How to Become a Play Therapist

How to Become a Play Therapist

Want to know how to become a play therapist?

As a counselor, you may have heard about the exciting world of play therapy, and perhaps you’re interested in learning how to become a play therapist yourself. More importantly, how to become a registered play therapist. It can be a little confusing but don’t worry. You’ve come to the right place.

The Academy for Play Therapy Training offers the full suite of training needed for your certification. Whether you’re looking for how to become a play therapist, the first question you need to know is whether you want to pursue how to become a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) or a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor (RPT-S). We have many exciting and innovative courses to not only meet your certification needs, but to deepen and expand your expertise. As an APT Approved Provider, we are your one-stop shop for you to receive all 150 hours needed for either certification.

What’s the difference between an RPT and an RPT-S?

For a Registered Play Therapist certification, you must have two (2) years and 2,000 hours of supervised clinical mental health experience (postgraduate direct client contact hours) required by state licensure.

For a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor certification, you must also have an additional three (3) years and 3,000 direct client contact hours of clinical experience after initial full licensure. This is in addition to the requirements of a Registered Play Therapist certification.

What else is part of knowing how to become a play therapist?

For both the Registered Play Therapist and the Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor credential, mental health practitioners must have either a master’s or higher mental health degree with demonstrated coursework in child development, theories of personality, principles of psychotherapy, child & adolescent psychopathology and ethics.

How will play therapy training work for my patients?

In play therapy, we speak the language of children through play and by using their words – toys. Even those who have a fully functioning vocabulary have a difficult time communicating their feelings and what’s going on in their inner world. This is why adding play therapy training is so important.

Play therapy training uses a structured, theoretically based approach to expressive therapy.

Our play therapy program is innovative because it offers therapists and counselors a way to communicate with patients who may have a hard time verbalizing their thoughts and feelings. This can be true especially in the case of trauma or abuse. It can also be effectively applied with some teenagers and adults to promote healing, optimize learning and enhance relationships.

Having an a RPT certification communicates a higher level of excellence, gives you a niche and allows you to stand out in a sea of counselors and therapists. It shows that you really do understand children and their unique needs.

Who is play therapist certification for?

Whether you are a licensed social worker (LCSW), a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), or a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC), having a this certification will really open up a whole new way to connect with your patients and clients.

Do you offer continuing education units once I receive my certification?

The CAV Academy sponsors our continuing education units for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. We provide continuing education units for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. We offer individual and group supervision in support of becoming a Registered Play Therapist.

What else do I need to know about how to become a play therapist and becoming certified?

As the world becomes more complicated, the mental health professional industry is rapidly changing and adapting to the ever-evolving needs of our patients. The Academy for Play Therapy Training program is at the cutting edge of certification and continuing education requirements. Because this is our sole focus, we are up to date on the changes and how to stay ahead of them.

With our Academy for Play Therapy Training Program, we not only help you get and stay certified, but we offer a vibrant community of play therapy peers to learn and grow from. For example, did you know that once you become certified as a registered play therapist, that some states restrict the public display of the RPT acronym? Or that in 2015, there were a number of changes to the CE requirements for RPT-S credential? Because this is what we specialize in, you don’t have to worry about keeping up with all the changes. When you become a member of our community, we keep supporting you even after certification.

With further questions about how we can enhance your practice, send us an email at or