Frequently Asked Questions



What is Play Therapy?

Play Therapy refers to a variety of treatment methods which make use of the natural benefits of play. Play is fun, creative, and critical to healthy development. During play, children interact with toys and other people allowing them to engage in new experiences and rehearse new skills.

The basic premise of Play Therapy is that play is the child’s preferred and natural medium of expression. Therefore, it is the most natural way for them to resolve emotional issues. Even children who are quite talkative are not usually developmentally able to fully express their feelings verbally nor to fully benefit from the talk therapy designed for adults. Play therapy allows children a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows them to express their true thoughts and feelings in ways best suited to their developmental level. Play Therapy has been used successfully to address concerns such as low self-esteem, adjustments surrounding family changes (such as a new sibling, a family move, or a divorce), unresolved fear, anger, loss, abuse, neglect, illness, fire, or other trauma.

Play provides a natural intervention to help kids deal with life.

What is a Play Therapist?

A play therapist is a trained mental health professional who uses play with a child in such a way that the child can systematically address and resolve his/her problems. The Association for Play Therapy is an organization that credentials professionals who have advanced training and experience in play therapy. The credentials available through the Association for Play Therapy include certification as a Registered Play Therapist as well as a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor.

Who can be a Registered Play Therapist?

A Registered Play Therapist must:

  • have a Masters Degree or higher mental health degree from an institution of higher education
  • hold current or active mental health licenses or certifications for clinical practice
  • have completed 150 hours of coursework specific to play therapy
  • have at least two years and 2,000 hours of clinical experience with at least 1,000 hours of clinical experience earned after completing a Masters Degree
  • have a minimum of 500 hours of play therapy experience
  • have documented receipt of both general and play therapy specific supervision
  • receive continuing education in play therapy in order to keep the credential of Registered Play Therapist

A Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor must have an additional 3 years and 3,000 hours of clinical experience and must be at least 5 years post-Masters Mental Health Degree.

Is Play Therapy an accepted, effective treatment?

Play Therapy is not a new or experimental therapy approach. Among therapists who specialize in therapy for children, it has been used and researched for over sixty years. It is widely accepted as a standard treatment.

Research on the effectiveness of play therapy with different types of issues can be found and downloaded from the website of the Association for Play Therapy:

If I come in or bring my child in, how many sessions will be needed?

The number of sessions needed will be dependent on the issues, concerns, and interests involved. We will work together to develop a plan after our first, or first few meetings.

Does insurance pay for sessions?

Counseling services can often be covered by health insurance plans. Payment options are also available.