Play Therapy Certification


    Welcome to The Center for Studies of Play Therapy 

    The Center for Studies of Play Therapy  (CSPT) is housed in the Counseling Program at New Jersey City University.  We are proud to announce that CSPT is the very first Approved Center of Play Therapy Education in the state of NJ designated by the Association for Play Therapy (APT).  CSPT is passionate about promoting play therapy by providing professionals and students with training opportunities as well as by reaching out to communities to offer play therapy services. (more details on play therapy, please go to the Association for Play Therapy Website) . In addition, we are in support of licensed mental health professionals to obtain a certification of Registered Play Therapist (RPT) issued by APT. (please see “the Classes” Section below) .


    Meet the Founder 

    Dr. Yumiko Ogawa is an Assistant Professor of Counseling Program at New Jersey City University. Dr. Ogawa holds a Doctoral degree and Master’s degree in Counseling with a specialty in play therapy from University of North Texas, which is the top ranked play therapy program in the world. 

    In the past decade, Dr. Ogawa has worked with children and their families in a variety of settings including a private practice, a hospital, an agency, and public schools. In the past, she was involved in disaster response work in New York, providing post 9/11 services in 2001, and in Texas, providing counseling services for Hurricane Katrina victims in 2005. She has also provided training to mental health professionals in Japan after Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.  

    She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) in the sate of New Jersey, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S) and Certified Clinical Psychologist in Japan.  She is a board member of the following associations; Association of Child and Adolescent Counseling (ACAC), New Jersey Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling, Japan Play Therapy Association.


    Assistant Director for Union City Project 

     Ms. Sofia Neves is a Mental Health Specialist at HOPES CAP Inc. She holds a Master’s degree in Counseling from New Jersey City University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The University of Scranton.  Since graduating with a School Counseling certification, Ms. Neves has worked with Head Start and Early Head Start children and their families. She conducts individual Play Therapy both in the playroom and the classroom as well as co-leads Child-Parent Relationship Therapy groups. 



    NJCU Counseling Program currently offers two graduate level play therapy courses: 

    • COUN 642* Play Therapy (offered in Summer I)

    This course provides an overview of the history, theory, and applications of play therapy. Play materials and tools are introduced and integrated into ethical and culturally-sensitive counseling practice. A video recorded experiential component working with children focuses on understanding the therapeutic process and developing basic play therapy skills.

    • COUN 644 Parent-Child Play Therapy  (Offered in Spring Semester)

    This course provides a comprehensive study of filial therapy.  Students develop advanced child-centered play therapy skills, and learn how to work with a child’s system to facilitate relational and systemic change by conducting Child Parent Relationship Therapy with parents under supervision of the instructor.  Ethical, cultural, and clinical issues in parent-child play therapy are examined. *COUN 642 is a prerequisite of COUN 644 

    As one of the requirements to be certified as a Registered Play Therapist, APT requires 150 clock hours of play therapy specific coursework or training (for more detailed information on becoming RPT, please visit APT website RPT & RPT-S credentials).  The aforementioned graduate level play therapy courses at NJCU will be counted as 67.5 hrs respectively toward the requirements (Therefore, if you take both COUN 642 and COUN 644, you will complete 135 out of 150 hrs of the play therapy specific course work requirement).

    • Play Therapy Internship (for clinicians currently seeking RPT)

    You must be employed or willing to find a site which allows you to professionally practice Play Therapy techniques with children or adolescents in order to be in this internship class. Hours for this internship class can be counted toward  “50 hours of concurrent play therapy specific supervision” which is one of the requirements for becoming RPT. (for more detailed information on how to be RPT, please check APT website).



    One of the missions of CSPT is to provide play therapy education to professionals and graduate students in order to promote professional growth by enriching, expanding, and challenging the knowledge, skills and practice of students. In 2012, CSPT hosted the first play therapy workshop by inviting Dr. Garry Landreth.  CSPT is hosting another play therapy workshop in 2015. The details of the workshop will be posted on this website. So please stay tuned.

    CSPT is currently collaborating with the Union City Board of Education in order to provide school-based play therapy to students who are demonstrating emotional and behavioral issues, which are not significant enough to be qualified for services at school.  If your school district is interested in collaborating with CSPT, please contact us.



    If you have questions on the services that CSPT, please feel free to contact Dr.Ogawa at 

    If you have a question on how to apply for the program as a class only student in order to enroll those play therapy courses, please contact Ms. Sachie Tsumura-Tmart  at University Admissions Office. 



    For the information on November 14, 2015 "Group Play Therapy: Applications at School and Community Setting" by Dr. Dee Ray,
    please go to