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Research & Practice

Evidence-Based Practice Statement: Play Therapy


The Play Therapy Evidence-Based Practice Statement (PTEBP) summarizes and reviews play therapy research published from 2000-2015. The purpose of PTEBP statement is to provide practitioners with an advocacy tool to share the positive and effective outcomes of play therapy in the new millennium.


The APT Research Committee, Chaired by Dee Ray, Ph.D., LPC-S, RPT-S, is committed to providing you with resources now and in the future that bring together the research behind play therapy!

Support APT Research Initiative with charitable, tax-exempt contribution.


Play Therapy Outcome Research Database

This Evidence-Based Child Therapy database aims to include all available play therapy intervention outcome research since 1995 to the present published or translated in English that meets the definition of play therapy established by the Association for Play Therapy (APT).

Note: Future plans include the addition of outcome research on play-based interventions that failed to meet the APT definition such as Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Incredible Years (IY), and Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP).

Database developed by: Dr. Sue Bratton, Eric Dafoe, Alyssa Swan, Kristie Opiola, Damian McClintock, & Gustavo Barcenas.



APT encourages play therapy research that demonstrates the value and effectiveness of play and play therapy, increases play therapy knowledge or improves play therapy techniques, and supports evidence-based play therapy practices.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) remains the leading force in evaluating and promoting mental health interventions based on "Quality of Research and Readiness for Dissemination" (SAMHSA, 2014). The National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP) provided on the SAMHSA website now includes:

Programs supporting the effectiveness of play-based interventions on the SAMSHA website include:


Play Therapy Best Practices

APT endorses play therapy best practices and offers a paper on touch to assist play therapy and child therapy practitioners, supervisors, and instructors.

APT Approved Providers, Registered Play TherapistsTM (RPT) and Registered Play Therapist-SupervisorsTM (RPT-S), and School Based-Registered Play TherapistsTM (SB-RPT) must attest that they are familiar with the Best Practices document annually.