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Play Therapy Graduate Certificate

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Play Therapy graduate certificate is designed for mental health professionals from a variety of backgrounds and specialties. Learners explore the evolution and core systems of play therapy; play therapy techniques, models, and applications; and experientially based supervision practices in filial play therapy and individual and group play therapy. The curriculum also emphasizes developmental and multicultural considerations and ethical and legal issues associated with providing therapy for diverse populations. Current Capella learners must complete an eligible master’s degree program before the graduate certificate can be conferred. Licensure and additional professional and supervised clinical hours are required by the Association for Play Therapy to earn its Registered Play Therapist credential. These certificate requirements are not designed or intended to meet professional licensure requirements for the counseling or psychology professions.

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Play Therapy 1: The History and Systems of Play Therapy

In this course, learners examine the historical origins of and rationale for integrating play into the practice of therapy and discuss the core systems of and approaches to play therapy. Learners also review the contributions of play to child development and well being throughout the lifespan. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY5246 *
Play Therapy 2: Theories and Practices of Play Therapy

Learners analyze the major theories and techniques that inform the applications of play in therapy using an interdisciplinary approach and emphasizing related research. Learners investigate key topics such as play materials, developmental and multicultural considerations, ethical and legal issues, and play therapy for all ages and populations. Prerequisite(s): PSY5244. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits

Choose three from the following courses:

PSY5247 *
Child-Centered Play Therapy

In this course, learners examine the historical and theoretical foundations of child-centered play therapy and the ways in which this approach differs from other forms of play therapy. Learners practice and evaluate basic child-centered skills and analyze child-centered play therapy in real-world applications. Prerequisite(s): PSY5244, PSY5246.

5 quarter credits
PSY5248 *
Filial Play Therapy

Learners in this course study the history, theoretical foundations, research, and practical applications of filial play therapy. In particular, learners study and prepare to practice filial therapy in one-on-one situations with caregivers. Learners also evaluate filial therapy from a family systems perspective, exploring outcomes research that emphasizes the ways in which parents who are attuned to and understand their children are more easily able to engage relationally with them in ways that promote the well being of the family as a whole. Prerequisite(s): PSY5244, PSY5246, PSY5247.

5 quarter credits
PSY5250 *
Play Therapy Supervision Practices

This course introduces learners to the theories, models, principles, and practice of play therapy supervision. Learners develop ethical and practical skills about standard practices in supervision and consider their own theoretical orientation in the supervision of play therapy. Learners examine creative, experiential, and playful supervision practices through supervisory sessions with other learners. Learners also develop mentoring and facilitating skills in class and apply them during practice sessions. Prerequisite(s): PSY5244, PSY5246.

5 quarter credits
PSY5252 *
Applications of Play Therapy

Learners in this course study the theoretical foundations, research, and practical applications of play therapy in various environments, including schools, groups, and families. Learners also examine play therapy with a range of populations and explore associated adaptations of the playroom, therapeutic play therapy models, and play therapy outcomes research. Prerequisite(s): PSY5244, PSY5246.

5 quarter credits






At least 25 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Learners who do not complete all program requirements within quarter credit/program point minimums will be required to accrue such additional quarter credits/program points as are associated with any additional or repeat coursework necessary for successful completion of program requirements.

Applicants for the Association for Play Therapy’s Registered Play Therapist credential must hold a recognized professional license and have specific work experience. Additionally, applicants must complete supervised clinical hours outside of Capella’s program. Capella University cannot guarantee eligibility for licensure, endorsement, other professional credential, or salary advancement. State licensing regulations and professional standards vary; learners are responsible for understanding and complying with the requirements of the state in which they intend to work.