CRITERIA FOR CERTIFICATION
The Canadian Association for Play Therapy (CAPT) serves as the professional association for the field of play therapy in Canada. CAPT was established to ensure qualified clinicians in the practice of play therapy. The following are the certification categories and general requirements updated as of November 21, 2020 to accommodate adaptations for COVID 19 (more detailed information on requirements is available by calling CAPT at (905 686 3372.)
Certified Play Therapist (CPT) (Revised with
COVID 19 Adaptations November 21, 2020)
- Maintain status as a member-in-good standing with CAPT and comply with the CAPT Code of Ethics.
- Maintain status as a certified, licensed, or registered member-in-good standing with a license to independently provide clinical mental health services in a Canadian professional association or governing body.
- CPT members are required to provide proof of valid liability insurance through a professional insurance provider annually.
- CPT members are required produce a recent (within 6 six months of Certification enrollment), Police Certified Criminal Record with Vulnerable Sector check, which is updated in the event an offence occurs on your record.
A minimum of a Masters Degree in an appropriate mental health discipline from an accredited institution or full membership in a regulatory professional body that governs psychotherapists.
Must have completed under-graduate or graduate level courses in the following areas:
- General Concepts and Principles of Child Development: biological, psychological, and social development
- Child and Adolescent Behavioural Disorders/Psychopathology: abnormal child psychology
- Theories of Personality: understanding of personality development
- Legal, ethical, and professional issues: applicable Provincial and National legal practices, including family law/child welfare/mental health legislation and her/his specific discipline’s ethical code and standards of practice.
Must have completed one (1) graduate-level course in General Concepts and Principles of Psychotherapy: individual, family, and group psychotherapy.
3: Foundation Play Therapy Training
a. Must have completed at least 180 hours of graduate-level course work specific to the area of child psychotherapy/play therapy from the CAPT Certificate Program, from CAPT Approved Providers, from an institute of higher learning, or from other training programs or workshops, that will include the following areas:
- Play Therapy Theory and Approaches (60 hours)
- Play Therapy Techniques (60 hours)
- Play Therapy Special Populations (60 hours)
b. If all or part of Foundation Play Therapy Training occurred outside of the CAPT Certificate Program or CAPT Approved Providers, the applicant may challenge some or all the Foundation Play Therapy Training hours by submitting this request to the Education Committee.
c. The challenge process includes an evaluation of the educational experience with suggestions for the applicant to ensure that these educational experiences are equivalent to those in the approved and accredited CAPT Foundation Training. Details on this process are located on the Prior Learning Assessment and Exemption (Form C) on the CAPT Certificate Program page on the CAPT website.
d. All of the 180 hours (100%) of the Play Therapy Foundation Training can be completed via an online platform. The training can be completed at various times and in any respective order as the applicant’s choosing. The applicant must complete all of the training with the same training provider. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that each of the 3 categories of Play Therapy Foundation Training are met with the respective required hours: Theory and Approaches (60 Hours), Play Therapy Techniques (60 hours) and Play Therapy Special Population (60 hours)
4: Clinical Practice Hours (minimum of 2000 clinical experience hours)
a. Must complete 2000 direct on-site hours of supervised general clinical experience, not more than 1000 hours of which may be accrued prior to the completion of a Master’s Degree. Due to Covid-19, these hours of clinical work may be completed via an online platform that is HIPPA, PIPEDA and/or PHIPA compliant. This must be approved by the applicant’s place of employment or governing body. CAPT will be accepting hours of clinical practice using this format only during the Covid-19 pandemic time frame and until the pandemic is declared over and/or full services of face-to-face are approved provincially.
b. Must have completed at least 500 hours supervised experience specific to child psychotherapy/play therapy. These hours must be completed while under the supervision of a formal CAPT supervisor (CPT-S). These hours may be included within the supervised general clinical experience hours. They can only be accrued after the applicant has graduated with a Master Degree
5: Clinical Supervision relating to child psychotherapy/play therapy
a. Must participate in a minimum of 50 hours of clinical supervision specific to the practice of child psychotherapy/play therapy that is conducted by a certified CAPT supervisor (CPT-S).
b. A minimum of 10 hours of the 50 hours need to be direct, one to one supervision by a CPT-S. That is the supervisee’s clinical work is directly observed by the supervisor, either by one-way mirror, videotape, or co-counselling. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, CAPT is aware that recording of sessions completed via an online platform may not be possible, this limitation may further impact a CPT-S ability to view the supervisee’s work. CAPT will support applicants with their registration process by accepting that the applicant provide their CPT-S supervisor with an in-depth review of 10 sessions or a re-enactment of 10 sessions done through a secure on-line platform. The review would include all conversations, responses, and use of toys, the themes and therapeutic Play techniques used. The supervisor will record proof of these sessions and will submit a document stating the above being met and completed.
c. Up to 20 hours of the 50 hours can be group supervision run by a CPT-S with the group being no larger than 6 people.
d. A minimum of 10 hours of the 50 hours must be from the same CPT-S
e. Written verification of these hours is required recorded on the Clinical Supervision Tracking Form. These hours can only be accrued after the applicant has graduated with a Masters Degree.
a. Must submit two (2) references from supervisors who have witnessed the applicant’s clinical practice using child psychotherapy/play therapy. At least one (1) reference must be from a formal CAPT supervisor (CPT-S) who has supervised this candidate for a minimum of 10 hours. In addition to these two letters of reference, all hours of clinical practice and supervision must be verified in writing using the Clinical Supervision Tracking Form.
b. Must submit two (2) references from colleagues who are familiar with the applicant’s clinical practice. At least one (1) reference must relate specifically to the applicant’s practice in child psychotherapy/play therapy.
c. All reference letters must be sent to the applicant via mail or email (please print the email correspondence and include as part of application). Once all references have been received by the applicant, the applicant submits these to the certification committee along with the completed certification application package. For confidentiality purposes, please do not send references to the head office.
7: Interview and Submission of Video Recordings:
a. The Certification Committee, or any CPT-S providing more than ten (10) hours of supervision to an applicant, may request the applicant to submit unedited video recordings of her/his therapeutic work (2 therapy sessions).
b. The Certification Committee may request that the applicant participate in an interview with the Certification Committee in support of her/his certification application.
8: Submission of Essay
Must submit a 750 to 1000-word essay detailing how your theoretical orientation informs your approach in a specific case example.
9: Requirements Once Certified
CPTs are required to obtain 12 hours of continuing education every year in order to maintain certification with CAPT. This continuing education must be related to the theory and practice of child psychotherapy/play therapy.
Certified Play Therapist Supervisor (CPT-S) (Revised March 14, 2020)
a. Maintain status as a member-in-good standing with CAPT for three consecutive years leading up to your application and comply with the CAPT Code of Ethics
b. Maintain status as a certified, licensed, or registered member-in-good standing with a license to independently provide clinical mental health services in a Canadian professional association or governing body
c. Provide proof of liability insurance through a professional insurance provider annually.
d. Provide a recent (within six months) Police Certified Criminal Record with Vulnerable
e. Sector check, which must be updated in the event an offence occurs on your record.
- Must hold a graduate degree in a mental health field focused on the development of psychotherapy skills.
3: Clinical Practice Hours:
a. Must have a minimum of 2 years clinical supervisory experience; and
b. Must have a minimum of 200 hours of direct clinical supervisory experience.
4: Clinical Supervision:
a. Must obtain a minimum of ten (10) hours of direct supervision on the clinical supervisory process from a CPT-S
b. This supervision may include a maximum of five (5) hours of group supervision (2 to 6 people in a group).
c. Supervisor(s) must observe at least two (2) supervision sessions specific to child psychotherapy/play therapy.
d. Written verification of these hours must be provided by the supervisor or supervisors.
5. Supervisor Training
Must obtain a minimum of fourteen (14) hours of “supervisor training” provided by a CAPT approved training program or in a graduate course from a Canadian university. The scope of this training can relate to the general practice of providing effective/ethical clinical supervision and does not need to pertain specifically to child psychotherapy/play therapy.
a. Must submit two (2) references from supervisors who have witnessed the applicant’s clinical practice with child psychotherapy/play therapy.
i. At least one (1) reference must be from a CPT-S.
ii. All hours of clinical practice and supervision will be verified in writing using the Supervision Tracking Form.
b. Must submit three (3) references from individuals the applicant has supervised in a clinical capacity.
c. At least two (2) of these references must relate specifically to supervision in the area of child psychotherapy/play therapy.
7: Interview and Submission of Video Recordings:
a. The Certification Committee may request the applicant be required to submit unedited video recordings of her/his therapeutic work (2 therapy sessions).
b. The Certification Committee may request that the applicant participate in an interview with the Certification Committee in support her/his certification application.
8: Requirements once certified
a. Certified Play Therapist Supervisors are required to obtain 12 hours of continuing education per year. This continuing education must be in the theory and practice of child/play therapy.
b. Certified Play Therapist Supervisors are required to participate in six hours of Supervision specific Continuing Education training every three years in order to maintain their CPT-S status. This supervisor training does not need to be limited to Play Therapy Specific Supervisor Training.
c. Certified Play Therapy Supervisors who choose to present Foundation Training or Continuing Education Credits will follow the guidelines provided by CAPT.