In 1987, Dr. JoAnna White began her tenure as a school counseling professor at Georgia State University (GSU) and was on a mission to advance the educational opportunities for clinicians who desired to counsel children in the southeast of the United States. Fifty students registered for her first play therapy course in 1990 (approved by the department chair, Dr. Pete Smith) and this led to the creation of the Atlanta Association for Play Therapy. In 1993, the Association for Play Therapy asked Atlanta APT to host their national conference, and it was held at the Marriott Marquis with 1,000 people in attendance.
In July 1992, Trudy Post-Sprunk and Virginia "Ginger" Pogue met at a play therapy training and began gathering “play therapy friends” with the goal of creating a chartered branch. There were eight people present at their first meeting (including Millie Dawson-Hardy, David Drake, Barbara Fisher, Jayne Smith, Janice Turner, and Sharon Wilson). In May of 1995, Dr. White transferred the Atlanta APT to them, and that led to the creation of the Georgia Association for Play Therapy Inc. (GAPT). It became an official chartered branch by the Association for Play Therapy on October 14, 1995. GAPT was incorporated in the state of Georgia shortly thereafter on October 30, 1995 and confirmed as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Ginger Pogue briefly served as the first President of the GAPT Board of Directors, but due to health challenges shortly afterwards, Trudy Post-Sprunk, transitioned from Vice-President to President. In the late 1990s, Jayne Smith served as President for four years. Thereafter, Trudy resumed the role of President and led the organization until 2022. Under Trudy's leadership, the following occurred:
Trudy was declared the “Mother of Play Therapy In Georgia” in March 2022 to honor her dedication to GAPT for nearly 30 years.
In May 2022, Trudy chose to retire from the position, and Dr. Yolanda Fountain Hardy was elected President by GAPT members. And now, the GAPT story continues to be written...
Source of Information: Dr. Joanna White and Trudy Post-Sprunk
Information Complied by: Dr. Yolanda Fountain Hardy and Annie Stewart
Updated: December 2022
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