Center for Play Therapy

Center for Play Therapy

Looking for an Outstanding Center for Play Therapy?

The Academy for Play Therapy Training is the West Coast’s go-to resource center for play therapy training. We offer an expert play therapy training with the depth and breadth of a large-scale educational institution, but with the added local, supportive feel of a community college. We offer play therapy certification programs, courses, and continuing education, as well as a rich community of play therapy peers.

As a center for play therapy training, our top priority is connecting. When you connect with a child through their language, a new level of trust is built, and communication and understanding flows more freely and healing can take place.

With 50+ years of combined practice experience, The Academy for Play Therapy Training is co-led and operated by Mary Ruth Cross and Leslie Baker, who are both intimately familiar with the world of play therapy and play therapy training. As trusted leaders in the play therapy training world, you’ll appreciate both their expertise and candor in the supportive play therapy certification programs they offer.

What is play therapy?

You may have come across a few play therapy websites and wonder what more there is to play therapy besides having a few puppets and toys available in your office. There’s so much more!

Play therapy works at the unconscious level. In play therapy, children are encouraged to express themselves through their own language – the language of play – whenever they have difficulty (or not yet the ability) to say or contextualize their thoughts into words.

Play Therapy includes using toys and other symbolic play instruments, and it has also expanded to include most of the expressive art forms like drawing, painting, sculpturing, music, dance, drama, movement, poetry and storytelling. Another more generalized way to describe play therapy is as a safe container that allows a child’s true self to emerge, his/her mind to relax, and to avail trapped emotion to be released.

Due to its effectiveness and flexibility, being a certified play therapist is rapidly becoming an industry-wide standard, not only for treating children, but also teens, couples and families. Just imagine the potential for your practice if it becomes known as a trusted center for play therapy!

What are some reasons why someone may be referred to us?

As a mental health professional, you’ve probably heard how effective play therapy is in cases of severe stress, abuse, or trauma. But there are also many benefits to incorporating play into a client’s/patient’s/couple’s/family’s therapeutic process.

Wherever there is a pattern of behavior that is eroding how an individual relates to an individual (e.g. parent, teacher, sibling, spouse, friend) or collective concept (e.g. school, work, house, sleep, public places), there’s an opportunity for play therapy. If the individual is relating to school or work in a negative way, has trouble socializing or making friends, is having persistent nightmares or general anxiety, has withdrawn, has suffered a bereavement or separation, these are all examples of where play therapy may help break up the pattern and create movement in the individual’s personality and thus, his/her relationships.

Play Therapy Certification Programs

Play Therapy training is about building the play muscles of a counselor, educator or therapist. They can meet each client where they are, and hold this safe space for them to move through their pain. The goal is to move into a space of healing and meaningful growth.

Our play therapy certification programs help mental health professionals transform their client’s pain, help them heal from traumatic experiences and the effects of stress, help them build confidence. They help build social skills, deal with loss, and improve their communication skills. At the Academy for Play Therapy Training, we see this as the most important role a mental health practitioner plays in the life of his/her client, because holding this safe container of growth helps the child have happy, healthy relationships for the rest of their lives.

As a premier center for play therapy, The Academy for Play Therapy Training is focused on both the depth and breadth of a mental/spiritual health practitioner. Through our play therapy certification programs, you’re given the opportunity to connect the theory behind why play therapy tools and skills are effective in building trust and opening up the lines of communication with your clients and those you serve. You’re also given lots of opportunity to practice those play therapy tools and skills.

If you’re interested in transforming your practice into one that is known as a center for play therapy, contact The Academy for Play Therapy Training today.