Play Therapy - Child playing with toy house

Temple University is a national center of excellence in teaching and research and a leader in professional education. As part of its mission it seeks to create new knowledge that improves the human condition and uplifts the human spirit. In an effort to fulfill this mission, Temple strives to continue to provide access to superior education for committed and capable students of all backgrounds and to enhance existing centers of academic excellence.

Temple University Harrisburg is part of Temple´s University College with a primary focus on coordinating effective instruction and services to students across regional campuses, centers and other locations, building capacity and supporting the special strengths of each location in response to regional needs, and creating the necessary flexibility to develop new initiatives that will expand the outreach of Temple University beyond its core Main and Health Sciences campuses. The mission of Temple University Harrisburg is to serve as the leading graduate study and professional development center in the areas of social work, public education, public policy and public service in central Pennsylvania.

TUH is offering graduate students and clinicians in Pennsylvania the opportunity to earn a 15 credit graduate certificate in Play Therapy. TUH recognizes the relevance and validity of play therapy and the need for a comprehensive, high quality academic program in this community. Research has concluded that Play Therapy is an effective intervention for a broad range of children´s and family´s difficulties (Reddy, Files-Hall & Schaefer, 2005). It is a structured, theoretically based approach to therapy that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children (Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002; O´Conner & Schaefer, 1983).

The courses within this program will prepare students and behavioral health professionals in the community to meet the 150 hours of play therapy-specific educational requirements to become a Registered Play Therapist which is a credential issued by the Association for Play Therapy, Inc. (APT). APT is the primary professional organization dedicated to the field of Play Therapy whose mission is to promote the value of play, play therapy and credentialed play therapists.

Program Completion within reasonable timeframe

Courses will be offered in cohort fashion. Determination of continued offering of certificate program will be based on receipt of sufficient applications to sustain program viability. Students entering the certificate program and following the proscribed course of study will be able to complete the program within two academic years. For those students who do not follow the proscribed course sequence, student services will advise regarding options.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must hold a minimum of a master´s degree from an accredited college or university in one of the following disciplines: social work, counseling, counselor education, psychology, school psychology, rehabilitation counseling, marriage and family therapy, or a closely related mental health graduate program.

Prospective students will submit through an application process to TUH staff evidence of scholarship and academic potential with graduate transcripts, three letters of reference (one from an academic source) and a goal statement (to include prior related experience and future plans upon completion of certificate program). Formal interviews may be held to determine candidates´ ability to understand and integrate diverse viewpoints as well as their capacity and motivation to counsel children and families.
Participants must agree to attend all sessions of the program and maintain a GPA of 3.0 to remain in the certificate program.

The educational objectives of this program are

  • Prepare students and behavioral health professionals for service and leadership in private and community settings, as well as private and public schools by developing professional competence and character in the specialized field of Play Therapy
  • Promote and support the healthy development and welfare of children and families through the process of Play Therapy
  • Provide high quality academic training, supervision and learning resources for students and mental health professionals in the community
  • Provide quality instruction and opportunity for research regarding current evidence based practice in play therapy
  • Provide opportunities for professional development and specialization to earn the 150 hours of specific Play Therapy instruction to secure the Registered Play Therapist credential

Temple University is an APT Approved Provider (#07-206)