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Foundation Grant Provides Opportunity for Professor to Present Study on ‘Play Therapy’ at National Conference

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)December 2, 2021

Assistant Professor of Social Work Colleen Martinez

MAHWAH, N.J. — Colleen Martinez, an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Ramapo College, attended the Association for Play Therapy Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, thanks in part to a Ramapo College Foundation Allocation Grant that covered the cost of the conference registration.

Martinez, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor in Montclair, N.J., said her attendance at the conference “enhanced her knowledge of play therapy research, theories, techniques and how play therapy improves the therapeutic relationship with children and their families.”

She attended 12 workshops, earned 37 play therapy continuing education hours and presented her study, “The Impact of an Online One Credit Play Therapy Course on MSW Students” in a poster session. She also attended a number of sessions on cultural issues in play therapy, including Social Emotional Competencies of African American Children, Supporting LGBTQ+ Children and Families in Arkansas, and Adding to the ACEs of Minority Populations: COVID 19 and Implications for Play Therapy, which will “enhance my ability to support my students in developing cultural humility.”

“I also met with 20 play therapy educators in a session where we shared our experiences and best practices in play therapy instruction,” said Martinez. “I feel that many students will be impacted by my opportunity to meet with and learn from the premier play therapy clinicians, educators and researchers.”

In addition to teaching and supervising social work students at Ramapo, Martinez maintains a private practice where she provides supervision and consultation to mental health professionals, schools and organizations.

Play Therapy is used therapeutically by thousands of mental health professionals when developmentally appropriate to better communicate with and help clients achieve optimal mental health. It is particularly effective with children because, just as adults use words to communicate ideas and feelings, children use play. APT is a national professional society that provides research, training, and credentialing programs to assist those professionals.


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World ReportKiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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