Play Therapy Institute reaccredited

— Dr. Franc Hudspeth

Henderson State University’s Institute for Play Therapy has been reaccredited by the International Association for Play Therapy for an additional three years.

The highly successful and innovative program established in 2013 by its director, Dr. Franc Hudspeth, continues to grow with plans for three new courses to keep up with student demand.

“In our first three years, the focus was to get the word out, increase interest, and train current students how to utilize play therapy,” Hudspeth said. “We have succeeded, and non-Henderson students now routinely contact us about upcoming play therapy classes.”

Play therapy is a form of counseling or psychotherapy that uses play to communicate with and help people, especially children, to prevent or resolve psychosocial challenges.

“We are born with the instinct to play. It’s the natural language of children,” Hudspeth said. “It provides the stage for exploration, growth, learning, and resolution.

“Through play therapy and with a trained play therapist, children engage in a naturalistic process to overcome difficulties.”

Henderson State was the first university in Arkansas to establish a Center for Play Therapy and to earn accreditation.

“I credit Dr. Hudspeth for not only being successful in getting Henderson approved for a center, but also for maintaining accreditation,” said Dr. Judy Harrison, Teachers College dean. “Having the knowledge of and vision for the benefits of play therapy, he continuously collaborates with faculty in other departments to develop integrated programs attractive to counselors and other professionals who want to specialize in play therapy.

“Such collaboration and innovation will result in the types of programs that will promote Henderson’s strategic plan to enhance academic programs.”

Henderson will host Arkansas’s state play therapy conference this summer, Hudspeth said.

“It will be the Arkansas Association for Play Therapy’s 10th anniversary as an association and its 10th anniversary conference,” he said. “Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Terry Kottman, who is the world’s leading expert in Adlerian Play Therapy.”

Hudspeth, who is chair of the Department of Counselor Education at Henderson, is editor of the International Journal of Play Therapy. He was awarded the National Service Award for the second time by the National Association for Play Therapy last summer.