Navigating Ethical Issues when Working with Children of Divorced or Divorcing Parents by Becky Rudd PhD, MA, MBA, LMFT, LMHC, RPT-S, NCC

Mar 26, 2021 1:00PM—4:30PM

WAAPT Annual Spring Conference

Friday Afternoon Workshop

March 26th, 2021

Due to COVID-19 health concerns, this one-time online event has been approved by APT for 3 CONTACT CE Hours

Registration emails with login and technology instructions, as well as access to the training materials, will go out to all participants no less than 48 hours before the event.

Due to limited availability, payment is due at time of registration.

Navigating Ethical Issues when Working with Children of Divorced or Divorcing Parents by Becky Rudd PhD, MA, MBA, LMFT, LMHC, RPT-S, NCC

Workshop length – 3 CE Hours 

Biography – Dr. Rudd earned a masters degree in Counseling and Educational Psychology with an emphasis in marriage and  family therapy and a doctorate in Counseling and Educational Psychology with an emphasis in counselor education  and supervision both from the University of Nevada, Reno. She earned a Masters of Business Administration from  Western Governors University and a Bachelors in Applied Developmental Psychology from Eastern Washington  University. She is licensed in the state of Washington as a Marriage and Family Therapist and a Mental Health  Counselor. Dr. Rudd has been practicing for over 15 years and has received specialized training and additional  experience in marriage and family therapy, trauma, grief and loss and play therapy. She is currently a Clinical  Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists and has earned the disquisition as a Certified Gottman Method Therapist. 

Prior to founding the expansion of Center for Solace full-time, Dr. Rudd was a tenured Association Professor for six  years at a regional CACREP accredited university. She taught many courses to include psychotherapy theories,  family dynamics, child and adolescent counseling, research methods, practicum and internship. 

Dr. Rudd enjoys presenting on the topics of play and sand tray therapy since 2004. She is most famed for her  engaging, enthusiastic and thorough presentation style. Her presentations have received outstanding reviews at  local, state and national conferences. Furthermore, Dr. Rudd maintains a strong line of research on parental  bereavement due to a sudden and unexpected death. For the past four years she has partnered with the Sudden  Unexplained Death in Childhood Program ( to identify ways to improve support to bereaved  parents. 

Over the course of her career Dr. Rudd has been an active member of professional organizations and has served as  a board member and officer. She was the 2007-2008 President of the Nevada Association for Play Therapy and was  the first president to elicit participation from the Southern part of the state. Her efforts led to an increase in board  representation, trainings and association membership state-wide. During the course of this appointment, the association won its first APT Gold Branch Award for meeting the association’s high standards for branch  participation. She was also President for the Washington Association for Play Therapy from 2013-2014 and has  served on the board in various positions for three years. She served as the President of the Washington Counseling  Association from 2015-2016 and was elected the Western Region Chair for the Western Region of the American  Counseling Association for 2017-2018 which is a high honor in the counseling profession. 

Workshop Overview – This workshop will focus on the varied ethical concerns related to the practice of play therapy with children who  are from divorced or divorcing families. Concerns will be explored through various professional ethical codes such  as the American Counseling Association, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, National  Association for Social Workers, and American Psychological Association. Furthermore, state law and guidance from  the Association for Play Therapy (APT)’s Best Practices will be reviewed. The presenter will use case examples to  illustrate the principles and participants will be engaged by using the newly learned information to think through these complex cases. 

Workshop Abstract – Working with children who come from divorced or divorcing families poses unique legal and ethically challenges for the Play Therapist. Learn your legal and ethical obligations to both the child, and divorcing  or divorced parents, to ensure the focus of your work is on providing play therapy, not entrapped in  exhausting custody, visitation, or placement battles. Participants will leave the workshop with a  confident conceptualization of their role in these cases, and 3 tools to help them ethically safeguard  their practice. 

Learning Objectives:

Workshop participants will be able to:

1) Participants will be able to identify 3 common ethical and legal concerns specific to  conducting play therapy with children who come from divorced or divorcing parents. 

2) Participants will be able to articulate their role as play therapist through an ethical lens when  asked for recommendations regarding custody, visitation or placement recommendations.  

3) Participants will be able to apply content learned to ensure they maintain the best interests  of their child clients despite parental discord. 

4) Participants will use critical thinking skills to engage in sound ethical decision making when  confronted with typical and complex play therapy cases 

5) Participants will identify three ways to improve their current practices (i.e., disclosure form  updates, attestations, first meeting summary) to ensure everyone understand the role of the  play therapy



Washington State Association for Play Therapy is an approved APT Provider.


This program has been approved for 3 CE hours by the NASW Washington State Chapter. Licensed Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors are eligible.

NASW PROVIDER #1975-331.

Washington State Association for Play Therapy has been approved by NBCC

as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7052. Programs

that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Washington State

Association for Play Therapy is solely responsible for all aspects of the


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Cancellation Policy: Registration fee will be refunded only if notice of cancellation is received in writing no later than 48 hours prior to the training start time. We regret that we cannot refund registrations after that time.