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Counseling program receives play therapy designation

Posted by University News Service

Dec. 13, 2011

The Professional Counseling Program at Texas State University San Marcos has earned designation as an Approved Center of Play Therapy Education by the Association for Play Therapy (APT), according to its CEO, Bill Burns, CAE.

As an Approved Center of Play Therapy Education (Center) the Professional Counseling Program will offer play therapy graduate and supervisor training courses in addition to generating publications and presentations to benefit students, faculty, and practitioners. These programs may be applied to satisfy state licensing requirements and to earn the Registered Play Therapist (RPT) and Supervisor (RPT-S) credentials conferred by APT.

The Center will be launched in January by its director, Mary Morrison Bennett, PhD, LPC-S, NCC, RPT-S, an assistant professor in the Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education, and School Psychology (CLAS) Department of Texas State University-San Marcos.

 “Because the rapidly increasing use of play therapy is also boosting demand for more university play therapy programs, APT applauds College of Education Dean Stan Carpenter and Department Chair Linda Homeyer for approving the establishment of the Center,” says Burns. “We are confident that, under the leadership of Dr. Bennett, it will significantly advance our growing field and serve those who counsel clients, particularly children, in schools, public agencies, private practices, and other venues.” 

 APT, a national professional society, estimates that play therapy is routinely utilized by thousands of licensed psychologists, social workers, counselors, and marriage and family therapists within and outside of the United States. Noting membership has doubled during the last decade, Burns reports that nearly 16% of accredited universities now offer some combination of play therapy graduate instruction and supervised play therapy experiences.