Trish Evans, MA Developmental and Therapeutic Play
Trish Evans from Caerphilly studied the MA Developmental and Therapeutic Play. In October 2014 she embarked on a new career in Doha, Qatar as a Child Life Specialist (Therapeutic Play Specialist), where she has helped to develop and set up play support for children who are ill in a newly built women and children’s hospital. Her role also considers child protection, care plans, and mentoring students and volunteers.
She said: “I loved my time at Swansea University; the University offered a rich academic environment as well as beautiful surroundings to escape the pressure of studying. The course offered practical and academic learning which was important for me as I am a ‘hands on’ learner!
“Whilst studying for my Master’s – I decided to complete my thesis around the issues of domestic abuse, effects on children and the benefits of therapeutic play. Through this I volunteered with Women’s Aid and later became a child support worker.
“After graduating, I put my thesis research into practice. I co-ordinated a specialist children, young person’s project within Women’s Aid. One aspect from this project was offering one-to-one therapeutic play intervention and creative group work with children/young people who have been exposed to domestic abuse.
“I learnt so much from completing my course. All the modules were hugely beneficial and practical. For example I use puppet play, sand play, creative play, art and crafts, junk modelling,
clay, outdoors - the list is endless and the benefit of play is outstanding.
“Watching a child who has been traumatised through the effects of domestic abuse, offering them individual therapeutic play support to help overcome what they have witnessed. Then at the end of their intervention watching them leave as a completely different child - confident, safe, happy and relaxed is the best feeling in the world!
“Since graduating, I have presented at the International Play Conference in Cardiff, sharing my thesis research. I have written a book chapter ‘Therapeutic Play as an Intervention for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence’ In Play Therapy Today: Contemporary Practice with Individuals, Groups and Carer: edited by Eileen Prendiville and Dr Justine Howard.
“The quality of the teaching, in particular from Dr Justine Howard, was inspirational I have learnt so much from her and she has continued to support my career since graduating.”