Play and Creativity in Counseling Certificate

You long to help individuals heal from traumatic experiences by communicating their pain and their hope in creative and effective ways that reach beyond talk therapy. In order to fulfill your dream, this hands-on certificate program will teach you to counsel children, adults, and families using play therapy and artistic means. The experiential nature of the program also provides opportunities for students’ own personal growth.

Related programs:
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling


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Program Overview

Stetson’s Play and Creativity in Counseling certificate program prepares counseling professionals to work with children and adolescents, ages two to 17, and their families, although many of the techniques learned can also be used with clients of any age. Not only does completion of this certificate program communicate expertise in the use of creative counseling techniques, it can also provide students with Continuing Education toward requirements for national credentials.

Applicants are expected to have completed graduate-level coursework in child development, counseling theories, and basic counseling skills appropriate to their profession. Students can complete the program in only two semesters, made up of three courses. These courses illustrate the history, theories, techniques, and applications of play therapy and expressive arts.

Experiential Learning

Our program emphasizes experiential learning through which students have the added benefit of participating in the creative therapeutic modalities they are learning to use with clients. Students develop not only professional knowledge but also have an opportunity for personal growth as they create and process therapeutic sand trays, personal masks, sculptures, and more. Small class sizes encourage students to form strong relationships with one another and also allow for more individualized instruction by professors.

Learn more about the Department of Counselor Educationa.

Course Catalog


  • Page Thanasiu, PhD, University of Central Florida, LMHC, NCC, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor
  • Sean Jennings, PsyD, Florida Institute of Technology, LMHC, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor

Career Significance

After graduation from the Play and Creativity in Counseling certificate program, students’ career choices are greatly expanded. Students, now professionals, have their choice of private practice, non-profits, educational institutions, hospitals and clinics. Because the need for counselors specially trained to treat younger populations will continue to increase over the next 10 years and there are only a handful of programs in Florida, job opportunities will be abundant.

  • A play therapist’s average salary is $5,000 - $7,000 more than that of traditional mental health counselors.
  • The expected growth in counselors trained to treat children between 2018 and 2028 is 15%.
  • There is a one-to-two-year payback period once in the field.