Course Descriptions

Therapeutic Counseling for Children, Adults and Families!

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Infrastructure of Play Therapy 

(February 8-9, 2019) 

12 CE hours

Come prepared to play and participate! Play therapy activities are interspersed throughout the course to increase your understanding of the topic, your clients, and yourself! Not only will you gain the latest research and information, you will leave with a series of play therapy activities and a chance to network with other play therapists!

This course is designed to provide the therapist with the basic building blocks of play therapy. Participants will engage in activities, including role play, reflection & small group discussion. Participants will learn and practice the basic elements of play therapy including: building the therapeutic relationship, tracking, restatement of content, reflection of feelings, returning responsibility to the child, encouragement, and limit setting. Topics include setting up a play room, selecting & arranging materials, stages of play, types of play therapy, & communication with others regarding the importance & impact of play therapy.

1. Participants will identify materials needed to set up a play therapy room or assemble a portable play therapy kit.

2. Participants will identify the differences between directive & non-directive play therapy.

3. Participants will describe how a client’s cultural identity & history can impact their play behaviors.

4. Participants will demonstrate an ability to perform basic play therapy facilitation skills including, but not limited to tracking, restatement of content, and reflection of feelings.

5. Participants will identify the stages of play and how this information is integrated in providing play therapy.

6. Participants will develop information to provide education to families regarding play therapy.

7. Participants will practice explaining play therapy to families, both adults and children.

8. Identify at least 3 ways to educate others about the importance and impact of play therapy.

9. Participants will identify how to set limits in the play room.

10. Participants will describe the importance of the therapeutic relationship.

11. Participants will describe the process and importance of termination in play therapy.


Suggested Reading:

• Kottman, T. (2011). Play therapy basics and beyond. 2nd ed. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

• Landreth, G.L. (2012). Play therapy: the art of the relationship. 3rd Ed. New York, NY: Routledge.

Theories of Play Therapy 

(March 8-9, 2019)

12 CE hours

Come prepared to play and participate! Play therapy activities are interspersed throughout the course to increase your understanding of the topic, your clients, and yourself! Not only will you gain the latest research and information, you will leave with a series of play therapy activities and a chance to network with other play therapists!

This course is designed to provide the therapist with solid background knowledge of play therapy history & theories. Theories to be discussed include Child-Centered Play Therapy, Psychodynamic/Psychoanalytical, Gestalt Play Therapy, Adlerian Play Therapy, Filial Play Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Play Therapy, Developmental Play Therapy, Experiential Play Therapy, Ecosystemic Play Therapy, and Prescriptive/Integrative Play Therapy. Participants will engage in activities including role play, reflection & small group discussion. Topics for each theory will include goals, phases or stages, the role of the therapist and working with families. Additional topics include play therapy themes, meeting client’s needs in play therapy and self-care.

1. Participants will identify at least 3 different theories of play therapy.

2. Participants will identify the theory of play therapy that best fits their overall philosophy.

3. Participants will identify at least 3 theorists in play therapy.

4. Participants will Identify what method of play therapy may be most effective for trauma &/or attachment work.

5. Participants will identify at least 3 reliable resources to use for locating reliable and accurate play therapy research.

6. Participants will define prescriptive play therapy.

7. Participants will identify and discuss themes present in children’s play in play therapy.

8. Participants will describe a child that may not be appropriate for play therapy.

9. Participants will identify how to involve families in at least 3 play therapy theories.

10. Participants will identify effective ways to provide self-care & prevent burnout.

11. Participants will identify at least 5 approaches to coping with work stressors to avoid burnout for play therapists.


Suggested Reading:

• Brody, V. (1997). The dialogue of touch: Developmental play therapy. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc.

• Crenshaw, D.A., & Stewart, A.L. Editors. (2015). Play therapy: A comprehensive guide to theory & practice. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

• Norton, C.C. & Norton, B.E. (2002). Reaching children through play therapy: An experiential approach, 2nd ed. Denver, CO: White Apple Press. 

Diverse Populations and Ethics in Play Therapy

(April 12-13, 2019)

12 CE hours

Come prepared to play and participate! Play therapy activities are interspersed throughout the course to increase your understanding of the topic, your clients, and yourself! Not only will you gain the latest research and information, but you will also leave with a series of play therapy activities and a chance to network with other play therapists!

This course is designed to enhance the multicultural competency of the therapist with guidance regarding ethics & working with diverse populations. Participants will engage in activities including small group discussion, watching videos to assist with learning about different cultures and participating in play therapy activities. Topics include discussing and analyzing ethical conundrums, microaggressions, identifying one’s own self-awareness and play therapy activities with diverse populations (LGBTQ, undocumented immigrants, Native American families, religious/spiritual beliefs). 3 hours of ethics in Oklahoma.

1. Participants will review & discuss APT’s Play Therapy Best Practices.

2. Participants will participate in role plays involving ethical decisions in play therapy.

3. Participants will identify specific issues & approaches to play therapy for diverse populations, including, but not limited to LGBTQ, illegal immigrants, religious or spiritual affiliation & culture.

4. Participants will identify at least 2 play therapy activities for families dealing with undocumented immigration.

5. Participants will identify at least 2 play therapy activities for children and families focusing on gender identity issues.

6. Participants will identify at least 2 play therapy activities for children and families focusing on sexual orientation issues.

7. Participants will identify at least 2 play therapy activities for children and/or families focusing on religious and/or spiritual beliefs.

8. Participants will identify at least 2 play therapy activities for children and/or families focusing on Native American culture.

9. Participants will identify and discuss self-awareness regarding issues when working with diverse children and/or families in play therapy.

10. Participants will identify and practice play therapy activities to do for themselves to increase self-awareness.

11. Participants will define microaggressions and how they may be used in play therapy.


Suggested Reading:

Gil, E. and Drewes, A.A. (2005). Cultural issues in play therapy. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Abuse, Trauma, and Grief in Play Therapy 

(May 17-18, 2019)

12 CE hours

Come prepared to play and participate! Play therapy activities are interspersed throughout the course to increase your understanding of the topic, your clients, and yourself! Not only will you gain the latest research and information, but you will also leave with a series of play therapy activities and a chance to network with other play therapists!

This play therapy course is designed to provide the therapist with the basis of how abuse, trauma & grief impact development in children. Play therapy activities will be interspersed throughout the course to provide participants with the experience. Additional activities will include completing an ACE Questionnaire, developing a safety plan template, identifying symptoms of grief by age and developing play therapy interventions to fit with the child and family’s culture and needs. Topics include evidenced-based practice, post-traumatic play, family support, EMDR, TF-CBT& the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics.

1. Participants will identify at least 2 evidence-based play therapy interventions/ theories for trauma.

2. Participants will identify symptoms of a child who has experienced trauma.

3. Participants will describe 3 play therapy interventions to use with trauma, abuse &/or grief.

4. Participants will describe how a client’s culture, identity & history can impact trauma & treatment in play therapy.

5. Participants will describe at least 3 facets of the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics and play therapy techniques used with this model.

6. Participants will explain the impact of trauma on a client’s cognitive functioning and how this can be addressed in play therapy.

7. Participants will complete the ACE Questionnaire and identify its impact on play therapy with children and families

8. Participants will design a template for a crisis/safety plan to be used with children and families.

9. Participants will identify grief symptoms in children at different ages and how to address grief in play therapy.

10. Participants will identify sexual abuse symptoms in children’s play.

11. Participants will discuss how EMDR and play therapy can be integrated.

12. Participants will describe post-traumatic play in children and how this can be addressed in play therapy sessions.

13. Participants will identify the 8 steps of TF-CBT and how to integrate play therapy into the steps. 

Developmental Delays, Autism, and Sensory Needs in Play Therapy

(June 14-15, 2019)

12 CE hours

Come prepared to play and participate! Play therapy activities are interspersed throughout the course to increase your understanding of the topic, your clients, and yourself! Not only will you gain the latest research and information, but you will also leave with a series of play therapy activities and a chance to network with other play therapists!

This course is designed to provide the play therapist with information to work with clients & special needs. Participants will engage in activities including role play, lecture, reflection & small group discussion. Topics include play development and stages, play therapy activities to meet individual needs, red flags in development, 8 areas of sensory development and their impact on behavior, developmental delays due to genetics, developmental delays due to trauma or attachment issues, AutPlay®, behaviors based on sensory needs, adjusted vs. maladjusted play, referral resources & collaborating with other providers.

1. Participants will identify and describe at least 2 researchers who have developed specific play therapy based techniques for clients with Autism.

2. Participants will identify developmental stages of play and how they are important to play therapy.

3. Participants will identify red flags for developmental delays and how this may affect play therapy.

4. Participants will identify and describe causes of how a client may be developmentally delayed in different developmental areas and how that impacts play therapy.

5. Participants will identify adjusted vs. maladjusted play.

6. Participants will identify at least 3 play therapy activities for children with developmental delays.

7. Participants will identify at least 3 play therapy techniques for children with sensory needs.

8. Participants will identify 8 areas of sensory development and how they can impact play therapy.

9. Participants will identify and describe 3 AutPlay® play therapy activities.

10. Participants will identify and describe how trauma can impact development and how this can affect play therapy.

11. Participants will identify and describe at least 3 play therapy activities to address trauma.

12. Participants will identify and describe how attachment issues can impact development and how this affects play therapy.

13. Participants will identify and describe at least 3 play therapy activities to address attachment. 

Sandtray and Storytelling Basics 

(October 11-12, 2019)

12 CE hours

Come prepared to play and participate! Play therapy activities are interspersed throughout the course to increase your understanding of the topic, your clients, and yourself! Not only will you gain the latest research and information, you will leave with a series of play therapy activities and a chance to network with other play therapists!

This course is designed to provide the therapist with the basis or sandtray in play therapy & storytelling in play therapy. Participants will engage in activities including role play, lecture, reflection & small group discussion. Topics include: sand to use, selection and display of miniatures, designing a portable sandtray, process vs. product, processing tray with client and developmental expectations of clients. Each participant will be provided with a portable sandtray. Participants will be required to bring in a set of miniatures to use.

1. Participants will describe how to set up, conduct & process a sandtray as part of a play therapy session.

2. Participants will describe the purpose of categories of miniatures in play therapy and sandtray therapy

3. Participants will identify and discuss issues regarding selection of miniatures in play therapy.

4. Participants will identify and describe how a client’s culture, identity & history can impact sandtray & storytelling work in play therapy.

5. Participants will identify key history & key theorists regarding sandtrays in play therapy.

6. Participants will identify common themes in the sandtray process during a play therapy session.

7. Participants will identify sandtray interventions to use in play therapy with different populations.

8. Participants will engage in group sandtray activities in play therapy.

9. Participants will identify the differences between sandtray & sandplay.

10. Participants will identify how sandtray activities can be utilized in play therapy sessions with families & individuals.

11. Participants will identify age/developmental expectations for using sandtray in play therapy.

12. Participants will actively participate in a sandtray play practice session.

13. Participants will identify at least 2 sandtray play activities to utilize in the school counselor’s office.

14. Participants will identify at least 2 sandtray play activities to utilize in the classroom.

Multigenerational and Family Play Therapy 

(November 15-16, 2019)

12 CE hours

Come prepared to play and participate! Play therapy activities are interspersed throughout the course to increase your understanding of the topic, your clients, and yourself! Not only will you gain the latest research and information, you will leave with a series of play therapy activities and a chance to network with other play therapists!

This course is designed to provide the play therapist with guidelines in working with families as well as non-traditional clients in play therapy. Participants will engage in activities including role play, lecture, reflection & small group discussion. Topics include family culture, traditions and beliefs, Parent Child Interaction Therapy, Filial Therapy, Child Parent Relationship Therapy, assessment with families, communicating about the effectiveness of play therapy, & play therapy activities with varying developmental ages.

1. Participants will identify and describe how a family’s culture, identity & history can impact family play therapy.

2. Participants will identify at least 2 play therapy techniques that can be used with infant/toddlers

3. Participants will identify at least 2 play therapy techniques that can be used with preschoolers

4. Participants will identify at least 2 play therapy techniques that can be used with middle-age children.

5. Participants will identify at least 2 play therapy techniques that can be used with adolescents.

6. Participants will identify at least 2 play therapy techniques that can be with families.

7. Participants will identify at least 2 play therapy techniques that can be used with adults.

8. Participants will identify and describe a play therapy assessment activity to use with a family & how the assessment can be used to plan for family sessions.

9. Participants will identify & discuss how to work with resistance in play therapy with families.

10. Participants will identify at least 2 play therapy techniques to improve communication within families.

11. Participants will describe at least 2 facets of Filial Play Therapy.

12. Participants will describe at least 2 facets of CPRT.

13. Participants will identify developmentally appropriate expectation of children for their age and their developmental age and how to utilize this in play therapy.

14. Participants will identify and gain experience in explaining play therapy to families. 

Supervision in Play Therapy

(April 27, 2019)

6 CE Hrs.

This course is designed to provide the counseling supervisor with guidelines to provide guidance and support for the supervisee. Participants will engage in activities including role play, lecture, reflection & small group discussion. Topics include supervision models, APT Best Practices, developing a contract, play therapy activities to utilize with supervisees, supervisor role and responsibilities, recordkeeping, and mandated reporting.

Participants must already be a supervisor in their field and/or be an RPT.

This course is designed to provide the RPT with 6 credit hours to assist in becoming an RPT-S.

1. Participants will identify supervision models in play therapy.

2. Participants will identify and apply APT Best Practices to scenarios that may arise with play therapy supervisees.

3. Participants will identify the importance of developing and having a contract with supervisees.

4. Participants will identify at least 3 play therapy experiences to use with play therapy supervisees.

5. Participants will identify the supervisor’s role and ethical responsibility specific to play therapy supervisees.

6. Participants will identify recordkeeping responsibilities of both the play therapy supervisor and supervisee.

7. Participants will identify child abuse mandated reporting laws and the process for play therapy supervisors and supervisees.

Suggested Reading:


• Association for Play Therapy. (2016.). Play therapy best practices: Clinical, ethical and professional issues. Retrieved from: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.a4pt.org/resource/resmgr/publications/best_practices__-_sept_2016.pdf on December 31, 2018.

• Drewes, A.A. and Mullen, J.A. (2011). Supervision can be playful. Lanham, MA: Rowman and Littlefield.