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Play Therapy Training Program

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Effective July 1, 2022, the required 150 hours of play therapy instruction may be earned via contact training (in-person only), non-contact training, and live webinars. Of the 150 hours of play therapy instruction, a minimum of 75 hours must be met by contact/in-person training. A maximum of 75 hours may be met via live webinars, and of those 75 hours, no more than 40 hours may be met via non-contact trainings. The definition of the above terms can be found at https://www.a4pt.org

Upcoming workshops


Games & Activities for Play Therapy (16 contact hours)

August 16-17, 2024
Friday and Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Eastern (with a one-hour lunch break each day)
Registration Fee: $249
Where: ChildSavers, Richmond, VA

Enroll now >

Principles of Play Therapy (16 contact hours)

October 18-19, 2024
Friday and Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Eastern (with a one-hour lunch break each day)
Registration Fee: $249
Where: ChildSavers, Richmond, VA

Enroll now >

The Hero's Journey: Using Sand Tray and Narrative Techniques in Play Therapy

 (16 contact hours)

December 13-14, 2024
Friday and Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Eastern (with a one-hour lunch break each day)
Registration Fee: $249
Where: ChildSavers, Richmond, VA

Enroll now >

*Live Webinars held after July 1, 2022 AND offered under special conditions are eligible for contact hours, as specified by The Association for Play Therapy (APT).

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

VCU Continuing and Professional Education 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. Digital badging is available for eligible workshops.

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:

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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.

You'll note that each VCU Play Therapy workshop is held over two days for a total of 16 continuing education hours, with the exception of synchronous live webinars for contact hours, which are held on four days over a two-week period.

We offer the following play therapy training workshops:

Workshop Facilitators

Our workshop facilitators are experienced and passionate about play therapy. Please see each individual workshop for specific information about your instructor.

Meet our workshop facilitators>

What to Expect

Synchronous Format Sessions

Our Zoom sessions offer live, synchronous instruction that occurs in real time, where the presenter and attendees are visible to one another and communicate with each other virtually from their separate locations.

Our in person sessions will be held at Childsavers in Richmond, Virginia, and offer an opportunity to interact with the instructor and other participants. There will be a one-hour break per day. Please bring your own lunch for the sessions. 

Attendance and Participation

You are required to have your camera on during live webinar sessions to allow for verified engagement. VCU expects that students limit outside distractions, remain in one location for the duration of the session (no driving/errands), and actively participate in group discussions and activities. Participants must attend the full workshop to receive APT continuing education hours from VCU.

Participants must attend the full workshop to receive APT continuing education hours from VCU and to earn the certificate of completion and the digital badge. Any individuals who test positive for COVID 19 or presumed positive, i.e. have an identifiable COVID-19 contact and are symptomatic, are not permitted to attend the in-person training and should reach out to ssschuetz@vcu.edu to discuss a transfer to another play therapy offering. Individuals, who have been exposed to a COVID-positive individual, are able to attend the in-person trainings after they have quarantined for five days and have been fever free for 24 hours.

Creative Materials

For live webinars, our instructor will send you a list of specific creative materials to have on-hand during the workshop. All VCU play therapy workshops require basic art materials including paper, markers, colored pencils, poster board, scissors, decorative items, and glue.

For in person workshops, ChildSavers staff will provide creative materials for experiential work during the workshops. See workshop registration page notes for additional details specific to each workshop.

Required Assessments

VCU conducts a two-part assessment in each workshop. To earn educational hours toward an Association for Play Therapy (APT) credential, you must pass both assessments. These include a scored rubric that demonstrates your mastery of workshop objectives via small and large group activities and discussion, and a multiple choice test. Only participants who pass the activity rubric will be eligible to take the test.

Digital badge visual for completing the Principles of Play Therapy workshopDigital Badging

You will earn a digital badge for each eligible workshop that you successfully complete. Learn more about digital badging.

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 VCU Continuing and Professional Education at ocpe@vcu.edu or (804) 828-1322.


We recommend that therapists and school counselors take the Principles of Play Therapy or Principles of School-Based Play Therapy workshop through VCU first, as the foundation for all the other play therapy training. After completing a foundational 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.

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Synchronous Format Sessions

Synchronous live webinar sessions are held in real-time, online via the Zoom platform. VCU Continuing and Professional Education will provide you with a link where you can connect through your PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android device.

In person workshops are held at Childsavers, located at 200 North 22nd Street,
Richmond, Virginia 23223.


Additional scheduling and custom training options are available for groups. Please contact Shelly Schuetz at ssschuetz@vcu.edu 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 ocpe@vcu.edu.

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. Should the training need to move to a teleconference platform, participants will be notified 48 hours prior to the training start date to adjust any travel plans.

Transfer Policy

Workshop registrations may be transferred to a different workshop or person if requested in writing via email at ocpe@vcu.edu by the cancellation deadline listed on the registration page.  The participant must meet all prerequisites or qualifications required by the program. Participants who are unable to attend their registered session due to a positive COVID-19 test or exposure, may transfer their registration to another Play Therapy session at no cost.


For registration questions, please contact ocpe@vcu.edu. For questions regarding the workshop content or eligibility, please contact Shelly Schuetz, program manager and school liaison at (804) 828-1322.

*Live webinars held after July 1, 2022 AND offered under special conditions are eligible for contact hours, as specified by The Association for Play Therapy (APT).

Want to find out more? Get in touch.