Play Therapy is a theoretical treatment modality that engages children through play in a manner that allows them to resolve psychological distress while also promoting wellness and optimal development. This approach views play as the language of young children and attends to the types of play that children use to express their emotions and behaviors. Treatment modalities include directive and non-directive approaches as well as a number of therapeutic orientations, such as Child-Centered, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Gestalt. Research has shown play therapy to be an effective approach for a wide range of behavioral and emotional problems, such as anger management, grief and loss, family disruption, trauma and anxiety, depression, and attention/hyperactivity deficits. Through our Play Therapy Certificate program, students learn about the power of play as an essential part of the healing process for children.
Our Play Therapy Certificate is designed for individuals with or in the process of obtaining a licensable degree in the mental health field. The program is 13 units, which allows individuals to take one course per quarter over a 12-month period. All courses are online and use a synchronous format that promotes clinical engagement, demonstration, and practicing of skills. As an added benefit, completed play therapy courses can also be used to meet the educational requirements for becoming a Registered Play Therapist (RPT).
I am very proud of our program and the quality of our instructors. All faculty are experienced child therapists who regularly engage in play therapy within clinical settings. Further, our faculty are Registered Play Therapists (RPT) and Registered Play Therapist Supervisors (RPT-S) through the Association for Play Therapy (APT) and are actively involved in this organization. You can learn more about our faculty below.
If you are interested in working with children, a Play Therapy Certificate can be a critical part of your professional development. Please feel free to contact Dr. Danielle Clair, Play Therapy Certificate program director, any time if you have questions about this program.
Written by Dr. Kimberly Freeman
Dr. Danielle L. Clair, DMFT, AMFT
Dr. Danielle L. Clair, DMFT, LMFT-S, RPT is a Doctor of Marital and Family Therapy (DMFT), a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, and a Registered Play Therapist. She received both her Doctor of Marital and Family Therapy and Play Therapy Certificate from Loma Linda University (LLU). She is the Clinic Director at the LLU School of Behavioral Health Resiliency Clinic and the Program Director for the LLU Play Therapy Certificate Program. She is also a Contract Professor for Loma Linda University's School of Behavioral Health and teaches courses for the Play Therapy Certificate Program, Child Life Specialist MS, Marital and Family Therapy MS, and Counseling MS programs. Doing so has allowed Dr. Clair to continue to enhance upon the University's profound legacy of nourishing students' interest in learning how to therapeutically engage with young children, adolescents, and the whole family system. Dr. Clair is a current member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and the Association for Play Therapy, where she also served previously as President-Elect for the San Bernardino Chapter of the California Association for Play Therapy (CalAPT). She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Saving Innocence, a distinguished organization premised upon the advocacy of child welfare and its overall mission to end child sex trafficking.
Felisha Cullum, LMFT, RPT-S
Felisha Cullum, LMFT, RPT-S is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. She received graduate study in Play Therapy and her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from George Fox University. Her background equipped her to work with children and adolescents through the most developmentally appropriate treatment and their primary language: play. She is a Certificated Child Centered Play Therapy Practitioner with over ten years of clinical experience working with children, adolescents, and families. Felisha has worked as an instructor and supervisor for the Play Therapy Certificate program for the last seven years, teaching courses such as Trauma Focused Play Therapy, Filial Therapy, and Child Centered Play Therapy. She is an active member of the Association for Play Therapy (APT) and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Felisha has over four years of experience volunteering for the San Bernardino chapter of the California Association for Play Therapy (CalAPT), where she served as Secretary, President-Elect, and President. Felisha is passionate about furthering the field of Play Therapy through education and supervision. She is honored to contribute to the University's high levels of scholarship, professionalism, and spiritual well-being that promotes healthy families and communities.
Georgie Wisen-Vincent, LMFT, RPT-S
Georgie Wisen-Vincent, LMFT, RPT-S is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. Georgie earned a Postgraduate Master's degree in Child Centered Play Therapy at the University of Roehampton, London, United Kingdom. Now as a member of the British Association of Play Therapists and the American Association for Play Therapy, she has advanced training in directive and nondirective play therapy approaches in the treatment of trauma, attachment, emotional and behavioral disorders in children and adolescents. Georgie is an adjunct instructor for the Play Therapy Certificate program and has supervised play therapy interns for years as an RPT-S. In her private practice, she also leads a team of neurorelational play therapists at The Center for Connection in Pasadena, CA. She is frequently invited to speak to parents and professionals on the extraordinary benefits of play in helping children heal from trauma. Georgie brings over two decades of experience working with children, teens, and families using creative and somatic play-based therapies to our Play Therapy certificate program. What she feels most inspired by is the dedication to play therapy study and application undertaken by Loma Linda University social work and psychology students who enter the program, and the clear advantages of having such an in-depth training under their belts by graduation. Not only are our students better equipped to work with clinically challenging child populations, but their play therapy experience makes them extremely competitive compared to the average applicant for first choice jobs and internships straight out of graduate school. Earning the Play Therapy Certificate at Loma Linda University takes students beyond the books and offers them real, hands-on experience in the primary language of children's emotions—play—to develop stronger relationships, recovery, and resilience.