Play Therapy Certificate

The Play Therapy Certificate program prepares counseling professionals to work with children and adolescents, utilizing the most effective and developmentally appropriate theories and techniques. The four certificate courses 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.

As a result of completing the Play Therapy Certificate program, students will be able to:

  • Relate essential people, theorists, and organizations that shaped the history of the play therapy profession
  • Compare and contrast the legal and ethical issues that are unique to play therapy and those shared with other modalities, i.e., documentation, competence, informed consent, confidentiality, boundaries, duty to warn and protect, use of touch
  • Construct a developmentally appropriate child and adolescent treatment plan demonstrating accurate conceptualization of clients presenting clinical problem(s) and proper interventions
  • Apply play therapy skills including (but not limited to) structuring, tracking, reflecting of content and process, returning responsibility, facilitating self-advocacy, and limit setting
  • Utilize expressive arts therapeutic techniques appropriately and effectively with children, adolescents, and families
  • Demonstrate multicultural competency when selecting play therapy interventions for use with special populations
  • Distinguish the stages within the play therapy process
  • Assess a family system’s needs and determine appropriate family play therapy interventions

Play Therapy Certificate students are currently enrolled in a mental health related master’s degree program (e.g., Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, Marriage and Family Counseling, Social Work, Psychology) or have earned a comparable master’s degree from Stetson or another accredited program. Play Therapy Certificate program courses cannot be counted toward the 60 credit hour Counselor Education degree. The Certificate program will be an additional credential for our students which they can apply for and begin after taking the required prerequisite courses. Minimally, students are expected to have successfully completed graduate level coursework in the areas of human development, counseling theories, and basic counseling skills appropriate to their profession.

Interested students will complete a separate application for the Play Therapy Certificate program prior to beginning certificate courses. Once accepted, students will also be required to pass a background check in order to practice play therapy skills with child clients during a service learning component of the program.

To complete the certificate program, students must successfully complete a culminating case study conceptualization assignment once they have completed all four courses as the final step prior to the certificate being awarded. The assignment will require each student to evaluate a case study client’s presenting problem and family system, create a treatment plan with appropriate goals, and identify and apply an appropriate theory and set of interventions within play therapy.

COUN 503Human Relations Methods and Skills3
COUN 505Theories of Counseling3
COUN 506Human Development3
Certificate Courses
COUN 531Play Therapy Theories and Practices3
COUN 532Play Therapy with Families and Special Populations3
COUN 533Play Therapy and Expressive Arts Techniques3
COUN 535Play Therapy Service Learn Lab1
Total Credits19