New York Play Therapist CE Requirements

Therapy knows no age; mental and emotional support may be a necessity whether in children or full-grown adults. Play therapy is defined as a psychotherapy process in which a relationship between the child and the therapist is established through play to meet the mental health needs of the former. Playing is an important part of any child’s life, often the medium through which they express their experiences, knowledge, and emotions. Play therapy helps the therapist understand and communicate with the child. The process helps to bring out suppressed or repressed emotions in the child which he or she may otherwise not be able to express, leading to psychosocial issues such as behavioral problems and disorders.   

 A common method of therapy in New York among kids in the age group of 3-12, play therapy may also some times be used with adults. At Core Wellness CEU, we believe that every child is unique and this uniqueness must be carefully nurtured, which is what play therapy in New York also honors. 

Play therapy is a common tool that’s used in many hospitals, schools, and mental health agencies, in addition to private therapists, in the following cases: 


  • To solve behavioral disorders such as ADHD, autism, academic and social development, learning disabilities, conduct disorders, anxiety, physical disabilities, and depression.
  • To solve behavioral issues caused by factors such as crisis, parents’ divorce, the trauma of any kind, abandonment by parents, grief due to loss and anger management.


Research has proven that play therapy in New York is an efficient and effective approach to mental health, regardless of the age and gender of the child, as well as the type of problem he or she is facing. Additionally, play therapy is most effective when a person close to the client, such as a teacher, parent, caretaker, or family member is involved in the process of therapy. Through play therapy, children can pick up new social skills, identify and express their emotions healthily, improve their problem-solving capacity, become more responsible and accountable, cultivate better interpersonal skills, gain confidence through self-efficacy and learn to respect and empathize. 

At Core Wellness CEU, we believe that play therapists in New York need to be extremely qualified, experienced and know just what your child needs. Play therapists need to be knowledgeable about attachment issues, child development and how best to use the medium of play to meet the needs of their clients’ mental health, which is something that continuing education can provide. Before we discuss the New York play therapist CE requirements, let’s take a look at what is expected of licensees.

As per the New York Association of Play Therapists, practitioners have to meet the following requirements: 

  • Hold an active and unconditional license (individual state), valid at the time of applying, that enables the holder to provide independent clinical mental health services in either psychology, psychiatry, social work, counseling or marriage, and family therapy.
  • Hold a master’s (or higher) degree in clinical mental health with a specialization in any of the areas mentioned in the previous point, along with successful coursework in psychotherapy principles, ethic, child development, theories of personality, and child and adolescent psychopathology.
  • A requirement of at least 150 documented hours of instruction in play therapy, completed in a period of 2-7 years from higher education institutes or APT Approved Providers, further divided among Play Therapy History, Play Therapy Seminal or Historically Significant Theories, Play Therapy Skills and Methods, Play Therapy Special Topics and the applicant’s choice, as follows: 
    • Phase 1 — Instruction (35-55 hours)
    • Phase 2 — Instruction (55-70 hours)
    • Phase 3 — Instruction (45-60 hours)
  • The requirement of at least 350 documented hours or direct client contact (supervised by a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor or RPT-S), further divided as follows: 
    • Phase 1 — Experience (50-75 hours)
    • Phase 2 — Experience (100-150 hours)
    • Phase 3 — Experience (100-175 hours)
  • The required documentation of at least 35 hours of play therapy supervision and 5 observation sessions (either individual, group, individual in group, contact or in-person supervision, or non-contact or distance supervision), divided as follows: 
    • Phase 1 — Supervision (5-10 hours) with the supervisor observing at least 1 session
    • Phase 2 — Supervision (10-15 hours) with the supervisor observing at least 2 sessions 
    • Phase 3 — Supervision (10-20 hours) with the supervisor observing at least 2 sessions 


Applicants who complete this syllabus can choose to complete additional hours of supervision to become Registered Play Therapist-Supervisors (RPT-S), procure the necessary additional licensing requirements to become School Based-Registered Play Therapists (SB-RPT), or remain Registered Play Therapists (RPT), which can also be counted for continuing education. 

Licensees are also expected to meet the New York play therapist CE requirements; they can also complete continuing education hours through unlimited training at various events such as live recorded webinars, self-study courses and workshops organized by the Association for Play Therapy, or attend events (no longer than 5 consecutive days and no more than 25 hours), again organized by the Association for Play Therapy.

There are several institutes in New York that offer graduate programs, internships, workshops, seminars and courses related to play therapy for licensees to meet the New York play therapist CE requirements. The Association of Play Therapy also has a complete list of active RPT-S for play therapy students needing the same.

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