The following are brief answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (or "FAQ's) about becoming a Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor when you practice in Florida.  For ALL the facts and information, contact APT at 559-298-3400 or visit them on the web at

What are the educational requirements for becoming a Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor?

You must have a graduate degree in a  mental health profession (e.g.  social work, psychology, counseling, marriage & family therapy) from an institute of higher education.  If you do not have a traditional degree (e.g.. PhD, MSW), APT's Registration Committee may need to review your degree for appropriateness. Your course work must have included Child Development, Theories of Personality, Principles of Psychotherapy, Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, and Ethics.  

Highly specialized degrees (e.g. Art, Music, Drama Therapy, or even Play Therapy) are generally NOT eligible to meet registration requirements, since they may not provide the strong clinical foundation required. If you're not sure if your master's degree will be accepted, get a copy of your transcripts and copies of your syllabi and call or email APT. The staff at APT is very knowledgeable and helpful, and always willing to assist its members.

Play Therapy Education: You also need 150 clock hours of instruction in play therapy. Within the 150 hours, APT recommends specific training to be earned primarily in these areas: History of Play Therapy; Theories; Techniques/Methods; and Applications/Special Populations.  If you have had a graduate level class in Play Therapy (or, as its often called in MSW programs, "Social Work Practices with Children"), APT can help you figure out how many clock hours the course will provide towards meeting the 150.

You may also use the educational hours you've acquired at play therapy workshops and conferences that were provided by an APT-approved continuing education provider. A maximum of 135 hours may be earned from the same instructor, and a maximum of 50 of the 150 clock hours may be earned via non-contact training (e.g. online or at-home course work).  Click here for more information on distance learning.

Many unlicensed clinicians don't bother to get continuing education certificates when they go to workshops, since they don't yet need to earn continuing education for a license.  Remember:  if you're working to become an RPT, you need to collect those certificates as proof of the play therapy educational hours you've earned.

If you want to become a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, you also need to document that you have completed 6 hours of training in the theory and practice of clinical supervision as well as demonstrate completion of the FL Qualified Supervisor requirements for supervisor training

APT provides a checklist of additional items necessary for inclusion with the Registration application for both Registered Play Therapist and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor on their website at

I'm licensed in Florida, and have been seeing children and adolescents in play therapy for six years.  I have all of the clinical requirements met, but I'm still working on getting those 150 clock hours of play therapy education.  It's hard when you can only afford to earn them at local half-day and one day workshops.   Is there a time limit as to when I have to get these hours completed?  

No, there is no time limit. It can be a challenge to get a good play therapy education if you don't have play therapy classes in your graduate program   APT understands that not everyone has the ability, time, or the money to take week-long seminars or master's level university coursework after they've finished their masters degree.

Do I have to register as an intern with APT, like we register as interns in Florida? 

No, you turn in all the paperwork once you meet the requirements.  

Do I need to be licensed to be a Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor? 

YES.  All Registered Play Therapists/Supervisors  must be licensed or certified by their primary state boards or their professional associations. This policy was adopted to better assure protection of and accountabilitiy to the general public and our clients. 

You can work on becoming a Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor as you work towards your license in Florida.
If you are license-eligible in the state of Florida, you've probably met most, if not all of the main coursework requirements for becoming an RPT. If you're seeing play therapy clients under clinical supervision, you can probably accumulate the required clinical experience and supervision at the same time you're accumulating them for your Florida license.

Registered Play Therapists/Supervisors have always been licensed or certified. 

What are the clinical experience requirements?

To become a Registered Play Therapist, you must be able to document that:
  • You   have   two   years   (2,000  clinical contact hours) of clinical experience, of which 500 hours were supervised play therapy experience.  One of the years (1,000 direct clinical hours) must be post-Masters.
  • You have obtained the required hours of both general and play therapy-specific clinical supervision.
  • You are licensed or certified by their primary state boards or their professional associations.

To become a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, you must be able to document that you are licensed and: 
  • Have an additional three (3) years and 3,000 hours of direct client contact post issuance of full, clinical licensure; and 
  • You have obtained the required hours of both general and play therapy-specific clinical supervision.

I provide play therapy to the children I work with, but my supervisor isn't a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor.  She's an LCSW with ten years of experience with children.  Does this mean that all of my supervision hours won't count? 

If you are supervised by a clinician who is designated as a qualified supervisor in Florida, and who can demonstrate that they are qualified to supervise you in play therapy, then your supervision hours will count but only until January 1, 2020. APT made some changes in 2018 stating that effective January 1, 2020, hours earned toward the supervised play therapy experience and supervision requirements for RPT and RPT-S applications must be under the supervision of an RPT-S only.  

For hours accrued prior to January 1, 2020, a minimum of 500 hours of direct client contact are required and may be under the supervision of an RPT-S or a non- RPT-S.

What do you mean by "the required hours of both general and play therapy-specific clinical supervision?"

There are a lot of specific requirements, and the number of hours of required play therapy-specific supervision varies, depending on your supervisor's qualifications.   

Prior to January 1, 2020:
  • The supervision hours required by an RPT-S is 35 hours with a maximum of 15 hours being in group supervision. 
  • The supervision hours required by a non RPT-S is 50 hours with a maximum of 20 hours being in group supervision. 

Beginning January 1, 2020:
  • Hours accrued towards this requirement must be under the supervision of an RPT-S only with a minimum of 350 hours of direct client contact and 35 of supervision. 

All applicants must receive at least 10 hours of supervision with one person, and be observed for at least one hour by any supervisor who provides 10 or more hours of supervision.

APT can provide you with all of the details, and you can obtain the forms and information at

Is my registration fee included in my membership fee? 

NO! That can be a source of confusion for Registered Play Therapists and Regsitered Play Therapist Supervisors who think that they've paid all their fees, when they've only paid one or the other. 
  • Your annual APT and Branch membership dues are paid on your anniversary month and entitle you to play therapy publications, discounts, and voting.  
  • Your annual Registered Play Therapist or Registered Play Therapist Supervisor registration fees must be paid annually 12 months after approval (and separately from your membership dues) in order to maintain your active Registered Play Therapist or Registered Play Therapist Supervisor designation. APT will notify you via email when your annual renewal is up.

Remember: for ALL the facts and information, contact APT at 559-298-3400 or visit them on the web. If you go to the website, you can download the forms, read all of the requirements, and email questions to APT.  

APT link: Guide and Application for becoming a Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor

As was stated previously, APT staff are there to assist you.  They are invariably patient, helpful, and responsive. 


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