Child Centered Play Therapy (CCPT; Landreth, 1991; 2002; 2012) is a developmentally responsive, play-based mental health intervention for young children ages 3 to 10 who are experiencing social, emotional, behavioral and relational disorders. CCPT utilizes play, the natural language of children, and therapeutic relationship to provide a safe, consistent therapeutic environment in which a child can experience full acceptance, empathy, and understanding from the counselor and process inner experiences and feelings through play and symbols. In CCPT, a child’s experience within the counseling relationship is the factor that is most healing and meaningful in creating lasting, positive change. The goal of CCPT is to unleash the child’s potential to move toward integration and self-enhancing ways of being. Child outcomes following CCPT include decreased symptomatic behaviors and improvement in overall functioning.
The CCPT model is designed to be administered by mental health professionals who have received extensive training and supervision in the CCPT protocol (Ray, 2011). Although CCPT is typically delivered in 16-20 weekly, 45 minute individual play sessions, the CCPT model has been successfully implemented in the school setting following a 16 session format delivered twice weekly for 30 minutes over 8 weeks. The CCPT treatment model can be provided in the context of longer treatment requirements and may be used in a small group format. The CCPT treatment manual (Ray, 2011) contains the CCPT protocol and CCPT skills checklist for use by CCPT-trained therapists and supervisors.
Child Centered Play Therapy (Landreth, 1991; 20002; 2012) grew out of non-directive play therapy originally developed in the 1950s by Virginia Axline. In the 1980s and 1990s, Garry Landreth was instrumental in developing skills and training methods, including textbook and CCPT skill checklist to ensure treatment fidelity that helped to operationalize the intervention; thus promoting the advent of research examining the effect of this model. Ray (2011) formalized the CCPT protocol and checklist in a published treatment manual and Advanced Play Therapy textbook. Since the late 1990s, there have been 17 controlled outcome studies following procedures of Landreth (1991; 2002; 2012) and/or Ray (2011) published in the English language and in peer-reviewed journals. Of those 17 studies, 13 were RCT, while the remaining four quasi-experimental studies were unable to randomize participants due to conducting research in real-world settings. Regarding fidelity, 10 studies cited the use of the Play Therapy Skills Checklist (PTSC) for monitoring adherence to CCPT treatment. Three meta-analyses (Bratton, et al., 2005; Lin & Bratton, 2015; Ray et al., 2015) have provided further support of the beneficial effects of CCPT, reporting significant effect sizes for the efficacy of CCPT for a range of presenting issues and diverse populations.
For more detailed information about CCPT outcome research studies, please visit Evidence Based Child Therapy, an online searchable database for play therapy research.
1. Educational Requirement - minimum 30 hours
2. Completion of CCPT Exam
3. Supervised Experience
4. Cumulative Self-Evaluation Paper
5. Licensed mental health professional at time of certification
6. Application Fee of $95
7. Completed Application
In order to maintain certification status, CCPT certification must be renewed every 5 years. Requirements for renewal include 18 continuing education hours specific to CCPT.
1. Hold Level 1 CCPT Certification or meet requirements for Level 1
2. Hold mental health professional license as a supervisor (or determined qualified as CCPT supervisor)
3. Educational Requirement - minimum 40 hours
4. Supervised Experience
Additional requirements will include educational and exam components. Details will be provided at a later date.
Welcome to CCPT Certification!
We are so happy that you have chosen to promote the quality facilitation of mental health intervention for children by becoming recognized as a provider of evidence-based CCPT. On this site, we will take you through the steps to become certified in CCPT. Remember that requirements for CCPT certification can be found here.
Please pursue the following steps:
Step 2: Send an email to Kirsten.Kram@unt.edu with the subject title “Initiate CCPT Certification”. In this email, please provide your name and contact information. See the options below for other information that should be included in your email.
Step 3: The Center for Play Therapy will provide a completed Education/Training Review Form to you within 3 weeks. This form will stipulate what level of education is still needed, if any, to complete the educational requirements for CCPT certification.
Step 4: Complete all education required for certification as stipulated on the Education/Training Review Form.
Step 6: Secure a CCPT certified supervisor. A list of supervisors is available here.
Step 7: Following CCPT Level 101 training, engage in CCPT sessions. Please refer to Supervision Experience Requirements for details related to supervision of direct hours.
Step 8: Upon completion of all education and supervised requirements, pay $95 application fee.
Step 10: The Center for Play Therapy will review all materials and submit a decision regarding certification within 4 weeks.
Step 11: Receive confirmation of CCPT Certification and become a CCPT-Certified Practitioner!
Basic & Advanced Combined Training: UNT's Introduction to Child Centered Play Therapy Course (COUN 5700) & Advanced Skills in Play Therapy Course (COUN 5650)
***To determine which training is right for you, see the CCPT certification requirements guide.
CCPT certification is designed specifically for licensed mental health professionals within the US. CPT offers an international CCPT certification for mental health professionals working in other countries. The Center for Play Therapy ensures that internationally certified CCPT therapists are knowledgeable and experienced in CCPT; however, we do not ensure that international therapists are licensed in their field of study. The designation for international certification in play therapy is Certified I-CCPT.