapy training process is one of the most demanding yet rewarding experiences I have undertaken. It has challenged and changed me in the best of ways, and I have grown exponentially as a therapist over the duration of the course with the invaluable support of clinical supervision and personal therapy.
"The Play Therapy course itself is underpinned by a strong framework of theory and research, and the tutors offer excellent guidance and support facilitating invaluable opportunities for students to work experientially.
"With a range of toys, sensory materials and creative media on hand, students are encouraged to participate in meaningful exploration and communication of practical experience, knowledge and skills throughout their journey.
"As a trainee play therapist, I quickly learnt that engaging in honest and genuine self-reflection significantly increased the quality and depth of my learning, both professionally and personally. One of the most significant moments in my journey was learning to accept and embrace the non-directive approach, allowing me to completely trust in the client and their therapeutic process.
"The MSc Play Therapy course is a truly magical journey of discovery and growth. I will always be so very thankful to the children who showed me how, and to my clients who continue to lead the way."