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

APT IDEA Team - Biweekly Update

A critical part of the diversity, equity, and inclusion work in associations is gathering important information from members. This information in turn guides the organization’s direction and focus, and identifies areas where resources are needed. With this goal in mind, the APT IDEA Team has been hard at work researching, drafting, and fine tuning a member diversity survey, specific to race and ethnicity. We look forward to launching the survey on August 10, 2020.

E-Learning Center Discount

This Friday, July 31, 2020 is the last day to use your 25% discount code (PLAYON) on all APT E-Learning Center. The E-Leaning Center serves the needs of mental health professionals wishing to earn non-contact play therapy continuing education credit towards APT credentialing applications and/or state licensure.

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)
Play Therapy in the News more
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