School of Applied Health SciencesGraduate Certificate in Play Therapy

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Why Choose Our Program?

Jacksonville University's Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is now offering a Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy. This 12-month graduate certificate program is designed to provide mental health professionals with advanced training in play therapy philosophies, theories, and interventions, as well as how healthy play interactions shape a child's developing brain and relationships in order to apply that knowledge in their work with children and families.

Play is the natural way that children express their emotions and work through problems. This form of therapy allows children to express those thoughts and feelings in a developmentally appropriate way. Play therapy includes a variety of treatment methods that apply the therapeutic benefits of play to help children learn to communicate feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and relate to others. It can be a powerful tool to help children and families connect and process traumatic experiences.

The Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy is a four-course hybrid format focused on experiential learning opportunities, small class sizes, and strong ties to child-serving organizations and agencies in Northeast Florida.

Current students in the areas of mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, social work, and school counseling are encouraged to apply and eligible for the Registered Play Therapy credential through the Association for Play Therapy.

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More About The Certificate Program

The Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy can be completed within one year of starting the program. Classes are available in Jacksonville (Arlington) and Palm Coast, FL. 

Students are required to complete the following courses:

  • Introduction to Play Therapy
  • Special Topics and Group Play Therapy
  • Filial and Family Play Therapy
  • Culturally Responsive Play Therapy

JU's Play Therapy Certificate does not certify individuals in play therapy; however, it can be listed as part of one’s professional credentials and is designed to meet the educational requirements of the registered play therapist credential. The Association for Play Therapy requires 150 hours of training and specific graduate credentials to be able to become a Registered Play Therapist or School-Based Registered Play Therapist. For more information on the requirements to become a Registered Play Therapist and/or Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, please visit the Association for Play Therapy's website.


Download the Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy flyer

Three children playing on a jungle gym

Admissions & Eligibility RequirementsHow To Apply

  • Completed JU Application
  • Master's Degree in health-related field from a regionally-accredited university
    • Admission to this program can also be achieved if applicant is a current graduate student in the fields of counseling, marriage and family therapy, social work, school counseling, or psychology and in good academic standing
  • Unofficial transcripts from all degrees conferred
  • 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae 
  • Potential additional requests
    • TOEFL Score if applicant's language of instruction is not English

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