February 3, 2014

How To Become a Play Therapist


By Amy Flaherty, LPE-I, RPT - Guest Blogger

Ever wanted to be a play therapist but have gotten confused when trying to figure out just HOW?  You know being a play therapist will help your career but are not sure which path is best for your life, budget, and overall state of mind? Have you even talked to a play therapist about his or her path and left more confused about the process than when you started?

If any of these sound like you, this post will help.  Yes, being a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) is awesome for many reasons. You get the community of like-minded therapists through the Association for Play Therapy (APT) verification and validation that you do know what you are doing, and quality trainings.  HOWEVER, getting to the place of being a RPT is not always a straight line.  

The picture below will give you a good starting place to understand the different options and requirements of becoming a play therapist. Of course, not all variables are accounted for and more questions may arise on your journey.

Fortunately, APT is very open to all questions.  Visit the APT web site for more information.  Email or call them directly to find answers to specific queries. Of course, I am always open to answer any and all questions about play therapy, as is Pam Dyson.  
 
Celebrate National Play Therapy Week! Become a Play Therapist!




Amy Flaherty, LPE-I, RPT has been working with children in the therapeutic setting since 2005.  In addition to clinical work at her private practice, Amy conducts APT-approved trainings for therapists in the area of sandtray therapy, both at the introductory and advanced levels. 
To learn more about Amy's  work with play therapy and sandtray trainings, visit her Facebook Page and her website True Hope Counseling

24 comments:

  1. Terrific post! This will make it so easy to explain to my students and supervisees!

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    1. I was hoping that this would be the case. I plan to include it as a "how to" simple explanation in my trainings as well.

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  2. I'm so glad this info-graphic will be a helpful resource for you. So many of us are visual learners and this helpful guide makes understanding the RPT process so much easier.

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  3. I would like to know about the cost of starting and how much it cost overall to complete the program.

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  4. Good question! The cost would vary. If you attended a university as part of a play therapy certificate program your cost would be what they charge for tuition.

    Individual training workshops, like those offered through the St. Louis Center for Play Therapy Training vary as well. Our training fees range from $65 - $130 depending on the number of hours of each workshop.

    The process of becoming an RPT is not time limited. You can work on this quickly or over the span of several years. The time frame you choose will be dependent on the availability of training opportunities in your region and on your budget.

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  5. AMAZING inforgraphic You have made the info so clear! Thank you for sharing this.

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  6. I'm so glad you like it, Stephanie. Thanks for taking the time to tell us.

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  7. Stephanie,
    Glad it was useful. There may still be more questions as you go along with the process but hopefully you have a good idea now of how to get started!

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  8. Love your info graphic. Can you tell me who created it for you, it would be an amazing resource to have.

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  9. Kay,
    Glad you liked the infographic. After much searching, I ended up using a guy from the service PeoplePerHour . Its a great website. You can get logo design, website, all kinds of stuff from freelance people. Most are overseas. You can verify their work through feedback from other stuff each has done. I will be using them again. (My guy was from India; he was great)

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  10. Great explanation. Very informative. I'm tweeting it forward. Congrats, Amy! Bill Burns

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  11. Thanks so much Bill. The National Play Therapy Week was a great idea. I'm thrilled to be providing information for other potential "customers" (thanks to the leadership academy!)

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  12. I'm a visual learner and info-graphics are very appealing to me. The whole RPT process can be a bit overwhelming when you look at it on paper. This graphic makes it easier to understand. I'm so glad you put this together Amy.

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  13. Thank you very much for this information. It certainly breaks down the process in simpler terms. I am on the right track!!!

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  14. Thank You - Just hoping this can be done while working in a school setting full time. Have others had this kind of similar setting?
    Thanks Again

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  15. Yes, this can definitely be done while working in a school. I have several friends in my certificate program who worked at a school and completed it while working. They took off an hour early on Fridays and then attended class Friday evening and Saturday. It can be grueling at times but so worth it!

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  16. I have been interested in obtaining my certification for a while. I am an LPC in Tennessee. Right now I am running a part time private practice while staying home with my young children full time. I really want to get started on this but budget is limited. Any words of encouragement or recommendations?

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    1. The great thing about earning this credential is that it's not time limited. So in your case you can take your time and attend training seminars when you have the time and when it fits your budget. Connect with the APT state chapter in Tennessee and in neighboring states. You can find links to their web sites on the APT web site. Get on their email lists and you will stay informed about training and networking opportunities. Sometimes there are training events offered by chapters at little or no cost to members. Best wishes to you!

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    2. Words of encouragement- just get started! As Pam mentioned, there is no time-crunch so you can take the classes as you are able. APT has some online courses that may be feasible to take to get an idea of what interests you and you don't have to pay money to travel. Getting started is sometimes scary but oh so worth it. Every training you take you will be able to bring that much more to private practice. Which part of TN do you live?

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  17. Such a great infographic! I'll be sharing this on my social media.

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  18. Thank you very much for this information. It certainly breaks down the process in simpler terms. I am on the right track!!!

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  19. Outstanding! I will use it with my play therapy students too. Thanks so much!
    Montse Casado-Kehoe

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  20. Do you have to be a LPC as well? What area does your Master's degree need to be in? Mine is in Education. Thanks!

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  21. GG, you need to be a licensed mental health professional such as an LPC, LCSW, or Psychologist. And you need a masters in counseling or social work, etc., or whatever degree leads into becoming licensed in mental health.

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