Yellow Stream: Certificate in Treatment of Trauma using Play Therapy Skills and Techniques

yellow stream

Special Interest & Advanced Practitioner

This certificate program can be taken as a stand-alone specialized training for those wishing to explore this play intervention/modality.  Due to the focus on trauma and play-based techniques, previous training in play therapy is strongly encouraged.

The Certificate in Play-based Treatment of Trauma program confirms the completion of 26.25 hours (21 direct contact hours PLUS a pre-course on-line component with a Mastery Test) of specialized play therapy training approved by APT and CAPT. Students will have three months to complete the required written case assignment.

This training may only be used for continuing education purposes only and cannot be used for certification purposes towards CPT or RPT credentials. APT and CAPT alone hold the right to accept or deny any continuing education training at their discretion.

Program Goals

The primary goal of this program is to deepen participants’ understanding of a play-based approach to the assessment and treatment of trauma. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in experiential play and expressive activities useful in the processing of situational, sexual, physical and emotional trauma. Participants will be exposed to various theories and conceptualization tools related to the treatment of trauma. Directive and non-directive approaches will be explored.


For full details please refer to the application form. To access program dates see the training calendar.

Cancellation policy

Who Should Attend?

Like other Yellow Stream programs, this program is designed for those practitioners who wish to add to their play therapy training resume. All hours accumulated in the yellow stream count towards play therapy certification/registration.

Entrance Requirements

Completed or attending post-graduate level degree in Counseling, Psychology or Clinical Social Work or Completion of the Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills (Green Stream).

Required Readings

Johnson, K. (1989). Trauma in the lives of children. Alameda, CA: Hunter House Inc.

Program Outline

On-Line Program:

  • Introduction to the trauma spectrum
  • The response to crisis pathways
  • Children’s reactions to trauma
  • Theoretical underpinnings – attachment theory
  • The directiveness continuum
  • Personal exercises
  • Experiential exercises with case studies
  • Treatment goals

Day 1:

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Acute Stress & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder reactions among children and adolescents: the Stress Response Profile
  • Child development, trauma and memory
  • Traumagenic states
  • Case Conceptualization tool
  • Identifying re-enactments and trauma fragments
  • Dissociation
  • Assessment & treatment goals
  • Experiential exercises
  • Video examples and slides

Day 2:

  • Working with sexually abused children & adolescent: developmental considerations
  • Personal exercise
  • Trauma-focused play therapy
  • Case example
  • Practical/case conceptualization activity using play modalities of sandplay, dollhouse, puppets& expressive art
  • Decision-making and tracking significant issues
  • Recording observations, themes and process

Day 3:

  • Working with physically and/or emotionally abused children and adolescent
  • Issues for consideration
  • Experiential exercises using play and expressive techniques: storytelling, bibliotherapy, art, mask-making, movement
  • Case examples

Learning Objectives

To provide an overview of special issues related to the treatment of trauma.

Upon successful completion of the course each participant will have gained:

  • An introduction to trauma and efficacy of treatment
  • An opportunity to work with a number of play-based approaches as related to the treatment of trauma
  • A deepened understanding of how to intervene with traumatized children and adolescents
  • An understanding of the special considerations when working with the spectrum of trauma
  • Ways to provide feedback to parents and third parties
  • An understanding of when to be directive or non-directive


  • Experiential activities
  • Videos & case examples
  • Reading assignments
  • Written case conceptualization assignment


Awards Participants will receive a Certificate in Play-Based Treatment of Trauma from Rocky Mountain Play Therapy Institute. This certificate confirms the completion of he completion of 21 hours of specialized play therapy training approved by APT and CAPT. All training hours count toward certification or registration as a play therapist.

The certificate will be awarded on the basis of:

  • Satisfactory attendance (no whole module may be missed unless there are extenuating circumstances. A makeup assignment may be requested depending on time missed).
  • Satisfactory completion of a written case conceptualization.