Exploring Ethical Dilemmas in Play Therapy


This experiential workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to explore ethical dilemma’s experienced in their play therapy practice, with a particular emphasis on special settings such as rural practice. Participants will approach these ethical dilemmas in a supportive and intimate learning environment, utilizing the ethical decision-making model of Wheeler and Bertrand (2015), the ethical code of the clinician’s profession, and using the Play Therapy Best Practices: Clinical, Professional and Ethical Issues guidelines.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • List 8 steps in ethical decision making found in the Wheeler and Bertrand (2015) model as applied to play therapy in special settings such as rural practice.
  • Utilize the Play Therapy Best Practices: Clinical, Professional and Ethical Issues guidelines alongside a provider’s ethical code to use as a tool in decision-making.
  • Develop an easily accessible bookmark for remembering a decision-making model for ethical dilemmas in play therapy.


Sue Carroll Duffy, Psy.D., RPT-S is a psychologist working with the Passamaquoddy tribe at Pleasant Point, Maine and founder of By The Sea Seminars.  Her ethical practices are informed by many years working across cultures in a rural setting. She developed the Moving Stories Play Therapy Method and therapeutic stories specifically designed for the “theater” of the sandtray. Her latest therapeutic story is “Finding Diamonds”, a picture book that encourages children to connect with nature and to express their hopes and dreams, as well as their struggles. In addition to her own publications, Dr. Duffy has written book chapters addressing the use of creative arts in therapy.

Dr. Duffy is certified in TF-CBT (Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), and Board Certified in neurofeedback.