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History of LAPT


History of the Development of LAPT


In 1995, several mental health professionals met for an informal meeting at the office of Danny and Marcie Yeager in Lafayette, LA to discuss forming a branch of the International Association for Play Therapy (IAPT). Unfortunately, a list of those who attended this meeting is not available. Deborah Brown, PhD, from Shreveport with several others had researched the requirements for affiliating and she was selected to head the committee to work with IAPT to get the necessary documentation to become an affiliate of that organization.


After the initial meeting in Lafayette, Dr. Brown called a meeting for those interested in forming a branch to meet in Alexandria, LA at the Bentley Hotel. Eventually, the By-laws were written and submitted to IAPT. On March 7, 1996, the Louisiana Association for Play Therapy was incorporated with the State of Louisiana with Juliana Fort, MD listed as the Registered Agent. LAPT wants to recognize Dr. Deborah Brown for her determination to establish a branch of IAPT in Louisiana and Dr. Juliana Fort for contributing the initial financial monies to establish the incorporation of the Louisiana Association for Play Therapy.


Original Board of Directors


The first Board of Directors as listed in the Articles of Incorporation are as follows:


Deborah Brown, PhD (Shreveport, LA)

Marcia Cox, BCSW (Baton Rouge, LA)

Juliana Fort, MD (Shreveport, LA)

Danna Halpin, MSW (Lafayette, LA)

Meri Kay Ringer, PhD (Shreveport, LAv

Rose Marie Robertson, MA (Shreveport, LA)

Butch Robicheaux, BCSW (Baton Rouge, LA)

Zoe Tanner, PhD - (Thibodaux, LA)

Daniel Yeager, BCSW (Lafayette, LA)

Marcie Yeager, BCSW (Lafayette, LA)

The original Board of Directors selected the first Officers for LAPT.


President: Deborah Brown, PhD (Shreveport)

President-Elect: Danny Yeager, BCSW (Lafayette)

Secretary: Danna Halpin, BCSW (Lafayette)

Treasurer: Julianna Fort, MD (Shreveport)



The first LAPT Newsletter was published on June 8, 1996. Marcie Yeager and Juliana Fort were the first editors.

According to the By-laws, the president, secretary, and treasurer are elected by the organization's membership and are to serve 2-year rotating terms with the president being elected one year and the secretary and treasurer to be elected the following year to provide continuity on the board. Other positions are appointed by the President with the Board's Approval. Those who have served are listed as follows:


1997-1999


President: Danny Yeager, BCSW, RPT-S** (Lafayette)

President-Elect: Zoe Tanner, PhD (Thibodeaux)

Past President: Deborah Brown, PhD (Shreveport)

Secretary: Marcia Cox, BCSW, RPT-S** (Baton Rouge)

Treasurer: Bobby Stephenson, PhD (Monroe)

Membership Chairperson: Angie Ruiz, BCSW (Alexandria)

Workshop Chairperson: Butch Robicheaux, BCSW (Baton Rouge)

Nominations & Election Chairperson: Della Wills, BCSW (Shreveport)

Publicity & Promotion Chairperson:

By-Laws & Legislative Chairperson: Deborah Brown, PhD (Shreveport)

Newsletter: Michelle Kelly (Metairie)


2000-2001


(Because President-Elect Zoe Tanner,PhD, could not serve her 2-year term as president, Danny Yeager extended his service as president for one year at which time Carolyn Ellender served the second year in order to fill Dr. Tanner's term as president.)


President: Carolyn Ellender, BCSW, LPC (Baton Rouge)

President-Elect: Scott Riviere, LPC, RPT-S** (Lake Charles)

Past-President: Danny Yeager, BCSW,RPT-S** (Lafayette)

Secretary: Marcia Cox, BCSW, RPT-S** (Baton Rouge)

Treasurer: Lynn Thomas, BCSW, RPT-S** (Monroe)

Membership Chairperson: Scott Riviere, LPC, RPT-S**(Lake Charles)

Nominations & Election Chairperson: Phyllis Taylor, LPC, RPT-S** (Monroe)

Workshop Chairperson: Dana Davidson, BCSW (Baton Rouge)

Publicity & Promotion Chairperson:

By-Laws & Legislative Chairperson: Bobby Stephenson, PhD (Monroe)

Debbie Merlan, BCSW (Alexandria)

Newsletter: Melanie Aycock, LPC (Monroe)

Aileen Black, LPC (Monroe)


2001-2003


President: Scott Riviere, LPC, RPT-S** (Lake Charles)

President-Elect: Carolyn Ellender, LCSW, LPC (Baton Rouge)

Past President: Carolyn Ellender, LCSW, LPC (Baton Rouge)

Secretary: Marcia Cox, LCSW, RPT-S** (Baton Rouge)

Treasurer: Judy Crow, EdD, LPC, RPT-S** (Ruston)

Membership Chairperson: Ann Landry, LCSW, RPT-S** (Lake Charles)

Nominations & Election Chairperson: Phyllis Taylor, LPC, RPT-S** (Monroe)

Workshop Chairperson: Dana Davidson, LCSW (Baton Rouge)

Publicity & Promotion Chairperson:

By-Laws & Legislative Chairperson: K. Scott LeJeune, LPC (Oakdale)

Newsletter: Ray Melerine, LPC RPT-S** (Lake Charles)


2003-2005


President: Carolyn Ellender, LCSW, LPC (Baton Rouge)

President-Elect: Marcia Cox, LCSW, RPT-S ** (Baton Rouge)

Past President: Scott Riviere, LPC, RPT-S** (Lake Charles)

Secretary: Dana Davidson, LCSW (Baton Rouge)

Treasurer: Judy Crow, EdD, LPC, RPT-S** (Ruston)

Membership Chairperson: Ann Landry, LCSW, RPT-S** (Lake Charles)

Nominations & Election Chairperson: Phyllis Taylor, LPC, RPT-S** (Monroe)

Workshop Chairperson:

Publicity & Promotions Chairperson: Pat Cox McDowell, LCSW (Baton Rouge)

By-Laws & Legislative Chairperson: K. Scott LeJeune, LPC (Oakdale)

Newsletter: Ray Melerine, LPC, RPT-S** (Lake Charles)


2005-2007


President: Marcia Cox, LCSW, RPT-S** (Baton Rouge)

President-Elect: Ann Landry, LCSW, RPT-S** (Lake Charles)

Past President: Carolyn Ellender, LCSW, LPC (Baton Rouge)

Secretary: Dana Davidson, LCSW (Baton Rouge)

Treasurer: Judy Crow, EdD, LPC, RPT-S** (Ruston)
& K. Scott LeJeune, LPC (Oakdale)

Membership Chairperson(s): Ann Landry, LCSW, RPT-S** (Lake Charles)
& LeAnne Steen, PhD, LPC, RPT-S** (New Orleans)

Nominations & Elections Chairperson: Esther Townsend, MEd, (West Monroe)

Workshop Chairperson: Marcie Yeager, LCSW, RPT-S** (Lafayette)

Publicity & Promotions Chairperson: Erin Martin, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S** (New Orleans)

By-Laws & Legislative Chairperson: K. Scott LeJeune, MA, LPC

Newsletter: Ray Melerine, LPC, RPT-S** (Lake Charles)


2007-2009


President: Ann Landry, LCSW, RPT-S** (Lake Charles)

President-Elect: Ray Melerine, LPC, RPT-S **(Lake Charles)

Past President: Marcia Cox, LCSW, RPT-S** (Baton Rouge)

Secretary: Dana Planchard, LCSW (Baton Rouge)

Treasurer: K. Scott LeJeune, LPC (Oakdale)

Membership Chairperson: LeAnne Steen, PhD, LPC, RPT-S** (New Orleans)

Nominations & Elections Chairperson: Esther Townsend, MEd, RPT* (West Monroe)

Workshop Chairperson: Marcie Yeager, LCSW, LPT-S** (Lafayette)

Publicity & Promotions Chairperson: Erin Martin Dugan, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S** (New Orleans)

By-Laws & Legislative Chairperson: Carolyn Ellender, LCSW, LPC (Baton Rouge)

Newsletter: Kristy A. Brumfield, PhD, LPC, RPT-S** (New Orleans)


2009-2011


President: Ray Melerine, LPC, RPT-S** (Lake Charles)

President-Elect: Erin Martin Dugan, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S** (New Orleans)

Past President: Ann Landry, LCSW, RPT-S** (Lake Charles)

Secretary: Dana Planchard, LCSW (Baton Rouge)

Treasurer: K. Scott LeJeune, LPC (Oakdale) 2009

Laura Fazio-Griffith, PhD, LPC-S, LMFT, RPT-S** (Baton Rouge) 2010

Membership: LeAnne Steen, PhD, LPC, RPT-S** (New Orleans)

Nominations & Elections Chairperson: Esther Townsend, MEd, RPT* (West Monroe) 2009

Sandy Allen, LPC, RPT* (Ruston) 2010

Workshop Chairperson: Marcie Yeager, LCSW, RPT-S** (Lafayette) 2009

Michelle Niemeier, P.D, RPT-S** (New Orleans) 2009-2010

Adrianne Lolan, MHS, CRC, LPC, RPT* (New Orleans) 2010

Publicity & Promotions Chairperson: Erin Martin Dugan, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S** (New Orleans) 2009

Gerra Perkins, PhD, LPC, RPT-S** - North Louisiana (Natchitoches) 2009-2010 & Nicole Bartlett, LPC-S, LMFT (Metairie) 2009-2010

By-Laws & Legislative Chairperson: Carolyn Ellender, LCSW, LPC (Baton Rouge)

Newsletter: Kristy A. Brumfield, PhD, LPC, NCC, RPT-S **(New Orleans)

Gold Branch Chairperson: Marcia Cox, LCSW, RPT-S** (Baton Rouge)


2011-2013


President: Erin Dugan, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S** (New Orleans)

President-Elect: LeAnne Steen, PhD, LPC, RPT-S** (New Orleans)

Past President: Ray Melerine, LPC, RPT-S** (Lake Charles)

Secretary: Nicole Bartlett, LPC-S, LMFT (Metairie)

Treasurer: Laura Fazio-Griffith, PhD, LPC-S, LMFT, NCC, RPT-S ** (Baton Rouge)

Membership Chairperson: Sheila Gold, LCSW, RPT* (New Orleans)

Nominations & Elections Chairperson: Sandy Allen, LPC, RPT* (Ruston) 2011
& Ann Landry, LCSW, RPT-S** (Lake Charles) 2012

Workshop Chairperson: Michelle Niemeier, PhD, RPT-S** (New Orleans)

Publicity & Promotions Chairperson: North: Gerra Perkins,PhD, RPT-S** (Natchitoches) 2011 & South: Adrianne Lolan Frischhertz, PhD, LPC-S, RPT* (New Orleans) 2012

Newsletter: Kristy A. Brumfield, PhD, LPC-S, NCC, RPT-S (New Orleans)

By-Laws & Legislative Chairperson: Carolyn Ellender, LCSW, LPC, RPT-S** (Baton Rouge)

Gold Branch Chairperson: Marcia Cox, LCSW, RPT-S** ( Baton Rouge)

Historian: Dana Planchard, LCSW (Baton Rouge)


2013-2015


President: LeAnne Steen, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S**, (New Orleans)

President-Elect: Adrianne Lolan /Frischhertz, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S** (New Orleans)

Past-President: Erin Martin Dugan, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S** (New Orleans)

Secretary: Nicole Bartlett, LPC-S (New Orleans)

Treasurer: Laura Fazio-Griffith, PhD, LPC-S, LMFT, RPT-S** (Baton Rouge / Hammond)

Membership Chairperson: Sheila Gold, LCSW, RPT* (New Orleans)

Nominations & Elections Chairperson: Ann Landry, LCSW, RPT-S** (Lake Charles) 2013 & Wendy Romero, LCSW, RPT** (New Orleans) 2014-2015

Workshop Chairperson: Michelle Niemeier, PhD, RPT-S** (New Orleans)

Publicity & Promotions Chairperson: North: Emily Wicker, LCSW, RPT* (Shreveport)& South: Danny Yeager, LCSW, RPT-S** (Lafayette)

Newsletter: Kristy A. Brumfield, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S** ( New Orleans)

By-Laws & Legislative Chairperson: Carolyn Ellender, LCSW- LPC, RPT-S** (Baton Rouge)

Gold Branch Chairperson: Marcia Cox, LCSW, RPT-S** (Baton Rouge)

Historian: Dana Blanchard, LCSW, (Baton Rouge)

Webmaster: Ray Melerine, LPC, RPT-S** (Lake Charles)

[Note: In February 2015 the Board contracted with Avery Sloan, a professional webmaster in Baton Rouge, with Carolyn Ellender serving as temporary liason to update our website.

* Registered Play Therapist

** Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor

[Note: The By-Laws were rewritten and adopted on 6/3/01 to correlate with the national Association For Play Therapy (APT, a name change from IAPT) to integrate APT's requirements that one must be a member of the national organization to be a member of the affiliate state's organization.

The By-Laws have been amended and revised on the following dates: 6/13/03, 2/27/10 and 3/2/12.

This history was compiled by Marcia Cox. She should be contacted if there are any changes / revisions.