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

COVID-19 & The Attainment of Play Therapy Hours

In response to the needs of its members, APT has extended its previous provisions regarding play therapy training:

  • APT Approved Providers may temporarily offer "contact" hours for online continuing education if the training meets specific criteria through June 30, 2021.
  • Additionally, registrants (RPT, RPT-S, & SB-RPT) with continuing education due between March 15, 2020 and June 30, 2021, may submit all non-contact training hours to fulfill the 18 hours of play therapy continuing education due with their credential renewal.
Should you have any questions on how to locate or promote these trainings on the APT Training Directory, contact Jaqueline Rosales.

Credentialing Q & A Call

Join us on Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. (PDT) for “Renewing your Credential: CE cycles and completing forms online,” a one-hour Q & A cal. In this call, we will provide an overview of how to complete RPT, SB-RPT, and RPT-S renewal application. Limited to 25 participants, register by 12:00 p.m. (PDT) on October 21, 2020 to secure your spot.

40% E-Learning Center Discount

 Have your heart set on past conference materials? Use code FALL40 and receive 40% off at checkout.Hurry! This limited offer ends October 31, 2020.

Important Dates:

  • October 31, 2020:Deadline extended to submit IJPT manuscript for special issue (Play Therapy with Military Families)
  • November 30, 2020: Deadline to submit IJPT manuscript for special issue (Play Therapy in Medical Settings)
Play Therapy in the News more
Calendar more

2020 Educational Series Day 2

2020 Educational Series Day 3

2020 Educational Series Day 4

2020 Educational Series Day 5

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