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.

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

 Play TherapyTM Magazine

The March 2020 issue of Play TherapyTM Magazine is in the mail! This issue, Using Stories and Metaphors in Play Therapy, focuses on how metaphors may assist play therapists work with children in both directive and non directive ways, according to their theories of choice. Topics include cultural metaphors, puppets, magic, and bibliotherapy.

Eager to view the full issue? Click here for a digital copy.

Mailing Changes Coming March 1, 2020

Friendly reminder that effective March 1, 2020, APT correspondence will be mailed to the address you selected as your “Preferred Contact” on your APT member Profile. For steps on how to change your preferred contact address, click here. For additional questions, please email or call (559) 298-3400.

Credentialing Q & A

Have a question about the new credentialing requirements? APT invites you to participate in our first Credentialing Q & A Conference Call! The 30-minute call is scheduled to start promptly at 9:30am (PST) on March 11, 2020 and is limited to 25 callers. Register by March 10, 2020, 12:00pm (PST) to secure your spot. Call in instructions will be provided via email upon registration.

As a courtesy to other callers and due to time constraints, APT asks that your questions be clear and concise. For questions about a very individualized situation or that are specific in nature, you are encouraged to contact the APT Office at (559) 298-3400.

Important Dates:

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.