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.

Read More

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.

Read More


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!

Read More

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.

Read More

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!

Read More

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.

Read More
Association Newsmore

Vote on IJPT's New Cover

The International Journal of Play Therapy® will celebrate its 30th Anniversary in 2021! In honor of this important milestone, you are invited to help select a new cover design. Vote for your favorite design by August 20, then watch for a special announcement on Friday, August 28 as we reveal the new cover!

You have questions, we have answers!

APT invites you to participate in our upcoming 60-minute Q & A sessions on the Credentialing and Approved Provider programs.

Credentialing Q & A - Questions about becoming a Registered Play Therapist™ or the application process? Join us August 11, at 9:00 a.m. (PDT) – How to document hours accumulated prior to January 1, 2020. Register by 12:00 p.m. (PDT) on August 10, 2020, call in instructions will be provided via email upon registration. Space is limited.


Approved Provider Q & A - Learn more about becoming an APT Approved Provider or maintaining your provider status. Join us August 18, at 9:30 a.m. (PDT) – Completing the application, sponsoring events, contact vs non-contact, and more. Register by 12:00 p.m. (PDT) on August 17, 2020, call in instructions will be provided via email upon registration. Space is limited.

August Mining Report

The August Mining Report is now available! Enjoy play therapy literature from various disciplines and sources.

Thank you to the Mining Report Editor, Elizabeth Burgin and contributing committee members: Tisha Way Gaynor, Kenisha Gordon, Gail Rizzo, Stephanie Pratola, Yih-Jiun Shen, and Laura Tejada. Interested in joining the Mining Report Committee? Watch Play Today for a call for committee members.

Important Dates:

  • August 30, 2020: APT E-Learning Center Buy One Get One IJPT test promo ends. Code: AUGUSTBOGO
  • September 30, 2020: Deadline extended to submit IJPT manuscript for special issue (Play Therapy in Schools)
  • 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

The upcoming calendar is currently empty.

Click here to view past events and photos »

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are used for visitor analysis, others are essential to making our site function properly and improve the user experience. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Click Accept to consent and dismiss this message or Deny to leave this website. Read our Privacy Statement for more.