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Play Therapy Training Program

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Click above to learn more about play therapy workshops.

Upcoming courses

In light of the latest COVID-19 developments, weekend workshops scheduled before July 9 will be reviewed for possible rescheduling or moving to an online format. Check back for updates.

Group, Filial and Family Play Therapy: Systematic Intervention

May 16 & 17, 2020
Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Registration Fee: $249
Where: TBD

Enroll now for May 16>

Principles of Play Therapy

July 18 & 19, 2020
Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Registration Fee: $249
Where: CTC @ Hull Room B151, Chesterfield

Enroll now for July 18>

Games and Activities in Play Therapy

September 26 & 27, 2020 (New Dates)
Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Registration Fee: $249
Where: CTC @ Hull Room B151, Chesterfield

Enroll now for September 26>

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. Association for Play Therapy Approved Provider Logo

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.

Register now

Ask about our military discount. Coupon code must be applied at the time of registration.



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.

Already have your RPT, RPT-S or SB-RPT credential? Check back for future advanced workshops.

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

NEW Play Therapy Workshops 

In order to fully align with the new Association for Play Therapy (APT) credentialing requirements, we have refreshed all of our play therapy workshops. The APT now requires that candidates for Registered Play Therapist credentials complete phased continuing education, experience, and supervision. Please see the APT Credentialing Program Announcement for more information about the new APT requirements and rationale.

You'll note that each new VCU Play Therapy workshop is now held on Saturdays and Sundays for a total of 16 contact hours over a single weekend.

We offer the following APT-approved play therapy training workshops:

Register now


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 nearly two decades of clinical experience with children, adolescents, adults, and families.

Tracy has worked in acute inpatient, outpatient and school clinics, community based programs, and in integrated health clinics. She has found a way to introduce play therapy in her work in each of these unique settings. Her work has ranged from building programs with several play rooms to temporary space with a portable play therapy kit. She is available to speak with decision-makers, medical providers and educators throughout Virginia on the curative powers of play.

Tracy holds a Master of Social Work degree from Radford University and Bachelors 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 some or all of the following: 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.

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” 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.


Workshops are held either at the VCU Professional Learning Classroom at the Chesterfield Technical Center (CTC at Hull), 13900 Hull Street in Midlothian, Virginia (Richmond area) or at ChildSavers, 200 N 22nd Street, Richmond, Virginia (Richmond City). There is ample free parking available at both locations.


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 the cancellation deadline listed on the registration page and receive a full refund minus a $35 credit card processing fee. After that date, no refunds will be given. Cancellations must be received via email at

In the unlikely event that this 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 listed on the registration page.  The participant must meet all prerequisites or qualifications required by the program.

Meals, Snacks, and Beverages

You are encouraged to bring your own meals, snacks, and beverages to the workshop as they are not included in the registration fee. You are welcome to arrange and pay for group food orders with other participants.


For registration questions, please contact
For questions regarding the workshop content or eligibility, please contact Jennifer Sisane, program manager and school liaison at (804) 828-1322.

Want to find out more? Get in touch.