Play Therapy Experience
The program prepares counseling professionals to working with children, adolescents and their families by utilizing the most effective and developmentally appropriate theories and techniques.
The Play Therapy Certificate Program offers two tracks: one that offers graduate credit and a continuing education track.
The four courses (three full courses plus a 9-week experiential lab) are designed to address the history, theories, techniques, and applications of play therapy and can be applied toward the educational requirements necessary for individuals seeking national Registered Play Therapist credentials (APT Approved Provider number 13-358). For information regarding this credential, mental health professionals should refer to the Association for Play Therapy website.
What is Play Therapy?
Play is the natural language of children and how they best communicate and develop in the world around them. A complication or series of complications in a child's life can disrupt healthy development. In play therapy, a mental health professional utilizes the therapeutic power of play to help children resolve a range of developmental and emotional difficulties and achieve optimal mental health. Play therapy promotes resiliency, assists children in developing holistically and enhances emotional intelligence. Elements of play therapy can also be used when counseling older children, adolescents, groups and families.
Who Provides Play Therapy?
Play Therapy is a set of skills learned and practiced by professionals from multiple realms of mental health. The Play Therapy Certificate Program accepts applicants currently training or practicing within the fields of clinical mental health, marriage and family therapy, social work, school counseling, psychology or psychiatry.
What is Required of Applicants?
Potential students for this program are either currently enrolled in or have graduated from a mental health-related master's or doctoral degree program. Minimally, students are expected to have successfully completed graduate-level coursework in the areas of child development, counseling theories, and basic counseling skills appropriate to their profession.
Priority Deadline: First week of September
Admission Deadline: Last week of September
Required Application Materials
All interested applicants must submit:
- Play Therapy Certificate Program application
- One-time application fee
- Professional resume
- Official transcripts
Jayna Race, LMHC
Children's Therapist, The House Next Door
Overall, this play therapy experience has been very motivational and transformational. I have learned so much about what it means to authentically accept and engage a child, but even more so about myself as a therapist and what I believe about my clients.
Debra French Pope
Counselor Education Intern, The CHILL Program
When I stop to truly reﬂect upon this semester, I have to admit that I am somewhat in awe of how much I have grown. I know that I haven’t always said or done the correct thing in the moment with a client, but I do know that my intentions were always correct. I also know that over the course of the play therapy labs and the huge amount of supervision that I have been provided, that I have gained skills and experience well beyond anything I believed capable in one semester’s time.
Debra French Pope
Counselor Education Intern
The CHILL Program