Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy: Overview

The Play Therapy Institute at SHSU

Approved Play Therapy Training Center

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Sam Houston State University’s (SHSU) Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy (housed in the Department of Counselor Education within the College of Education) provides specialized academic training in therapeutic play modalities for master’s level, degree-seeking students as well as post-master’s practitioners seeking professional training. Students will be impressed with our state-of-the-art training facilities, located on our main campus, as it is outfitted with 2- play rooms, 3-sandtray rooms, and videotaping capabilities. Our off campus training facility located at the Woodlands campus has one play room as well as portable sandtray and art carts. 

Admission is open to those with a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or those currently enrolled in or possessing a degree in counseling or a related field (i.e., counseling, psychology, social work or marriage and family). Students may submit an application through graduate studies as either degree seeking or non-degree seeking. Students must indicate at the time of application that they wish to pursue the Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy. Current students of counselor education, who did not select the certificate at the time of admission, may request an Add On Certificate by contacting Dr. Garza-Chaves. email: ygarza@shsu.edu

In order for your Certificate to show up on your transcript, once you have a earned a grade for each course, you (the student) must complete and submit the Graduate Certificate Completion Form; you will receive a physical graduate certificate issued by graduate studies to show employers.

The 12 credit hour Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy is designed for students training in counseling and related fields as well as for post-master’s professionals in counseling and related fields who want to specialize and/or work towards their professional registration through the national organization (Association for Play Therapy, APT). While the Play Therapy Institute at SHSU is an APT Approved Provider #07-211; APT alone holds the right to accept or deny any academic training or continuing education training at its discretion.

SHSU has been one of a small number of approved centers in the country meeting APT’s rigorous criteria for approved training sites. Our program is located in the beautiful piney woods north of Houston, TX. Students value the individualized attention they receive from our “just the right size program.” Our professors are nationally known contributors in their field and yet, the program is just the right size so that our students don’t feel drowned out by the large class sizes as in other programs. You will find our faculty to be compassionate and supportive.

Curriculum

Course work in the Graduate Certificate Program (3 credit hours each):                                                         

COUN 5399 Play Therapy Basics (offered summer and fall only). This course is designed to enhance/increase the counselor’s understanding of the child’s world as perceived by the child and the relationship between the child’s world and his/her behavior. The focus of this course is a non-directive approach to play therapy and the utilization of play media to facilitate the child’s self-exploration, self-expression, self-understanding, and personal growth. This course has been offered at both locations. The course meets face-to-face. 

COUN 6331 Advanced Play Therapy (offered spring only). This course is designed to provide play therapists with extensive practical and research experience related to issues involving the advanced play therapy techniques including group play, expressive arts and components of filial therapy. Case analysis, theoretical application, advanced techniques, and current research issues and trends will be investigated. The curricula for this course include (1) knowledge of the literature of the discipline and (2) ongoing student engagement in research related to professional practice. This course has been offered at both locations. The course meets face-to-face. 

COUN 5398 Sandtray (offered every semester). This course is designed to provide students with extensive practical and research experience related to Humanistic sandtray as a therapeutic intervention for children, adolescents, adults, and families. This course uses both didactic and experiential methods to enhance student’s knowledge, skills and competence in using sandtray as a therapeutic modality with clients. The curricula for this course include (1) knowledge of the literature of the discipline and (2) ongoing student engagement in practice related to professional practice. This course has been offered at both locations. The course meets face-to-face.   

COUN 5391 Child and Adolescent Counseling (offered every semester). Students develop approaches for putting counseling theories into practice with children and adolescents who are experiencing difficulties in their developmental, personal, and social growth.

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Students observe behind the observation window while a peer does a practice session with a volunteer.                                                             

Our goal within this course curriculum is to offer opportunities for skill building, quality supervisory feedback, modeling, and role-play in a supportive environment resulting in well-rounded, versatile, and compassionate therapists. Consumers working on their certificate may use transcript evidence of their completion of the coursework to apply for their specialization, Registration in Play Therapy post licensing. Our certificate will help the students meet the requirement of play therapy specific training required prior to applying for their Professional Registration. 

Location

Courses may be offered in either Huntsville, Texas - Main Campus or The Woodlands, Texas – The Woodlands Center located on College Park Drive.

Registered Play Therapists on Faculty

(Drs. Garza-Chaves, Sullivan, and Akay-Sullivan)

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For more information contact:

Yvonne Garza-Chaves

Associate Professor/Play Therapy Coordinator

ygarza@shsu.edu

936-294-3106

Begin your journey into the world of play today!

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