The Foundations of Play Therapy is a certificate program that offers 75 hours of approved/certified training (9 days face-to-face plus 7 hours equivalent on-line). The Green Stream is designed for those in post-secondary or graduate programs who wish to build on their current professional designations. To become Certified as a Play Therapist one of the requirements is to complete 150-200 hours of approved training. Foundations of Play Therapy prepares participants to move to the Red Stream, Advanced Theory and Techniques in Play Therapy.
You can stop training at the Green Stream level and receive a certificate to apply to your work with children in non-clinical settings such as school counseling services. You do not require a Master’s degree to complete the Foundations of Play Therapy. Students will have three months to complete the required written assignment.
The Foundations course is divided into five, two-day modules. Each module will include core topics related to play therapy and experiential learning. Participants will work in pairs and small groups and will have the opportunity to be involved in group consultation. Individual supervision is also available upon request, outside of course hours. The goal of this program is to provide an opportunity to learn about the history of play therapy, the role of the play therapist, core play therapy theories, the play therapy process, ethics, play-based observation and treatment planning. Participants will also be exposed to a variety of play therapy techniques. Participants will be able to participate in practice role-plays and use fully equipped play therapy rooms and video equipment. You will accumulate the equivalent of 4 hours of group supervision during this course. Individual supervision is available upon request (occurring outside of course hours).
To access program dates see the training calendar. Cost of program:$1845.00 plus GST ($461.25 deposit, for full details please refer to the application form.
Who Should Attend?
The Green Stream, Foundations of Play Therapy program will be of interest to those individuals who are currently working with children in a number of capacities such as teachers, youth and child care counselors, social service workers, early childhood educators, health care providers, therapists or other professionals who wish to enhance their skills when working with children. Those enrolled in post-secondary institutions or graduate programs may use this program as a way to build on their current professional designations. This course prepares participants who wish to continue on to the Red Stream, Advanced Theory and Techniques in Play Therapy. These two programs (Green Stream and Red Stream) provide all of the required core content (i.e., history, theory, techniques/methods, and applications to special populations) for Certification as a Play Therapist.
Entrance Requirements: Attending or completed post-secondary education.
Assigned Text Books:
1. Play Therapy Dimensions Model: A Decision-Making Guide for Therapists (Yasenik & Gardner, 2004) NOTE: This book is provided free to all course participants.
2. The art of the relationship (2nd edition) (Gary Landreth, 2002).
Location of Training: Customized training is held at your agency site or at the Rocky Mountain Play Therapy Institute in Calgary, Alberta Canada.
• Introduction to program
• Defining Play Therapy and the play therapy continuum
• Therapeutic powers of play
• Play modalities
• History of play therapy
• Self-assessment and experiential exercises
There is a mastery test to complete at the end of the on-line section to demonstrate understanding or core concepts. Participants will also answer specific questions based on the assigned text books: Play Therapy Dimensions Model (Yasenik & Gardner) & The art of the relationship (Gary Landreth).
• Models of play therapy (video examples)
• Play Therapy Dimensions Model (an integrative model for conceptualizing directive and non-directive work)
• Exploring yourself as a play therapist (experiential exercise)
• Developing a relationship with the play room (experiential exercise)
• Personal play history
• Intro to Play Modality: Clay
• Understanding symbols and metaphors
• Non-directive approaches to play therapy
• The continuum of directiveness
• Building reflection and tracking skills (experiential exercises)
• Intro to play modality: Expressive Art
• Play and development
• Stages of symbolic play
• Play objects and play spaces
• Role of the Play Therapist
• Intro to Play Modality: Dance & Movement
• Typical and adjusted play versus maladjusted play
• Identifying traumatized children
• The psychobiology of trauma
• Intro to Play Modality: Music
• Examining child moderating factors
• Working with caregivers
• Case conceptualization process
• Considerations for play interventions
• Intro to Play Modality: Therapeutic Storytelling
• Themes in children's play
• The use of self in play therapy (tracking form)
• Stages of play therapy
• Intro to Play Modality: Sandplay
• Creative beginnings, middles and endings in play therapy
• Specialized play therapy case notes
• Decision-making guidelines using the PTDM model
• Intro to Play Modality: Sandplay
• Assessment domains
• Assessment approaches: structured vs. unstructured observations
• Summarizing and communicating assessment results
• Report writing guidelines
• Experiential activities
• Managing issues of confidentiality when working with child clients
• Examining “who is the client”
• Applicable codes of ethics
• Case examples for decision-making
• Group exercise: ethical dilemmas
• Intro to Play Modality: Puppets
To provide participants with an introduction to play therapy history, theory, and techniques. skills in play therapy to provide emotional support to individual children with slight to moderate problems. Upon successful completion of the five modules each participant will have gained:
- A sound understanding of the powers of play and the principles underlying play therapy
- An ability to identify at least six different models of play therapy
- An understanding of the continuum of directive-nondirectiveness in play therapy
- An awareness of the importance child development and play development in play therapy
- An understanding of the play therapy process and the role of the play therapist
- An ability to structure a play-based assessment to guide treatment planning
- Knowledge of the importance of ethical issues for play therapists
- Exposure to 8 different play modalities
- Awareness of use of self in play therapy
- An ability to identify traumatic versus non-traumatic play
- Understanding the importance of relationship development
• Experiential activities
• Video presentations
• Case examples
• Role plays and video taping
• Session seminars
• Reading assignments
• Written exercises
• Small group activities
Group supervision and consultation
Participants will receive a Certificate in Foundations of Play Therapy from RMPTI. The certificate confirms the completion of 75 hours of specialized play therapy training approved by APT and CACPT. A record of 4 hours of supervision is also provided. All training hours count toward certification as Play Therapist.
The Certificate is awarded on the basis of:
• Satisfactory completion of a written assignment
• Continuous evaluation by instructor of course work contributions and core competencies using a structured feedback form
• Evidence of regular play therapy supervision (1 hour for every 6 sessions)
• Satisfactory attendance (no whole module may be missed unless there are extenuating circumstances. A makeup assignment may be requested depending on time missed)
Participants will be able to follow a basic case conceptualization process and identify ways to work with children with mild to moderate difficulties. They may use specific play techniques in their own settings and identify children who are in need of play therapy and make appropriate referrals to a Certified Play Therapist.
For an overview of the Green Stream program click here.
(pdf file - you will need Adobe Reader)
* For more information on certification/standards as a Play Therapist go to
Canadian Association for Child and Play Therapy - CACPT
The Association for Play Therapy - APT.
For an abbreviated description of standards, and how our programs can help you achieve certification click here