For Excellence in the Promotion of Play Therapy in Pennsylvania


The Guerney Award was established in 2007 to honor Drs. Bernard and Louise Guerney, pioneers in the field of play therapy who were professors at the Pennsylvania State University where they worked to develop child centered play therapy and filial therapy, where parents learned to do therapeutic play sessions with their own children.

To be eligible for consideration for the Guerney Award, candidates must

  • Hold the RPT-S credential

  • Be a member in good standing of the Association for Play Therapy

  • Have considerable (at least five years) experience in each of the following categories:

  1. The Practice of Play Therapy: Provide play therapy to children, adolescents, and families in a private practice setting; an agency setting; or a school setting.

  2. The Supervision of Play Therapy: Provide supervision to persons who are practicing play therapy and who are working toward the level of experience that qualifies them to be an RPT or RPT-S

  3. The Teaching of Play Therapy: Teach play therapy through conference presentations, a training center, or a university setting.

  4.  The Promotion of Play Therapy: Speaking about play therapy to groups and organizations in order to promote understanding of how play therapy helps children; writing articles for professional publications or association newsletters

  5. The Leadership of Play Therapy: Serving on the national or a state APT Board; graduating from the APT Leadership Academy

Nominations of qualified individuals can be made by contacting the current President-Elect of the Pennsylvania Association for Play Therapy. Please be sure to include a short statement about why you are nominating the person as well as their current place of employment or full CV.

The PA APT board will review nominations and choose a candidate who meets all of the above criteria. The Award is presented each year at the Annual Conference of the Pennsylvania Association for Play Therapy.



2022 Guerney Award Recipient



2020 Guerney Award Recipient



2019 recipient of the Guerney Award

2019 Guerney Award winner.jpg

2018                        Elizabeth Craft

2017                        Kristy Brumfield

2016                        Deborah Doubrava

2015                        Erin O’Donnell (student – Guerney Scholarship Award)

2014                        Barry Ginsberg

2013                        Tina Paone

2012                        Teresa Glatthorn

2011                        Dottie Ward-Wimmer

2010                        Cynthia Sniscak

2009                        Jacqueline George

2008                        Jean Camberg

2007                        Rise VanFleet