Western Kentucky University

Counseling and Student Affairs

How Does WKU Meet the Application Criteria for Becoming a Registered Play Therapist?

The following criteria are required from the Association for Play Therapy (APT). Western Kentucky University meets the specific educational requirements described by APT. Official application and documentation forms for Registered Play Therapist may be found at www.a4pt.org. For additional information please feel free to contact Dr. Imelda N. Bratton at Imelda.Bratton@wku.edu

  • License: RPT/S applicants must hold current or active mental health licenses (or, if unavailable or not applicable, certifications) for independent clinical practice.
  • Students who complete the school counseling, marriage and family, clinical mental health, social work, psychology, school psychology, and clinical psychology master’s level program meet this requirement upon graduation of their perspective program & licensure or certification.

Necessary Documentation: Current Mental Health Certification or Licensure in: School Counseling, LPCA, LPCC, LMFTA, LMFT, MSW, Psy.D., Psychologist, or Psychiatrist.

  • Education: RPT/S applicants must have 1) earned a Master’s or higher mental health degree from an institution of higher education and 2) completed APT-designated core graduate coursework, i.e. ethics, child development, theories of personality, principles of psychotherapy, and child/adolescent psychopathology.
  • Students who successfully complete the following courses, or equivalent, will meet this requirement:
    • CNS 558 Theories of Counseling
    • CNS 557 Human & Family Development
    • CNS 568 Counseling Children and Adolescents

Necessary Documentation: Official Transcript

  • Play Therapy Training: RPT/S applicants must have completed at least 150 hours of play therapy specific instruction from an institution of higher education or APT–approved providers of continuing education.
  • Applicants may complete the following course combinations to apply towards the majority of this requirement. Additional hours may be obtained attending play therapy conferences or workshops.
    • CNS 569 Introduction to Play Therapy – 3 credit/50 hours
    • CNS 669 Advanced Play Therapy – 3 credit/50 hours
    • CNS 669 Expressive Arts in Counseling – 3 credit/50 hours
    • CNS 669 Sandtray Techniques in Counseling – 3 credit/50 hours

Necessary Documentation: Official Transcript, Conference or Workshop Certificates

  • General Clinical Experience: RPT/S applicants must have completed at least two (2) years and 2,000 hours of supervised clinical experience, not more than 1,000 hours of which may be pre-Master’s degree.
  • Clinical counseling hours obtained during practicum and internship may be applied towards this requirement. Completion of the remaining 2,000 hours may be obtained at the applicant’s place of employment over two years. Clinical counseling hours applied towards LPC licensure may be also applied towards the RPT certification.

Necessary Documentation: Signed Verification Form

  • Supervised Play Therapy Experience: RPT/S applicants must have completed at least 500 hours of supervised play therapy experience that included at least 50 hours of play therapy supervision. RPT-S applicants must have completed an additional 500 hours of play therapy experience which must be verified, but need not be supervised, by a licensed mental health professional.
  • The 500 hours of supervised play therapy experience may be included in the 4000 hours of clinical counseling. A general ratio of clinical supervision to clinical play therapy counseling is 1:10. Applicants who are supervised by a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor will only require 35 hours of clinical supervision as opposed to the complete 50 hours.

Necessary Documentation: Signed Verification Form

Please contact Dr. Imelda N. Bratton at Imelda.Bratton@wku.edu for additional information.

 Last Modified 11/1/13