LAPT logo and slogan
4 kids with happy faces in playful mood

The Louisiana Association for Play Therapy


Louisiana Play Therapy Lifetime Achievement Award Criteria

In 2012, the LAPT Board decided to annually honor a member of LAPT who has made contributions to promote and strengthen play therapy in Louisiana. Criteria that will be used to select the person(s) include the following, but is not inclusive or exclusive of all of the criteria:

  • Is a current member of LAPT
  • Provides leadership within LAPT
  • Has worked to further and expand play therapy in Louisiana
  • Has made contributions in the field of play therapy promoting professionalism, education, research and / or programs in Louisiana and / or the national level Promotes improved services to children and families
  • Participates in research to validate the techniques and services covered in the practice of play therapy (either as a lead part of research or a participant in studies)
  • Has graduated from the APT Leadership Academy
  • Has served in a leadership position with LAPT
  • Has served on one of APT's committees or task forces
  • Embraces the mission of APT and LAPT to provide play therapy services in the community
  • Qualifies for a lifetime achievement award because of their contributions to LAPT over the years


Scott Riviere, MS, LP,
Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor

Scott Riviere was awarded the Louisiana Play Therapy Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's conference in February. Scott has been a long standing member of LAPT and has served on the board in various roles including President. He currently is on the board of APT.

Scott Riviere, M.S., is a Licensed Professional Counselor and one of the first Registered Play Therapist-Supervisors in Louisiana. He is the Director of K.I.D.Z., Inc., Louisiana's first Play Therapy Institute, where his practice is limited exclusively to children and adolescents ages 2-18 and their families. Scott has over 25 years' experience dealing with such issues as grief and trauma, anxiety disorders, ADHD, behavioral problems, attachment disorders, and Autism Spectrum disorders.

Scott is approved to supervise interns seeking to obtain their state-counseling license and Registered Play Therapist credential. He is currently serving on the Board for the Association for Play Therapy and has been recognized by the Association of Play Therapy for his contribution to the field. He is a published author, international speaker and frequent guest on various media outlets.

Go to TOP of page


Laura Fazio-Griffith, PhD, LPC-S, LMFT, NCC,
Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor

The recipient of the 2020 LAPT Lifetime Achievement Award is Laura Fazio-Griffith of Baton Rouge, LA. Laura's involvement with LAPT was initially as a member for several years then becoming more active on the LAPT Board serving as Treasurer from 2010 until becoming President-Elect in 2015-2017, then serving as President of LAPT from 2017-2019.

Laura holds degrees from Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL in Sociology, Masters in Public Administration from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Masters and Doctorate degrees in Counselor Education from the University of New Orleans. She has worked as Assistant Professor at UNO in New Orleans and LSU in Baton Rouge and is currently an Associate Professor of Counseling at Southeastern Louisiana University. She has served as the President of LACES (LA Association of Counselor Education Supervisors) and President of the LA Association for Career Development. She has presented workshops nationally and statewide on several topics including Play Therapy. She was recognized in 2018 at the LCA conference for Distinguished Professional Service. She has authored/edited books and articles in professional journals. One of her most recent recognitions in September of 2018 was being appointed by Governor John Bell Edwards to the LA State Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors with her term to end in August, 2022.

Laura has contributed to the field of play therapy promoting professionalism, education, and research. She has been giving of her time and talents to LAPT in strengthening the organization's mission of serving the cliental of Louisiana.

Go to TOP of page


Rheta LeAnne Steen, Ph.D., LPC-S,
Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor

The recipient of the 2017 LAPT Lifetime Achievement Award is LeAnne Steen of New Orleans, LA. LeAnne has been a member of LAPT since 2005 as a transfer from Texas where she earned her degrees from the University of Texas in Austin (B.A.), Texas State University in San Marcos (M.S.), and University of North Texas (Ph.D.). She has made contributions in ALL areas of the criteria that is used for this selection.

LeAnne is an Associate Professor at Loyola University where she has been employed since 2005 and is the creator, founder and director of the Play Therapy Center for Education and Research in New Orleans. This center was recognized by the Association for Play Therapy (APT) as the third official Play Therapy Center in the U.S., is the only one in Louisiana and is one of fewer than 30 such centers in the nation.

LeAnne is a graduate from APT's Leadership Academy and has served on four different committees or task forces at the national level. In addition she has served LAPT as having been Membership Chair and President of the state branch. She embraces the mission of LAPT to provide play therapy services in the community, one of which received national attention when she established a Therapeutic Play Camp for children in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

LeAnne works to further and expand play therapy in Louisiana in many ways including arranging and coordinating LAPT's annual conference at Loyola for the past eleven years whereby play therapists and aspiring play therapists can receive training, exposure to national presenters, earn certifications and experience networking opportunities. Through her work at the university, she participates in cutting-edge research designed to validate the techniques and services covered in the practice of play therapy. In addition to many publications she has authored, she has recently edited a 2017 book, "Emerging Research in Play Therapy, Child Counseling. and Consultation."

Go to TOP of page


Judy Crow, Ed.D, LPC-S, LMFT,
Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor

The recipient of the 2016 LAPT Lifetime Achievement Award is Judy Crow of Ruston, LA. Her advocacy for children has been through various roles in several states. Judy graduated with a BA from LA Tech in May of 1964, receiving an MA in Reading Education from LA Tech in 1976 and an MA in Counseling from LA Tech in 1981. She received her Ed.D in 1989 from the University of North Texas in Denton with a specialization in Child and Family Counseling.   Her career path has taken her to Huntsville, TX, Denton, TX, Woodlands, TX, Louisville, KY, Lebanon, KY, Atlanta GA, Raleigh, NC and in Louisiana - Baton Rouge, Ruston and Monroe. She is currently working part time as a counselor in an elementary school, but her professional experiences include working as a classroom teacher, guidance counselor, educational consultant, outpatient therapist, mental health consultant, college assistant professor, adjunct professor. Her passion has always been to improve the lives of children. She has had articles published in professional journals and provided numerous presentations for professionals as well as educational groups and parents.

Judy has had a huge impact on the growth of play therapy in North Louisiana as a professor at LA Tech and the University of LA in Monroe as well as her work at the Methodist Children's Home in Ruston. She has been a leader in most play therapy workshops that have been held north of Alexandra. She has served as a supervisor for numerous therapists getting their Registered Play Therapist's certification. She served on the LAPT Board as Treasurer from 2001 to 2006. Judy has had an inspirational effect and been an emotional support for many other therapists as they pursue their own professional career paths.

Go to TOP of page


Carolyn Ponder Ellender, LCSW, LPC,
Registered Play Therapist - Supervisor

The recipient of the 2015 LAPT Lifetime Achievement Award is Carolyn Ponder Ellender, LCSW, LPC, RPT-S. She has been an advocate for children throughout her professional career working to help children live productive and healthy lives in the areas of education and mental health.

After graduating from Louisiana State University in 1967, she began her career in education as an elementary school teacher; however, she wanted to do more for the emotional needs of her students and received the M.ED degree in counseling education in 1970. She became one of the first elementary school guidance counselors in East Baton Rouge Parish. After more than 20 years as an educator and guidance counselor, Carolyn decided to return to LSU and pursue the Masters of Social Work degree in order to do more family work in her effort to help children. As she transitioned from education to clinical work, she reached out to help children in a third way by opening a tutoring business for children who needed additional assistance with academic learning.

For more than four decades of advocating for children and their needs, Carolyn has taught parenting classes and supervised graduate student interns in counseling and in social work. In the 1990's Carolyn served as the Director of the Parenting Center at Family Service of Greater Baton Rouge and opened her clinical private practice.

She became a member of the national organization that was developed to promote play as a therapeutic modality to reach children with emotional issues in the first years of the formation of the Association for Play Therapy, later joining the state branch LAPT after it was formed. Carolyn served as President of LAPT from 2000-2001 when the elected president was not able to serve. From 2001-2003 she served as President-Elect; 2003-2005 as President; and 2005-2007 as Past-President. Since 2007 Carolyn has continued to serve the LAPT Board as the By-Laws Chairperson. From President to chairperson, she has assisted LAPT to revise the LAPT by-laws two different times.

There has never been a task too small or too large for Carolyn on the behalf of LAPT. She freely shares her knowledge, her experience and her wisdom with the LAPT Board and its members. She received her certification as a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor and began working with those who wanted to complete the requirements for Registered Play Therapist.

Go to TOP of page


Ann Landry Frecker, LCSW, MSW,
Registered Play Therapist - Supervisor

The 2014 LAPT Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to a most deserving person Ann Landry Frecker. She has served not only LAPT but also APT and children and their families for most of her mental health career.

After receiving her Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1994, Ann immediately began to use her leadership skills and her passion for helping children in Alabama. During the 1980's, she was selected as the Alabama Social Worker of the Year and the Alabama Foster Care Worker of the Year. She was a founding member of CARE HOUSE, the Children's Advocacy Center in South Alabama.

By 1997, Ann had relocated to Louisiana and began her private practice in Lake Charles and received her Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor certification in 2001. In 2000, she joined LAPT and immediately sought out a leadership role by volunteering to work as the Membership Chairperson. She helped LAPT reach out to mental health professionals throughout Louisiana in search of members. Then in 2005, she accepted the challenge to become the next President-Elect of LAPT and served as President from 2009-2011. She served as the Nomination-Election Chairperson from 2012-2013.

During her time on the LAPT Board, Ann also served on the national level with the Association for Play Therapy on the Gold Branch Committee and as the secretary for the Foundation Board. She graduated from the APT Leadership Academy in its first class.

In 2013, Ann left Louisiana to return to Tampa, FL where was born and reared. She remains committed to the mission of APT and continues to work with children and their families in that area.

Go to TOP of page


Danny Yeager, LCSW, MSW,
Registered Play Therapist - Supervisor

Marcie Fields Yeager, LCSW, MSW,
Registered Play Therapist - Supervisor

In 2013 the LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT award was given to two people that have been very instrumental in the founding of LAPT as well as nurturing the organization along to the level it is at this time. Danny and Marcie met at USL in Lafayette, attended the LSU School of Social Work together, have been married to each other for forty years and have two adult children.

They were on the original Board of Directors for LAPT and Danny served as president of LAPT from 1997 to 2000. Marcie served as workshop chair from 2005 to 2007 and developed the process by which we conduct current workshops in addition to co-editing the first newsletters of LAPT. Both have continued their involvement as publicity chair and workshop consultant to LAPT as well as stepping in to do whatever task is needed. Both of these honorees have are Registered Play Therapists – Supervisors and in 2007 were honored by the National Association of Social Workers as Social Workers of the Year in Louisiana.

Both present local and national workshops with Danny being very much in demand as the keynote speaker for other states' conferences. They also have developed and sponsor summer workshops for mental health professionals every summer in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Both have been in print – publishing two books as well as articles for APT. Their creative expertise and talent has been put into play by the development of games to be used by mental health professionals.

Danny and Marcie have had their hand in just about every phase of the development of play therapy in Louisiana and nationwide and continue in their private practice at the Yeager Center for Children and Families in Lafayette, LA.

Go to TOP of page


Marcia Abrams Cox, LCSW, MSW,
Registered Play Therapist - Supervisor

The National Association for Play Therapy was founded in the mid 1980's. The Louisiana Association for Play Therapy was begun in 1996 with an original board of ten people. Of those original ten , three continue to be active in the chapter. Behind the start of every organization are a few key people who are the "founders, who "start from scratch" and if it were not for their dedication and perseverance, the organization would fold. As the organization grows and pursues its mission, other members provide leadership roles that are needed as the growth continues. In LAPT's 16th year, the Board decided to start recognizing those leaders that have helped the Louisiana Association for Play Therapy become the entity that it is today in setting a high standard for those professionals who work with children in a therapeutic setting.

LAPT owes a lot to one person who put in many hours of initial work helping to writing the original Bylaws and then has served on bylaws revision committees, informally keeping minutes of the early meetings then serving as secretary for several terms, publicizing the organization, and encouraging people who were interested in play therapy to join the organization. Marcia received her MSW from LSU in 1974. While working at the Baton Rouge Mental Health Clinic, she developed the first playroom designated for children at that facility. From that point on, she became a lifetime advocate for play.

Much of the time in LAPT, Marcia worked behind the scenes not wanting to take a more public role and was very content to do so, until 2007 when her colleagues very forcibably encouraged her to accept the presidency which she did and then served from 2007-2009. After her term, she was asked and has willingly stayed on the Board as the appointed chair of the Gold Branch Committee. When the LAPT Board recently decided to start honoring people who have been so "giving" of their time and energy and who has shown great dedication to strengthening play therapy in Louisiana, the first person to come to everyone's mind is this year's FIRST LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP AWARD to Marcia Abrams Cox.

Go to TOP of page

Louisiana Association for Play Therapy
9618 Jefferson Highway, Suite D-126
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Instagram logo FAcebook logo

Go to TOP of page

Copyright© 2021 - Louisiana Association for Play Therapy