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 licensed clinical mental health professionals with a graduate mental health degree and extensive specialized play therapy education, training and supervised experience. 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

25% Off E-Learning Center

The E-Learning Center summer sale continues! Take 25% off your purchase when you use code PLAYON at checkout — no exclusions. From audio programs to past conference recording, the APT E-Learning Center is sure to have something for you.

Plus, registrants (RPT, RPT-S, & SB-RPT) with continuing education due between March 15, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020, may submit all non-contact training hours, such as those earned from the E-Learning Center, to fulfill the 18 hours of play therapy CE due with their credential renewal.

APT YouTube Resource - Introducing Andrew

Visit APT’s YouTube channel for a brief, informational video explaining play therapy. Introducing Andrew (English) and Meet Andrés (Spanish) are excellent resources to share with parents, colleagues, or the general public.

For more videos, we invite you to APT’s YouTube channel. You’ll find History Speaks, a mini-series of interviews, and other informative videos.

Important Dates:

  • July 31, 2020: APT E-Learning Center 25% on all material ends (Code: PLAYON)
  • July 31, 2020:Deadline to submit IJPT manuscript for special issue (Play Therapy with Military Families)
  • August 31, 2020: Deadline to submit IJPT manuscript for special issue (Play Therapy in Schools)
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