The Play Therapy Institute at UMSL (housed in the Counseling & Social Advocacy Center @ UMSL) is an Approved Center of Play Therapy Education through the Association for Play Therapy (APT). The Play Therapy Institute at UMSL encompasses a 2-course sequence that includes Introduction to Play Therapy (offered in the fall) and Advanced Play Therapy (offered in the spring). These two courses provide up to 135 hours of training needed to meet the University level educational requirements to become a Registered Play Therapist (RPT).

The Play Therapy Institute at UMSL also offers trainings. Attendance to our other trainings may offer the additional clock hours of training required for the Registered Play Therapist Credential. You should familiarize yourself with the standards and application for the RPT credential and be aware of the requirement for integrated training and supervised clinical experiences over a two year window. Reach out to the Association for Play Therapy for any questions about their credential.

The two graduate courses offered at UMSL each year are:

  • CNS ED 6610 – Introduction to Play Therapy (Fall Semester Course) Description: Provides students a foundation for understanding the history, theories and application of play therapy. Working with children in both agency and school settings will be discussed as well as how play therapy skills can be incorporated into the student’s developing theoretical framework. Can count towards the Registered Play Therapist Credential.
  • CNS ED 6620 – Advanced Play Therapy (Spring Semester Course) Description: Helps students further develop their play therapy skills, especially in the area of client-centered play therapy and filial therapy. Examines the use of play therapy with traumatized children and aggressive children in both school and agency settings. Group play therapy and sand tray therapy as additional modalities will also be explored. Ethical and legal issues as well as supervision in play therapy will be emphasized. Can count towards the Registered Play Therapist credential. Prerequisite: Introduction to Play Therapy or approval of instructor.

Each course provides 67.5 clock hours of training, for a total of 135 of the 150 clock hours of play therapy training.

Non-UMSL students are required to be admitted to the University of Missouri – St. Louis in order to participate in the courses. You may apply as a non-degree seeking student or non-degree Graduate Teacher Certification student. Please note that non-degree seeking students are NOT eligible to receive financial aid for coursework. If you’re wishing to access student loans, please apply as a Graduate non-degree, Graduate Teacher Certification student. Here is the link to apply for admissions.

For more information about the courses, contact us at playtherapy@umsl.edu or reach out to Dr. Emily Brown (brownemily@umsl.edu).