UNCP alumna earns national credential in play therapy

Denise Bostick-Fairley
Denise Bostick-Fairley

Denise Bostick-Fairley, a member of the inaugural class of the play therapy graduate certificate program in the Department of Counseling at UNC Pembroke, has earned the Registered Play Therapist (RPT) credential from the Association for Play Therapy.

Already a practicing mental health professional, Bostick-Fairley enrolled in the graduate certificate to expand her clinical knowledge of helping children and their caregivers better understand the emotional and behavioral challenges experienced by young human beings.

“The play therapy graduate certificate program at UNC Pembroke broadened my knowledge of the power of play, and it cultivated a vast foundation to better assist with the therapeutic engagement with the child in the playroom,” commented Bostick-Fairley, owner of Symmetry Health Services in Laurinburg

“We launched the Play Therapy Graduate Certificate to increase the number of mental health providers in our region with the expertise to provide play therapy,” said Dr. Jonathan Ricks, program coordinator.

“We are excited about the impact our students and graduates are making on the mental health of children and families,” Ricks added.

“As a registered play therapist, it is a wonderful feeling to provide a safe space for children to describe their thoughts, feelings and perceptions of their internal and external world when they cannot articulate the words,” said Bostick-Fairley.

To earn the RPT, applicants must complete a rigorous play therapy education like the play therapy graduate certificate program at UNCP, complete 350 play therapy practice hours and participate in 35 hours of clinical supervision.