What is play therapy supervision?
The Registered Play Therapist credential is offered by the Association for Play Therapy (APT). The international organization defines play therapy as “the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.”
In addition to a master’s degree in a mental health-related field meeting specific educational requirements, APT requires applicants to complete an additional 150 hours of continuing education in play therapy. These courses must be approved by an APT-approved provider. Additionally, applicatns are required to obtain 350 direct contact client hours as well as 35 hours of supervision with an approved Registered Play Therapist Supervisor.
Learn more about APT’s credentialing standards,.
Dates & Rates
Facilitator: Dr. Emily Keller, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor
Dr. Keller offers play therapy supervision for individuals and groups.
As a supervisor, I value honesty, trust, creativity, and intuition in the supervision process. I honed my approach to supervision while offering monthly two-day supervision groups as co-director of the Southeast Institute for Group and Family Therapy in Chapel Hill, NC.
My approach to supervision is to offer a strength-based application of the developmental supervision model through a gestalt play therapy lens. The role of the gestalt play therapy-oriented supervisor is similar to that of the gestalt play therapist.
Specifically, the gestalt play therapy supervisor focuses on helping the supervisee expand their capacities for:
- Staying in the here and now
- Being fully present as a whole self
- Honor and respect for the dance of contact between self, other, and the environment
To summarize, my approach to supervision is to help supervisees tune in to their body sensations, feelings, knowledge, experience, and intuition. This way, they learn to listen to and trust their subtle internal wisdom to guide them through play therapy sessions.
Learn more about Dr. Keller’s approach to supervision by reading the blog post The Importance of Nurturing Talent in Supervision
Nurture & Structure
Nurture and Structure
Growth and development along any axis of life require a balance of both nurture and support. I enjoy creating supervision environments that foster both nurture and structure. Specifically, for group supervision, I encourage participants to give and receive both support and nurture in a cooperative and abundant atmosphere.
Group supervision is structured as follows:
- Check-in involves sharing: How you are doing; significant events; brags (What are you proud of?); and a
- Declaration of what you would like to receive from supervision during the group play therapy supervision session. (Also, state if there is anything you don’t want to hear.) In some cases, play therapy supervisees will have arranged to share video/audio tapes/typed transcripts in advance.
- Individuals take turns sharing cases (following a specified format inviting awareness as well as self-reflection along a developmental continuum). Then, as each participant shares, other group play therapy supervision members are invited to give positive strokes and options they may want to share. The focus of group supervision is on creating safety to invite vulnerability, therefore negative feedback is not invited.
- The group play therapy supervisor shares a play therapy activity supported by play therapy theory. For this group, the play therapy theoretical orientation is primarily gestalt play therapy. The supervisor integrates theories related to her training in developmental theory, attachment theory, redecision therapy, transactional analysis, family therapy, expressive arts, and sand tray.