How to Become a Registered Play Therapist

How to Become a Registered Play Therapist

Want to know how to become a Registered Play Therapist?

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

What do I need for a Play Therapy credential?

The Academy for Play Therapy Training and Mary Ruth Cross offers the full suite of play therapy education needed for your play therapy credentials. Whether you’re looking to expand your play therapy education, or to specifically go through our play therapy credentials programs, we have many exciting and innovative courses to not only meet your play therapy credential needs, but to deepen and expand your expertise. Mary Ruth Cross as an APT Approved Provider and the Academy for Play Therapy Training is a one-stop shop for you to receive all 150 hours needed to become a Registered Play Therapist.

What else is part of knowing how to become a Registered 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.

For a Registered Play Therapist credentials, 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 credential, 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 credential. There are also additional CE hours required for clinical supervisor training.

The cycle of renewal also differs between the two play therapy licenses.

Now that I know how to become a Registered Play Therapist, 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 we believe 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. As a mental health professional, you know how true this can be, especially in a case of trauma or abuse. Play therapy can also be effectively applied with some teenagers and adults to promote healing, optimize learning and enhance relationships.

Having a play therapy credential 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 promote children and their unique needs.

Who is a play therapy credential 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 play therapy credential will really open up a whole new way to connect with your patients and clients and offers a niche that is quickly and easily recognized by parents and educators looking to refer parents to you.

There are a number of play therapy credential  programs out there. How do I choose the right one for me?

Of all the play therapy credential programs out there, Mary Ruth Cross at the Academy for Play Therapy Training is second to none. As we like to say, the journey for play therapy starts and continues here. We offer a comprehensive play therapy education, as well as continuing education opportunities to maintain your play therapy credential.

Academy for Play Therapy Training is passionate about mental health professionals who are dedicated to healing wounded children, teens, adults, couples and families. We are committed to supporting you so that you can fully support the needs of those you serve.

Mary Ruth Cross has 25+ years of experience in the mental health field. For a full listing of her credentials and professional experience, visit