Meet Our Founder and Past Directors

Founder and Director Emeritus

Garry L. Landreth, Ed.D., LPC, RPT-S, internationally known for his writings and work in promoting the development of child-centered play therapy, is a Regents Professor in the Department of Counseling and founder of the Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas.

Dr. Landreth is a frequent speaker at play therapy conferences around the world. His more than 150 journal articles, books, and videos include the recent 3rd edition of his award-winning book Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship, which has been translated into several languages. Dr. Landreth's other recent books are Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT): A 10-Session Filial Therapy Model and the accompanying Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) Treatment Manual. His CPRT Model received the Parent Education Best Practices Award.

Dr. Landreth is Director Emeritus of the Association for Play Therapy (APT) and received the APT Lifetime Achievement Award and the APT Research Award. He has received numerous professional honors:

• Meadows Honor Professor Award
• President's Outstanding Professor Award
• Toulouse Scholar Award
• Regents Distinguished Professor Award
• American Association for Counseling and Development Humanitarian and Caring Person Award
• Virginia Axline Distinguished Professional Award
• Shelton Excellence in Teaching Award
• Texas Association for Play Therapy Distinguished Contribution Award
• University of North Texas President's Award
• Association for Specialists in Group Work Research Award
• Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Counseling Vision and Innovation Award

Past Director


Sue Bratton, Ph.D., LPC-S, RPT-S was the Director of the UNT Center for Play Therapy from 2003 – 2017. Dr. Bratton was a Professor at the University of North Texas with over 20 years of experience as a university professor, researcher, and clinician. Dr. Bratton is a nationally and internationally known speaker and author with more than 60 publications in the area of child counseling, play therapy, trauma, expressive arts, and Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT). She has been an invited speaker in South Africa, Uganda, England, Ireland, Denmark, Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Canada, and across the U.S. Her most recent books are Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT): A 10-Session Filial Therapy ModelChild Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) Treatment Manual, Child-Centered Play Therapy Research: The Evidence Base for Practitioners, and Integrative Play Therapy. Her research agenda focuses on effectiveness studies on school-based play therapy and CPRT. Dr. Bratton is a Past President of the Association for Play Therapy, recipient of the 2007 Outstanding Research Award for Association for Play Therapy, the 2011 Chi Sigma Iota Outstanding Practitioner Supervisor Award, the 2013 ACA Best Practice Award, the 2013 AHC Humanistic Educator/ Supervisor Award, the 2016 APT Lifetime Achievement Award, and several UNT teaching, research and service awards.