Students playing a card game in a play therapy training workshop

Play Therapy Training Program

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Upcoming courses

Play Therapy Utilizing Sand Tray and Narrative Techniques

November 16-18, 2018
Friday, 4-9 p.m.
Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Registration Fee: $350
Where: ChildSavers at 200 N 22nd St, Richmond, VA 23223
Free on-site parking

Enroll now for November 16>

Healing Trauma and Loss Through Play Therapy

November 30-December 2, 2018
Friday, 4-9 p.m.
Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Registration Fee: $350
Where: CTC @ Hull, Chesterfield Co.

Enroll now for November 30>

Complete listing>

If you would like to pay for the entire certificate program at once, 
contact us for assistance at:


“It opens a whole new world. It opens a whole new direction--and that’s where the healing truly happens.”

Mia A., Clinician/Therapist--LPC Resident

Mia Anderson

The Power of Play

Explore and learn how to apply the therapeutic power of play to communicate with, and treat clients.

The VCU Office of Continuing and Professional Education (OCPE) is an approved continuing education provider (APT Approved Provider 15-397) by the Association for Play Therapy, Inc.



All VCU play therapy workshops meet the play therapy training requirements for the Registered Play Therapist (RPT), Registered Play Therapist—Supervisor (RPT-S), and School-Based Registered Play Therapist (SB-RPT) credentials. Our workshops meet all guidelines established by the Association for Play Therapy, Inc. in the areas of Play Therapy History, Play Therapy Theories, Play Therapy Techniques and Methods, and Play Therapy Applications.

The full 150 hours of required play therapy-specific instruction can be taken at VCU.

Already have your RPT, RPT-S or SB-RPT credential? You can take the 18 hours of play therapy specific instruction with VCU to satisfy the play therapy training renewal requirements.

See the Association for Play Therapy credentialing guides for details on the education, training, experience, and supervision required for your credential application or renewal:

Play Therapy Workshops 

We offer the following play therapy training workshops:

Additional workshops, 3-6 hours in length, are coming soon. Please sign up for the play therapy email interest list to keep up-to-date on the latest offerings.

Workshop Facilitators

All workshop facilitators are Registered Play Therapist-Supervisors (RPT-S) with substantive relevant experience in the field.

Tracy Whitaker, LCSW, RPT-S

Tracy Whitaker is a founder of the VCU Play Therapy program and serves as the lead instructor. Previously she served as an assistant professor at VCU Health System Children’s Hospital Virginia Treatment Center for Children. She has over 17 years of clinical experience with children, adolescents, adults, and families. Tracy holds a Master of Social Work degree from Radford University and Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from Guilford College.

Jan Williamson, LCSW, RPT-S

Jan Williamson is the Clinical Supervisor and a mental health clinician providing trauma-informed mental health services for ChildSavers in Richmond. Previously she worked for the Child Advocacy Center and has also been an adjunct professor for the VCU School of Social Work. She has a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology and a Masters in Clinical Social Work. First licensed as a family therapist, she has over 40 years of experience in the mental health field working with families, adults and children and also has worked internationally with refugee children and families. As a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, she is on the board of the Virginia Association for Play Therapy and also sits on the Board of the Virginia Association for Infant Mental Health. Two of Jan's areas of expertise include work with sand trays and in Animal Assisted Play Therapy.  

What to Expect

Play Therapy workshops are in a hands-on, experiential format. Workshops include practical experience, didactics, discussions, videos, activities/exercises, practice/demonstrations of skills, and role plays/observations.

All creative materials will be provided and are included in your registration fee.

Please bring a notebook and a pen. We recommend investing in a 1" or 2" 3-ring binder with 25-50 sheet protectors. This will be useful for organizing/storing handouts, activity instructions, and your own artwork for future examples.

Bring a refillable water bottle, packed lunch and snacks or enjoy meals at one of the nearby eating establishments. Snacks and drinks are available from vending machines.

Dress is casual, comfortable.

Who Should Attend

VCU play therapy workshops are for individuals who are employed and/or pursuing education in the behavioral health or school social work field. This would include licensed clinicians, school social workers, students working toward a master’s degree in social work, counseling, school social work or counseling, or psychology. We welcome resident clinicians who have graduated with a master’s degree and are in supervision toward licensure.

If you have questions about whether the workshops would be beneficial to you, please contact the VCU Office of Continuing and Professional Education at or (804) 828-1322.


We recommend that therapists take the VCU “Principles of Play Therapy” (25 hours) workshop first as the foundation for all the other play therapy training.  This foundation workshop is offered twice per year. After completing the “Principles of Play Therapy” workshop, you are welcome to take the other play therapy workshops in any order. Exceptions may be made if you have had previous workshops or classes that cover the principles of play therapy.


All workshops are held at the VCU Professional Learning Classroom at the Chesterfield Technical Center (CTC at Hull), 13900 Hull Street in Midlothian, Virginia (Richmond area). There is ample free parking available on site.


Additional scheduling and custom training options are available for groups. Please contact Jennifer Sisane at  or (804) 828-1322 for more information.

Cancellation and Refund Policies

You may cancel your registration up until one week prior to the start of the workshop and receive a full refund minus a $35 processing fee. Cancellations must be received via email at After this period, no refunds are given.

In the unlikely event that a workshop is cancelled or postponed due to insufficient enrollments or unforeseen circumstances, the university will fully refund registration fees, but cannot be held responsible for any other expenses, including change or cancellation charges to include but not limited to airlines, hotels, travel agencies, or other organizations.

Transfer Policy

Workshop registrations may be transferred to a different workshop or person if requested in writing via email at by the cancellation deadline on the registration page.  The participant must meet all prerequisites or qualifications required by the program.

Want to find out more? Get in touch.