The Moment It All Clicked: Unexpected Paths to a Career in CCPT

May 13, 2024

In this episode, I share some fascinating unofficial data I collected from my email subscribers about their journeys to finding child-centered play therapy (CCPT). I was curious to learn more after noticing a pattern of people mentioning they came to CCPT as a second or third career.

The responses revealed an incredibly diverse range of prior careers – everything from nursing, teaching and social work to advertising, journalism, and even running a bed and breakfast! What united everyone was a deep desire to have a more direct therapeutic impact on children’s lives. Many discovered CCPT almost by chance while researching how to effectively help kids. Across the board, finding CCPT was a pivotal, life-changing moment that brought profound personal and professional fulfillment.

However, many also cited challenges in accessing quality CCPT training. This highlights the crucial need for more educational opportunities and supportive communities for aspiring CCPTs. The stories shared in this episode reinforce that while the path to CCPT looks different for everyone, we are united by our heartfelt dedication to helping children heal, grow and thrive through this powerful modality. I’m so grateful to be part of this special field with all of you!

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Discovering Child-Centered Play Therapy: Inspiring Career Journeys

I want to share with you some fascinating unofficial data I collected about how many of us found our way to child-centered play therapy (CCPT).

A Common Thread

I had noticed a common thread in conversations with many of you – that you had come to CCPT as a second or third career. Intrigued, I decided to dig deeper and sent out an email to my subscribers, asking them to share their journeys. The response was overwhelming, and I’m excited to share the results with you today.

Diverse Backgrounds, One Calling

The range of prior careers was astounding. Responses came from former nurses, teachers, school counselors, advertisers, marketers, child protective services workers, massage therapists, victim advocates, nannies, administrators, parenting coaches, political scientists, journalists, biologists, sports medicine professionals, parole officers, political researchers, and even a bed and breakfast owner!

Despite these varied backgrounds, what united everyone was a deep desire to have a more direct therapeutic impact on children’s lives. For many, the shift to CCPT was a significant career change, driven by this powerful calling.

Serendipitous Discoveries and Life-Changing Moments

Many of you shared that you found CCPT almost by chance, while researching how to effectively help a particular child client. This serendipitous discovery often led to a profound, life-changing moment of realization. As soon as you started practicing CCPT, you experienced incredible personal and professional fulfillment, witnessing the transformative power of this approach in the playroom.

Overcoming Obstacles: Access to Training and Community

However, the journey wasn’t always easy. A significant challenge cited by 60% of respondents was the lack of local CCPT training opportunities. This highlights the crucial need for more education and support for aspiring CCPTs.

Moreover, 75% of you emphasized the importance of having a supportive community around you on this journey. Connecting with others who truly understand and believe in the power of CCPT is invaluable, especially in regions where it may be less recognized.

The Power of Personal Alignment

Another key theme that emerged was the deep sense of alignment many of you felt between your personal beliefs and the core principles of CCPT. This connection was particularly strong for those coming from a faith background, who saw a resonance between biblical principles and the unconditional love and acceptance at the heart of CCPT.

A Growing Community United by Purpose

While the paths that led us here may be diverse, what unites us is our unwavering commitment to helping children heal, grow, and thrive. It’s a noble, honorable mission, and I am so grateful to be part of this growing community of passionate, dedicated professionals.

Witnessing the profound impact of CCPT in the playroom – the breakthroughs, the healing, the resilience of these children – is a privilege beyond words. Together, we are making a difference, one child at a time.


  • Cochran, N., Nordling, W., & Cochran, J. (2010). Child-Centered Play Therapy (1st ed.). Wiley.
  • VanFleet, R., Sywulak, A. E., & Sniscak, C. C. (2010). Child-centered play therapy. Guilford Press.
  • Landreth, G. L. (2002). Play therapy: The art of the relationship (2nd ed.). Brunner-Routledge.
  • Bratton, S. C., Landreth, G. L., Kellam, T., & Blackard, S. R. (2006). Child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) treatment manual: A 10-session filial therapy model for training parents. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Benedict, Helen. Themes in Play Therapy. Used with permission to Heartland Play Therapy Institute.
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