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- Why Play Therapy?
|Frequently Asked Questions|
1. What does “RPT/S” mean?
Benefits of the RPT/S Credentials4. What are the benefits of having the RPT or RPT-S credential?
Your RPT or RPT-S credential conveys your play therapy knowledge and experience to the general public, schools and universities, parents and children, and other mental health professionals. It lends credibility and visibility to your specialized training and provides you with a community of likeminded individuals who believe in the therapeutic power of play.
Verification of License (Guide, Section 0300)5. Does my international license/credential meet the RPT/S licensure requirement?
Applicants must have a current and active clinical mental health license that permits for independent practice. The licensing board must be the government agency assigned to regulate and investigate the mental health profession regulated by an established mental health act. Membership to mental health associations do not meet the credentialing requirements for licensure. Please contact the office, should you continue to question whether or not your license/credential meets the RPT/S licensure requirement.
Verification of Graduate Degrees and Core Content Coursework (Guide, Section 0400)6. What are the basic educational requirements to become an RPT or RPT-S?
You must have earned a graduate degree in a mental health discipline with demonstrated coursework in five (5) core areas (i.e. child development, theories of personality, principles of psychotherapy, psychopathology/DSM, and legal / ethical issues).
7. I’m not sure my graduate program addressed the five (5) core content areas, will APT review my academic transcripts before I submit my application?
Yes. Simply complete and submit the Transcript Review request form with the fee ($50) and a copy of your transcripts to APT. For Advanced Standing social work applicants, please include a copy of your undergraduate transcripts with your graduate transcripts. If you are not interested in a transcript review but continue to have questions regarding the five (5) core content areas, please submit a copy of the syllabus for each course you believe satisfies this requirement with your completed application.
Verification of Clinical Experience (Guide, Section 0500)
8. How do I verify the two years and 2,000 hours of supervised general clinical experience requirement?
Verification of Play Therapy Coursework & Trainings (Guide, Section 0600)
10. How and from whom may I earn the 150 hours of play therapy instruction?
Verification of Supervised Play Therapy Experience & Supervision (Guide, Section 0700)13. How many hours of play therapy experience (direct client contact hours) must I accrue?
RPT applicants must accrue at least 500 hours of supervised clinical play therapy experience. RPT-S applicants must accrue at least 1,000 hours, 500 of which must be supervised. If supervised by an RPT-S, 335 hours at minimum are required. These hours are calculated at a higher rate (1.5). For example, 335 hours of play therapy experience under an RPT-S are multiplied by 1.5, which results in 502.5 hours (eg: 335 x 1.5 = 502.5). Hours completed under a non-RPT-S are multiplied by 1.0.
14. How many supervision hours in play therapy must I complete?
RPT and RPT-S applicants must accrue at least 50 hours of play therapy supervision while accruing their supervised clinical play therapy experience. If supervised by an RPT-S, 35 hours at minimum are required. These hours are calculated at a higher rate (1.5). Therefore, 35 hours of play therapy experience under an RPT-S are multiplied by 1.5, which results in 52.5 hours (eg: 35 x 1.5 = 52.5). Hours completed under a non-RPT-S are multiplied by 1.0.
15. Must my clinical supervisor be an RPT-S?
No. However, your supervisor must be a) a licensed mental health professional b) who believes s/he is competent to provide supervision to a supervisee who is using play therapy paradigms and techniques and c) is permitted by his/her state licensing board to provide supervision. However, should you want to receive supervision from an RPT-S, here is the link to our Find a Registered Play Therapist Directory.
16. Is there any benefit to using an RPT-S rather than a non-RPT-S?
We think so. Not only do applicants require less hours for play therapy experience and supervision (see question #13), RPT-S’s have been vetted by APT as meeting a set of standards for play therapy education and training.
17. How do I document my play therapy experience and supervision?
Use Form A (the last page of the application). It is the applicant’s responsibility to post the dates and hours of your supervised play therapy experience in Section 1a. Indicate the number of individual supervision hours in Section 1b labeled “Individual” and put your group supervision hours in Section 1b labeled “Group.” Have your supervisor(s) sign the form under the section labeled “Verifier.”
18. Is there a limit to how many group supervision hours I can submit?
Yes. No more than 20 hours under a non-RPT-S and 15 hours under an RPT-S of group supervision are accepted.
19. Are dyadic supervision sessions considered “individual” supervision?
If the focus of the supervision was on your individual cases, then you may count only the time spent discussing your individual cases toward the “individual” supervision requirement.
20. Can I use internship or practicum hours from my graduate program towards the 500 hours of play therapy experience requirement?
Yes. You may accrue such hours via your graduate play therapy practicums, internships, externships, etc. Please make sure to have your supervisor sign off on your play therapy experience hours on Form A, Section 1.
21. Do I have to complete my play therapy training (instruction hours) before I can begin accruing my play therapy experience hours (direct client contact hours)?
Although APT does not specify on this matter expressly, it is expected that applicants adhere to their Boards’ ethics and scope of practice. If the applicant believes s/he is competent to treat clients using play therapy, then they may count said hours.
Verification of Supervisor Training (RPT-S APPLICANTS ONLY – Guide, Section 0800)22. What are the supervisor training requirements for the RPT-S credential?
Applicants must either be state designated supervisors by their respective state licensing board (please see Terms section above for definition of state designated supervisor) OR complete 24 hours of general clinical supervisor training (this training does not need to be sponsored by an APT Approved Provider) AND complete six hours of play therapy specific supervisor training by APT Approved Providers or a graduate play therapy course visible on a transcript. General clinical or play therapy specific supervisor training may be either contact or non-contact training.
23. Can I use my play therapy supervisor training CE’s for both the 150 hours of play therapy instruction and the 6 hours of play therapy supervisor training?
No, supervisor training hours may not be included in the initial 150 clock hours of play therapy instruction.
Renewal of RPT & RPT-S Credentials (Guide, Section 01100)24. Once I earn my RPT or RPT-S credential, what additional play therapy continuing education is required to maintain it?
You must earn 18 hours of play therapy specific training during each subsequent 36-month continuing education cycle. Not more than 9 of the 18 hours may be non-contact. RPT-S registrants must complete 6 hours of supervisor training in addition to the 18 play therapy hours above. These general or play therapy specific supervisor training hours may be contact or non-contact.
25. When do I renew my RPT or RPT-S credential?
Renew annually 12 months after approval. APT will notify you via email (please maintain your information current). Be sure to earn 18 hours of play therapy training during each 36-month continuing education cycle. RPT-S registrants must earn an additional 6 hours of supervisor training.
Transitioning from the RPT to the RPT-S26. I am a current RPT. What do I need to do to obtain the RPT-S credential?
Please submit a Transition Request form from our website found under the Play Therapy Credentials tab. After receipt of your request, a review of your file will be completed and an email sent to you outlining the necessary requirements you will need to transition.
27. What are the most recent changes made to the RPT/S program?
28. Do I have to apply for the RPT credential before I can apply for the RPT-S credential?