Purple Stream: Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills

Earn the qualification of Therapeutic Play Practitioner™ (TPP)

This certificate program offers specialized training in therapeutic play skills for those working with children and/or families. The program focuses on play-based strategies and techniques and introduces participants to a variety of play modalities and theories of play interventions based on principles of child development. This course is suited to those who do not intend on becoming a registered or certified play therapist. The program is designed for those who want to increase their knowledge and skills when working with children through acquiring this special designation.

The course is comprised of a total of 6 days of training - 42 hours contact, 5 hours online (47 hours total).  The practical skills attained during this course may apply to a wide range of developmental, educational, counselling and outreach settings. Not all settings have a designated play space in which to work with children and youth, therefore participants learn how to create a portable play kit. Participants will receive training on the use of play-based strategies from a wide range of modalities including: Expressive Art, Puppets, Miniatures, Therapeutic Games, Therapeutic Stories and Play Dough/Clay.

The last two days of the Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills focuses on practice and applications training. During this part of the course participants will focus on the use of sandtray, meeting with parents caregivers and teachers, group work using play-based strategies and case conceptualization using the Therapeutic Play Practitioner’s Conceptualization Form. The program addresses specific topics related to schools, counselling centres and outreach counselling. Overall, the program is based in theory and is highly experiential. The practical skills will meet the requirements for the Competencies Checklist for Therapeutic Play Practitioners.

Upon successful completion of the program (which includes full daily attendance for all 6 training days) as well as an assignment, participants will receive a Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills awarded by Rocky Mountain Play Therapy Institute. Upon receiving the final certificate participants will have met the requirement to be a Therapeutic Play Practitioner™ (TPP) and may add this designation to their current qualifications.

All participants will receive an extensive training manual.

Also view: 9-Hour Certificate: Foundations in Therapeutic Play Skills (for host organizations)

External Review of Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills Program

RMPTI is proud to share that The Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills (Purple Stream) is externally reviewed by Academic and Research Discipline Lead in Play Therapy Dr. Judi Parson, at Deakin University Australia. This program is intended to meet an academic standard that supports the credential of Therapeutic Play Practitioner™ awarded by Rocky Mountain Play Therapy Institute. External review provides a level of assurance for students that course material and course expectations are evaluated by other than RMPTI. RMPTI is dedicated to ongoing excellence in training in the field of Therapeutic Play and Play Therapy and is accountable to review standards.

Judi A. Parson, PhD, MA Play Therapy, BN, RN, APPTA RPT-S, Discipline Leader and Senior Lecturer in Play Therapy, School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia. Judi is dedicated to the development of Play Therapy and Therapeutic Play.

Dr Judi Parson is a paediatric qualified Registered Nurse, Play Therapist and Senior Lecturer in Play Therapy. She is the Discipline Leader for Play Therapy in the School of Health and Social Development based at the Waterfront Campus, Geelong.

Judi’s PhD led her to investigate play therapy knowledge and techniques. She completed her MA Play Therapy (with Distinction), at Roehampton University London, United Kingdom, to become a fully qualified play therapist. She has been actively involved in the development of play therapy in Australia and a co-founding director of the Australasia Pacific Play Therapy Association (APPTA). Judi is also a founding member of the International Consortium of Play Therapy Associations (IC-PTA).



Admission Requirements

  • Completion of course work at College-level (minimum)
  • Academic background is focussed in the areas of Humanities, Health, Social Science, Education or Mental Health
  • Relevant work experience with children and/or families

Program Goals

The primary goals of this program are to introduce play-based and expressive activities as a way to work with children in a variety of educational and counselling settings including schools and outreach/community settings, and to enhance awareness of clinical judgment in selecting, tailoring and implementing play-based activities. Case vignettes focus on common referral issues in school and community-based settings and are related to working with minor to moderate adjustment issues. During the program two theories of play therapy practice will be reviewed: Child-Centred Play Therapy and Adlerian Play Therapy.

Learning Objectives

To provide practitioners working in a variety of settings tools for working with children and youth with mild to moderate adjustment problems. Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills 47 hour program is intended to provide practitioners with basic play and expressive knowledge and skills.

Upon successful completion of the program, each participant will be able to:

  • Describe up to 6 play-based activities suitable for use in a variety of educational, counselling and outreach settings
  • Describe basic principles of Child-Centred and Adlerian Play Therapy Theories
  • Demonstrate basic inquiry skills
  • Demonstrate an ability to follow the child’s lead in a play session
  • Describe Ethical issues in therapeutic play practice
  • List play categories
  • List core therapeutic powers of play
  • Use developmental frameworks when engaging in therapeutic play
  • List common themes in children’s play
  • Describe the core dimensions of the Play Therapy Dimensions
  • Describe the roles of parents, caregivers and teachers in the therapeutic play process

(Full Syllabus available to Therapeutic Play Skills students)


  • Experiential activities
  • Readings
  • Video clips
  • Case examples Experiential Activities
  • Group Work
  • Video Clips


Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills indicating the completion of 42 hours contact, 5 hours online (47 hours total) of specialized training in therapeutic play skills. Those who have completed the 47 hour training and successfully completed the assignments may add the special designation Therapeutic Play Practitioner™ (TPP) to their current credential(s).

This training can be used as Continuing Education Credits for those who are currently Registered with APT or Certified with CAPT.  These credits will need to be approved by each organization (APT,CAPT, BCPTA) individually.  This program DOES NOT provide the appropriate training for Certification or Registration and is designed to provide Play Therapy skills to those who do not qualify.  Play Therapists must have a Clinical Masters Degree in a field of Mental Health or Psychology in order to qualify for Registration or Certification.

The Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills is awarded by Rocky Mountain Play Therapy Institute.on the basis of:

  • Satisfactory attendance (no whole module may be missed unless there are extenuating circumstances. A make-up assignment may be required depending on amount of time missed)
  • Submission of the Self-Assessment as related to core competencies of the Therapeutic Play Practitioner and approval from the External Examiner


The Rocky Mountain Play Therapy Institute™ (RMPTI) serves as the international professional association for the field of Therapeutic Play Skills and the certification of Therapeutic Play Practitioners™ (TPPs).

In accordance with existing guidelines governing the training and certification of professionals in the field of Play Therapy / Therapeutic Play, a membership guideline was developed to ensure compliance with international standards in order to provide consistent, quality training and ongoing support to our TPP membership.

Therapeutic Play Practitioners must maintain status as a member in good standing with RMPTI and comply with the RMPTI Therapeutic Play Practitioner Competencies.

The Canadian Association for Play Therapy (CAPT) Code of Ethics provides valuable information/guidance pertaining to therapeutic play practice and professional standards of conduct. Failure to comply with the competencies and ethics stated herein may result in the cancelation of TPP certification status.

Click here for the details of Criteria for Certification.

To access program dates see the 2024 training calendar

Click here to apply.