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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 enrolled in the Play Therapy graduate certificate program must have an eligible master’s degree conferred 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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The History and Systems of Play Therapy

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. 

4 quarter credits
PLAY6206 *
Theories and Skills of Play Therapy

Learners expand on their knowledge of the major theories of play therapy and the skills and interventions that define those theories. Learners assess the major theories and apply these to their work with a diversity of child clients and client scenarios. Learners also develop a personal theoretical orientation and apply this approach to personal practice. Learners assess ethical and legal issues unique to the field specific to providing culturally and socially diverse play therapy services. Prerequisite(s): PLAY6203. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer. 

4 quarter credits
PLAY6209 *
Advanced Play Therapy

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): PLAY6203, PLAY6206.

4 quarter credits
PLAY6212 *
Special Topics in Play Therapy

Learners investigate 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): PLAY6203, PLAY6206.

4 quarter credits






At least 16 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.