First established and offered in 1992, the Association for Play Therapy (APT) now offers three credentials by which licensed mental health professionals and school counselors/psychologists might demonstrate and promote their specialized play therapy knowledge and training.
- Registered Play Therapist (RPT)
- Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor (RPT-S)
- School Based-Registered Play Therapist (SB-RPT)
Registrants are required to annually renew their credential. In addition to annual renewal, registrants submit play therapy continuing education every three years. Please visit the Credential Renewal section of our website for more information. For questions concerning the Credentialing Program, contact APT 559-298-3400.
Alexandra Jarrell, Continuing Education & Credentialing Coordinator, email@example.com
Claudia Vega, PhD, Clinical Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW Registered Play Therapist Standards & Application
Registered Play Therapists (RPT) and Registered Play Therapists-Supervisors (RPT-S) are state licensed clinical mental health practitioners who have satisfied the criteria described in the RPT Standards.
Effective January 1, 2020, individuals interested in applying for the Registered Play Therapist (RPT) credential must meet the criteria as listed in the Credentialing Standards document (formerly known as the RPT & RPT-S Guide).
School Based-Registered Play Therapists (SB-RPT) are school counselors or school psychologists who hold a license from their state's department of education, and who have satisfied the criteria described in the SB-RPT Guide.
Why Become Credentialed?
“It communicates excellence – that my training and experience meet objective standards. It reflects my professional identity – it uniquely represents, in a way no general mental health license or credential could;what I consider to be the most representative of who I am as a mental health professional. It gives me a niche – it reflects my specialty and interest areas. It builds community – the credential provides a way for play therapists to build bridges with those whose professional work mirrors their own…and as helping professionals, we need that sense of community. It supports play therapy – maintaining my credential helps to support play therapy and its ongoing development and dissemination.“
-Nick Cornett, PhD, LPC, LMFT, Registered Play Therapist
Assistant Professor, Graduate Counseling Program, John Brown University, Arkansas
“For me having the credential demonstrates that I am highly trained and competent in my field. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am a play therapist not just a therapist who uses play therapy techniques. I maintain my credential for the professional benefits. I will continue to maintain my credentials and encourage others to do so as well by obtaining my RPT-S in the near future. “
-Alexis Sanghera, MSW, LCSW, Registered Play Therapist
Outpatient Therapist, Methodist Family Health, Arkansas
-Julie Merriman, PhD, LPC-S, NCC, RPT-S, CSC
Department Head and Assistant Professor Department of Psychology and Counseling, Tarleton State University, Texas
Changes to the Supervised Play Therapy Experience & Supervision Credentialing Requirement
Effective January 1, 2020, hours earned toward the supervised play therapy experience and supervision requirements for the RPT and RPT-S applications must be under the supervision of an RPT-S only. Any supervised play therapy experience and supervision hours accrued prior to January 1, 2020 will be accepted provided they fall under the current guidelines. Please refer to the Guide for further instruction. If you were conferred the RPT or RPT-S credential prior to January 1, 2020, this change will NOT affect you. APT dedicated a special section of its magazine to the 2020 changes and it can be viewed here.
Changes to the Definition of Contact & Non-Contact Hours for Continuing Education
Effective January 1, 2020, contact hours are defined as "in-person" instruction only. Live webinars, recorded webinars, book studies, etc. are defined as non-contact hours and are limited to 50 hours towards the APT credentialing application. If you were conferred the RPT or RPT-S credential prior to January 1, 2020, this change will NOT affect you. APT dedicated a special section of its magazine to the 2020 changes and it can be viewed here.
Credentialing Changes for Canadian Registrants
This notification addresses recent changes that have occurred with Canadian RPT and RPT-S registrants. The changes affect a small number of our Canadian registrants. Since APT has no way of knowing if its vast number of members, registrants, Approved Providers, and Approved Centers are affiliated in some way with Canadian supervisees, training attendees, and/or fellow Canadian play therapists interested in the RPT/S credentials, this notice has been made available to all on our website.
RPT and RPT-S Acronym Conflict
In some states the acronym RPT is protected by Physical Therapists, and therefore restricts the public display of such. To see if your state is included, please review this list.
Changes to RPT-S Renewal: Supervisor Training Hours
In October 2015, the APT Registration & CE committee revisited the RPT-S renewal standards for supervisor training and agreed that the increase from two to six (6) hours that was effective April 1, 2014 was excessive. Therefore, we have amended this criterion to three (3) hours of supervisor training in each three year CE cycle.
If you were approved BEFORE 1/1/2014 – you will complete three (3) hours of supervisor training in your next 36 month CE cycle and thereafter.
If you were approved AFTER 12/31/2013 – you will complete six (6) hours of supervisor training in the first and second CE cycles over the next six years. Then complete three (3) hours of supervisor training each 36-month CE cycle thereafter.
Disclaimer: The Association for Play Therapy (APT) confers the designation of Registered Play Therapist (RPT) and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S) to individuals who have provided APT with documentation that they have a) a mental health graduate or higher degree; b) been licensed by the applicable state licensing or certification authority; c) completed a minimum number of hours of general clinical experience and supervision; d) completed a minimum number of hours of play therapy training and supervision; and e) completed the requisite continuing education hours. The designation as a RPT or RPT-S does not certify, imply, or affirm the knowledge or competency of such individual but only confirms that the education and training requirements identified herein have been satisfied.
The Association for Play Therapy (APT) confers the designation of School Based-Registered Play Therapist (SB-RPT) to individuals who have provided APT with documentation that they have a) a mental health graduate or higher degree; b) been licensed or certified as a school counselor or school psychologist by the applicable state licensing or certification authority; c) completed a minimum number of hours of general clinical experience and supervision; d) completed a minimum number of hours of play therapy training and supervision; and e) completed the requisite continuing education hours. The designation as a SB-RPT does not certify, imply, or affirm the knowledge or competency of such individual but only confirms that the education and training requirements identified herein have been satisfied.