Play Therapy

Master your abilities to make an impact on children’s lives.

You long to speak with children in the best way they know how to communicate – through play. In order to fulfill your dream, this hands-on certificate program will teach you the techniques of working closely with children. Guiding them through to resolve their developmental and emotional difficulties is just a bonus of this advantageous program.

Program Overview

Stetson’s Play Therapy certificate program produces counseling professionals that are apt to work with children and adolescents, ages two to 17, along with their families. Not only can this certificate program be applied towards requirements of education for those seeking national Registered Play Therapist credentials (APT Approved Provider number 13-358), but it can also be applied towards any previously obtained graduate degree in mental health or counseling.

At the very least, applicants are expected to have completed graduate-level coursework in child development, counseling theories and basic counseling skills. Students will be given the opportunity to utilize three different courses and a nine-week experiential lab. These courses illustrate the history, techniques, theories and applications behind play therapy.

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Our challenging and highly experiential curriculum has been recognized by the Association for Play Therapy (APT Approved Provider 13-358) as meeting the educational requirements towards the Registered Play Therapist credential.

Service Learning

Our program includes a service learning component allowing students to provide play therapy to underprivileged children while experiencing live supervision. This enhances the learning experience and also provides a needed service to the community.

This service learning experience takes place at a Volusia County Head Start preschool location and is taken concurrently with Play Therapy Theories & Practices. During the weekly lab, each student provides an individual play therapy session for his/her assigned client under live supervision.

Students receive immediate feedback regarding strengths and areas for continued growth and additionally benefit from observing supervisors’ and peers’ sessions. The hours of play therapy service and supervision can be applied toward the requirements for the Registered Play Therapist credential.


  • Page Thanasiu, Ph.D., University of Central Florida, L.M.H.C., N.C.C., Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor
  • Sean Jennings, Psy.D., Florida Institute of Technology, L.M.H.C.
  • Soni McCarty, M.A., University of Central Florida, L.M.H.C.

Career Significance

After graduation from the Play Therapy Program and achievement of the Play Therapy credential, 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 Play Therapists will 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 Play Therapy between 2010 and 2020 is 17%.
  • There is a one-to-two-year payback period once in the field.

Earning Your Credential

Get closer to earning your Registered Play Therapist credential! Students complete the Play Therapy Certificate program with all educational requirements as well as a significant number of their supervision hours which are required by the Association for Play Therapy.