Association for Play Therapy

The Association for Play Therapy (APT) is a national professional society established in 1982 to foster contact among mental health professionals interested in exploring and, when developmentally appropriate, applying the therapeutic power of play to communicate with and treat clients, particularly children.

What is Play Therapy?

Play Therapy is defined by APT as “the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained Play Therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development."

Play Therapy should only be provided by mental health professionals who have met the required education, licensure, and additional specialized training and supervision specific to Play Therapy. Read more…

Association Programs & Benefits

Membership in the Association for Play Therapy (APT) demonstrates your interest in the field of play therapy! APT is dedicated to the growth and advancement of play therapy, increasing your knowledge, and providing you with networking opportunities and the professional tools you need.


APT membership demonstrates your interest in the field of play therapy and provides access to the latest play therapy news, research, publications, networking, and professional tools.

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Play Therapy Research

APT encourages play therapy research that demonstrates the value and effectiveness of play therapy, increases play therapy knowledge, and supports evidence-based play therapy practices.

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APT provides official publications exclusively to its membership, in the form of the International Journal of Play Therapy®, Play Therapy™ Magazine, PlayToday e-newsletter, and more!

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Play Therapy Connection

A professional network of support is an important resource for any mental health professional. Connect with fellow members and exchange clinical knowledge.

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E-Learning Center

Earn valuable non-contact continuing education from various play therapy sources, including APT’s Annual Conference Workshops, the International Journal of Play Therapy®, and more!

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Annual Conference

The Annual APT Conference takes place every October, offering play therapy education to mental health professionals and graduate students from an array of disciplines.

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Association Newsmore

Video — Credentialing 2020: Questions & Answers

Have credentialing questions? Your peers are here to help! Longtime registrants, Linda Homeyer (TX), Paris Goodyear-Brown (TN), and Sueann Kenney-Noziska (NM) answer the most common questions in the Credentialing 2020 Questions & Answers video.

Play Therapy™ Magazine

Have you read the December 2019 issue of Play Therapy™ Magazine? This issue features articles on play therapy supervision, top stress-release toys for adults, and a member storytelling section that details supervisory challenges presented in another country and culture. Click here to access the December 2019 issue on your tablet or computer!

APT Publications

One of the many benefits of being an APT member is receiving our official publications: International Journal of Play Therapy®, Play Therapy™ Magazine, Mining Reports, and PlayToday.

Read about all of your members-only benefits on the homepage of the APT website, under Association Programs & Benefits. The Publications link provides quick access to our most popular member benefits!

Important Dates:

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