Play Therapy Concentration


The Play Therapy Concentration is a new add-on additional “concentration” for the MA program, in addition to your current program in clinical mental health, school, or addiction. It consists of a coherent program of play therapy course work.

The Concentration consists of 4 courses (twelve credit hours).

Program Description

A curriculum has been established for a specialty in play therapy. Students must complete four courses, as follows:

Required courses:

  • Required courses (9 credits):

    Students are required to take:

    CSLG 7142

    Introduction to Play Therapy (fall, spring, summer 1)

    Students are required to select 2 of the 3 courses

    CSLG 7143*

    Child-Centered Relationship Training: An Approach for Training Parents/Caregivers/Teachers (spring)

    CSLG 7144

    Contemporary Theories of Play Therapy (hybrid) (fall)

    CSLG 7147*

    Multicultural Play Therapy (hybrid) (spring)

    *Pre-requisite: CSLG 7142

    Elective courses (3 credits):

    CSLG 7145

    Special Topics in Play Therapy: Conference (hybrid) (summer 1);

    Special Topics in Play Therapy: Expressive Arts (summer 2)

    CSLG _____

    The course in the required course selection list above that you did not choose may be your elective

    Other Elective Course determined in consultation with the Director of the Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy


CSLG 7142. Introduction to Play Therapy. (3) Enhancing the counseling relationship with children by using play media to establish facilitative relationships with children under the age of ten years. (Fall, Spring, Summer)

CSLG 7143. Filial Therapy: An Approach to Parent Training. (3) Cross-listed as CSLG 8143. This advanced level play therapy course focuses on concepts and skills for training parents/caretakers/teachers to be therapeutic agents in their children’s lives through using child centered play therapy skills in regularly scheduled structured play sessions with children. (Spring)

CSLG 7144. Contemporary Theories of Play Therapy. (3) An advanced exploration of fundamental issues involved in play therapy, this seminar course will focus on an in-depth study of various theoretical approaches, modalities, techniques, and applications of play therapy. Historical and theoretical foundations of play therapy are presented as are current issues in providing appropriate counseling services to children aged three to ten years old. (Fall)

CSLG 7145. Special Topics in Play Therapy. (3) Focuses on a variety of topics in play therapy such as conference, supervision of play therapy, and group play therapy. The course may offer alternative formats, such as weekend sessions and distance learning options. (Conference: Summer)

CSLG 7147. Multicultural and Social Justice Issues in Play Therapy (3) Prerequisite: CSLG 7142. An advanced exploration of multicultural and social justice advocacy in play therapy. The course will focus on self-awareness, knowledge, and skills relevant to providing culturally sensitive interventions to diverse children and their families. This hybrid class will include topics such as racial and ethnic background, cultural heritage, family structure, religious and spiritual beliefs, disciplinary styles, adverse childhood experiences, and trauma informed interventions. (Hybrid; Spring)

How do I “add on” the Concentration?

  • The Concentration must be completed during your MA/PhD program if you want to graduate with a Play Therapy Concentration.
  • To add the Play Therapy Concentration, you must submit an Academic Petition (
    • Select the “Add/Update Concentration” petition type.
    • Under the “Petition Description,” type this in: “Please add the Play Therapy Concentration to my MA program in the Department of Counseling.”
    • On the next screen, be sure to select that this petition is for the PLAY-CERT option and click continue.
  • The Academic Petition will be directed to Dr. Merlin-Knoblich, director of the MA program, for his recommendation.
  • Please make an appointment to meet with the director of the Play Therapy Concentration (Dr. Post) to create a Program of Study for you and to decide about your elective option

How to complete the Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy if I take only some of the courses for the program?

  • If students take some of the play therapy classes required for the Concentration/Graduate Certificate during their MA/PhD program, they may complete the Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy after they graduate with their MA/PhD.
  • Students would not add on the Play Therapy Concentration, in this case.
  • Students must apply for the Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy through the Graduate School. There is a fee for the application that is like applying to your original MA/PhD program.
  • Students must be co-enrolled in both the MA/PhD program and Graduate Certificate for at least one semester. This means that students must be accepted into the Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy at least one semester prior to the semester of their graduation (for example, if students graduate with the MA in the spring semester, they must be accepted into the Graduate Certificate by the prior fall semester. In this case, they would be “co-enrolled” in both programs during the spring semester).
  • Students may “share” (double count) as many courses as they wish between the MA/PhD and the Graduate Certificate (for example, if students took 2 of the play therapy classes for their MA program that are a part of the Graduate Certificate, these classes would count in both for both their MA and the Graduate Certificate. After graduation, students would complete only the two remaining classes for the Graduate Certificate.

Multicultural Play Therapy Conference

Information about our annual Multicultural Play Therapy Conference can be found at:

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Phyllis Post
Director, Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy