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

APT Coronavirus Resource Page

Tips for a Clean Playroom has been added to APT’s Coronavirus Resource Page. While these practices should be in place year-round, it is important to be extra vigilant during this time. You can take steps now to prepare your practices, reduce the risk of transmission, and address family concerns. This resource was developed from suggestions from your peers, APA, and CDC.


APT Announcement

As a proactive measure to flatten the curve of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, our local government issued a “shelter in place” order effective March 19, 2020 through March 31, 2020, with the possibility of an extension. As a result, your APT staff is working remotely with the full capabilities of serving our members via email or phone. We encourage you to read APT’s Special Message for COVID-19 resources, dates for a second Credentialing Q & A Conference Call, and more.


APT Annual Conference - NEW DATES! 

The 37th Annual APT International Conference is now scheduled for October 1- October 6, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Coachella Valley Music Festival moved its event to early October, coinciding with the APT conference.  To ensure member satisfaction and provide the best educational event, we have opted to move our dates up slightly. We will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on training and travel, and communicate any changes with you as soon as they are apparent.


Important Dates:

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