Getting your hands on a university degree or college diploma is a step towards getting your career on track but does the learning just stop at this point? While you may be tempted to believe that you have achieved the job of your dream and don’t need to educate yourself further, this is as far from the truth as possible. The process of learning is a continuous one, where no one is ever in a position where he or she can safely say that they know enough about their field to never have to touch another educational tool.
If you are a play therapist practicing in the state of Maryland, you will be required to update your credentials regularly and continuing education or CE is an important part of that journey.
What Is Continuing Education?
Continuing education or CE is a method of formal instruction that has been devised to target adults who are looking to update their learning in the form of formal courses or develop new skills that may help them in the process of doing their job most effectively. There are many people who also turn to CE when they are looking for a change of jobs and want to equip themselves better for the journey ahead, or simply to learn a new skill! Whatever the reason may be, there is a wide range of options that you may turn to when you look at CE, many of which can be completed while you stay at home through home study materials, online workshops and webinars offered by platforms like Core Wellness.
Before delving into greater details about the CE requirements that play therapists in Maryland need to fulfill to practice legally, it is important to note what a CEU or continuing education unit refers to. This is primarily 60 minutes of learning that counts towards you meeting your license renewal or credential requirements.
Continuing Education Requirements for Maryland Play Therapists
Before getting to the CE requirements for play therapists in the state of Maryland, it is important to note that play therapists are tasked with helping children deal with complicated life experiences as well as complex psychological issues through a mode that they understand well—play. This is not an easy task and requires some sort of quality control, which is set in motion by the concerned authorities across the globe and, in this case, in the United States.
The Association for Play Therapy, the professional society set up in 1982, currently has three different credentials that it offers to licensed mental health professionals and school psychologists and counselors across the country. The main aim is to equip these professionals to promote play therapy as a method of dealing with mental health issues. The three credentials are mentioned below:
- Registered Play Therapist (RPT)
- Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor (RPT-S)
- School Based-Registered Play Therapist (SB-RPT)
All the credentials mentioned above have a particular set of requirements that need to be fulfilled in order for the individual to qualify to be a licensed practitioner in the field. The following section will delve into greater details about what are the CEU requirements for play therapists when they are renewing their credentials.
The renewal criteria for School Based-Registered Play Therapists include an annual renewal of their individual state license or certification from the State Department of Education. This allows them to carry on their practice as school psychologists or counselors, depending on what the case may be. In addition to this, they need to complete a CE cycle that includes 18 CEUs of instruction that is specifically meant for play therapy. The material may be sourced from higher education institutions as well as providers that have been approved by APT. The 18 hours may be completed over a three-year period.
If you opt for the Registered Play Therapist or Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor credential, you will be required to renew your credentials every year, after you receive a reminder to do the same.
Play therapists have to meet a more relaxed requirement of CE when compared to a lot of counselors and therapists in the state but that doesn’t mean that it is any less hard work. The number of CEUs that have to be completed may be lesser—and over a longer period of time—but getting the credentials in the first place is a long-drawn process that requires a lot of fieldwork and time with the clients under the right supervision.
Play therapists handle children that may have undergone a degree of stress or trauma in the past, which makes it a highly sensitive occupation. In order to do it effectively, constantly updating your skills is highly recommended. This is made easier with resources offered by Core Wellness, which you can gain access to even as you sit at home!