Courses Graduate Psychology Certificate

Graduate Certificate

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Five Required Courses



25 quarter credits

Play Therapy 1: The History and Systems of Play Therapy

In this course, learners examine the historical origins of and rationale for integrating play into the practice of therapy and discuss the core systems of and approaches to play therapy. Learners also review the contributions of play to child development and well being throughout the lifespan. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY5246 *
Play Therapy 2: Theories and Practices of Play Therapy

Learners analyze the major theories and techniques that inform the applications of play in therapy using an interdisciplinary approach and emphasizing related research. Learners investigate key topics such as play materials, developmental and multicultural considerations, ethical and legal issues, and play therapy for all ages and populations. Prerequisite(s): PSY5244. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits

Choose three from the following courses:

PSY5247 *
Child-Centered Play Therapy

In this course, learners examine the historical and theoretical foundations of child-centered play therapy and the ways in which this approach differs from other forms of play therapy. Learners practice and evaluate basic child-centered skills and analyze child-centered play therapy in real-world applications. Prerequisite(s): PSY5244, PSY5246.

5 quarter credits
PSY5248 *
Filial Play Therapy

Learners in this course study the history, theoretical foundations, research, and practical applications of filial play therapy. In particular, learners study and prepare to practice filial therapy in one-on-one situations with caregivers. Learners also evaluate filial therapy from a family systems perspective, exploring outcomes research that emphasizes the ways in which parents who are attuned to and understand their children are more easily able to engage relationally with them in ways that promote the well being of the family as a whole. Prerequisite(s): PSY5244, PSY5246, PSY5247.

5 quarter credits
PSY5250 *
Play Therapy Supervision Practices

This course introduces learners to the theories, models, principles, and practice of play therapy supervision. Learners develop ethical and practical skills about standard practices in supervision and consider their own theoretical orientation in the supervision of play therapy. Learners examine creative, experiential, and playful supervision practices through supervisory sessions with other learners. Learners also develop mentoring and facilitating skills in class and apply them during practice sessions. Prerequisite(s): PSY5244, PSY5246.

5 quarter credits
PSY5252 *
Applications of Play Therapy

Learners in this course study the theoretical foundations, research, and practical applications of play therapy in various environments, including schools, groups, and families. Learners also examine play therapy with a range of populations and explore associated adaptations of the playroom, therapeutic play therapy models, and play therapy outcomes research. Prerequisite(s): PSY5244, PSY5246.

5 quarter credits






25 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Applicants for the Association for Play Therapy’s Registered Play Therapist credential must hold a recognized professional license and have specific work experience. Additionally, applicants must complete supervised clinical hours outside of Capella’s program. Capella University cannot guarantee eligibility for licensure, endorsement, other professional credential, or salary advancement. State licensing regulations and professional standards vary; learners are responsible for understanding and complying with the requirements of the state in which they intend to work. For more information, see the professional licensure disclosures for this program on Capella’s website

What can I expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

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