Southeast Ed. Leadership and Counseling Dept. Becomes Approved Center of Play Therapy Education

The Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling at Southeast Missouri State University recently was recognized as an Approved Center of Play Therapy Education, making it one of just 32 nationally and only three in Missouri to hold this designation.

The certification was awarded, following a process that began last year, by the Association for Play Therapy, a national organization that credentials Registered Play Therapists (RPT).

During Play Therapy, trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties so they can achieve optimal growth and development.

The RPT credential allows mental health professionals to enhance their marketability in the community or within school-based settings and specialize in an evidence-based, trauma-informed modality.

“Many practitioners and students are becoming informed and interested in pursuing this credential,” said Dr. Holly Wagner, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling. “The Approved Center designation that we have just received will set Southeast apart not only at the state level, but also at the national level.

“The fact that we are now an Approved Center will allow Southeast Missouri State University to draw not only local interest, but market to a broader range of students from surrounding states and areas, as well,” she continued. “Our new play therapy center will put Southeast Missouri State University on the map for Play Therapy! Students who may not have previously known that they could receive this kind of education here can now pursue their graduate education with us.”

Dr. Janice Ward is the director of Southeast’s new Play Therapy Center and serves as a professor of counseling. In August, she received her Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor (RPTS) credential, making her one of only three with this credential in the Southeast Region. The credential allowed the department…

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