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WGU ten years

Alison Woolf

Senior Lecturer in Play and Creative Therapies

Staff Profile

Alison Woolf

Room: Plas Coch Campus


+44 (0) 1978 293283


I attended Manchester Polytechnic (now MMU) where I gained my teaching qualification. My Play Therapy qualification is from Liverpool Hope University, where I also taught on the Masters Programme after qualifying and working as a therapist for two years. I worked in schools for over 30 years; initially as a teacher and latterly as a play therapist. My experience has included work in Mainstream, Primary, Secondary and SEN provisions. I worked in a Local Authority maintained primary EBD school for over 10 years, providing individual, group and family therapy as well as providing training for the whole staff group.

I am a trained and experienced Filial Therapist and worked for Post-Adoption Services in Trafford and schools in Greater Manchester providing Filial Therapy for families. 

I have completed level 1 and level 2 training in Animals in Play Therapy, and am a trained and experienced Clinical Supervisor.  I continue in practice as a Play Therapist taking referrals from Education Authorities, schools, post-adoption services and charities. 

BEd (Hons) (Manchester Metropolitan);

MA Play Therapy, (Liverpool Hope).

BA (Hons) Education (ALN/SEN)

BSc (Hons) Counselling Children and Young People (top up)

MA Education (Counselling Skills)


Woolf, A. (2008). Better Playtimes training: Theory and practice in an EBD primary school. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties Vol. 13, No. 1, March 2008, 49-62 Routledge

Woolf, A. (2009) Providing therapeutic play for the whole school: an undertaking of ‘EPIC’ proportions. In British Journal of Play Therapy, Vol. 5 (2009), pp 4-22   BAPT

Woolf, A. (2010) Better playtimes: A School-Based Therapeutic Play Intervention for Staff and Children. In Drewes, A. &  Schaefer, C. (ed.) School-Based Play Therapy (2nd ed.) New Jersey: Wiley

Woolf, A.  (2010) What is the impact of the Better Play Training programme on the trainees’ ability to: Provide and facilitate better play experiences? Understand and respond to the behaviour of the child? Be aware of their own responses and reactions?  Children’s Workforce Development Council: Practitioner Led Research

Woolf, A. (2011) Everyone Playing in Class: A group play provision for enhancing the emotional well-being of children in school. In British Journal of Special Education, Vol. 38, No 4, (December 2011), pp178-190 NASEN

Woolf, A. (2012) Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning: teaching and learning or playing and becoming? In Pastoral Care in EducationVol. 31, Iss. 1, pp. 28-42 (published online 25.07.2012)

Woolf, A. & Brown, A. (2013) Chapter 9. Man’s Best Friend: The Therapeutic Impact of Emotional Relationships with Animals. In Emotional Relationships: Types, Challenges and Physical/Mental Health Impacts. pp.161-178 New York: Nova Science Publishers Inc.

Woolf, A. (2016) Better Play: Practical Strategies for Supporting Play in Schools for Children of All Ages. Duffield:Worth Publishing

Play, Animal Assisted Therapy, Attachment Relationships.