Child Play Therapy Techniques

Child Play Therapy Techniques

As a mental health professional you may have heard about play therapy or be curious about child play therapy techniques and how you can incorporate them into your therapy practice. At The Academy for Play Therapy Training we love to play and our trainings give you the tools and techniques needed for a healthy and playful therapy practice!

The Academy for Play Therapy Training is the west coast’s go-to play therapy resource center. We offer year round workshops that cover a variety of child therapy techniques and activities for every developmental stage including, but not limited to: expressive arts, role-play, puppet play, storytelling, sensory play, and games. By attending our workshops, conferences, and retreats  you will learn child play therapy techniques and activities that will help create a safe space for children, adolescents, and adults to play and heal.

Play Therapy Examples

Two specific examples of play therapy and how they can benefit children are: sand tray therapy and using puppets and masks. Sand tray therapy uses toys and characters within a sandbox to encourage a child’s imagination and creativity while also allowing them to create an external representation of their internal world. Many characters are available, and hundreds of different situations/scenarios can be explored, so that a therapist can more easily connect and communicate with a child. Using puppets and masks is helpful because children often build relationships with characters more easily or more often than with adults, thereby allowing therapists to help children work through issues such as social anxiety.

Child play therapy techniques are an extremely effective treatment option for many other  disorders as well, such as:

  • Anger issues
  • Grief and loss
  • Divorce and/or family stress
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Developmental delays
  • Learning or attention problems (such as ADHD)
  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Being the victim of bullying or bullying other children
  • Decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Overly aggressive behavior
  • Sudden changes in appetite
  • Insomnia or increased sleepiness
  • Excessive school absenteeism or tardiness
  • Mood swings
  • Signs of alcohol, drug, or other substance use
  • Separation, divorce, or relocation

A Wide Range of Workshops

Our instructor Mary Ruth Cross at The Academy for Play Therapy Training understand that there are many different types of play therapy, which is why we offer such a wide range of workshops to choose from. Whether you are new to child play therapy techniques, expanding your knowledge with advanced techniques, or wish to become a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor – we have a workshop offering that will meet your needs. In addition, our workshops given by Mary Ruth Cross, approved by the Association of Play Therapy, where participants can earn continuing education credential necessary to become a Registered Play Therapist (Academy for Play Therapy Training, Mary Ruth Cross, APT Approved Provider #18-544). Our yearly retreat also meets the qualifications for 21 hours of continuing education credentials for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, and/or Licensed Educational Psychologists as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Come and explore the exciting world of play therapy with us and learn the child play therapy techniques necessary to help heal wounded and traumatized children. 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 25+ years of practice experience, The Academy for Play Therapy Training is operated by Mary Ruth Cross  who is intimately familiar with the world of play therapy and play therapy training. As trusted leaders in the play therapy training world, you’ll appreciate her expertise and candor in the supportive play therapy certification programs she offer.

Visit our website at to learn more about our workshops or to register. You can also contact us at (925)-626-0084 if you have any further questions about play therapy.