Ethics in Action for Action-Oriented Psychotherapists

Sunday, October 24, 2021 – 9:15 am – 5:00 pm

Note: Use this workshop to meet your ethics training requirement for licensure renewal. This is a required course for LPTI certification at any level.

Led by: Catherine D. Nugent, LCPC, TEP

Covid Note:  Participants at live, in-person LPTI events must be fully vaccinated and willing to show proof, if requested. Also, training events are currently limited to 12 participants. 

Location: Laurel, Maryland–off Route 198, between I-95 and Route 29.

To Register: Complete the registration form at this link:

https://forms.gle/54Lxub1gzSgni9dn6

Overview:  Psychotherapists* who practice from an integrative perspective often incorporate action methods into their work. Examples of action methods include psychodrama, sensorimotor psychotherapy, somatic experiencing, yoga therapy, and other experiential and body-based approaches.

As action-oriented psychotherapists, we engage with clients in non-traditional ways, stepping out of our chairs and into a less clearly defined zone of collaborative action with clients. In this action space, we find opportunities for powerful healing and recovery. However, we also encounter ethical issues that do not arise—or don’t arise in the same way—in many other, less experiential, modalities.

In action-oriented therapies, we sometimes focus on the body and body movement. We may use touch to support a client or facilitate an intervention. In addition to the use of touch, psychodrama offers a structured way for therapists to make conscious, intentional use of self-disclosure with participants.

This workshop offers a deep dive into these two important ethical issues: the intentional therapeutic use of touch and of self-disclosure. We consider findings from theory and research and use psychodramatic role-play and related methods to explore these topics in depth.

Intended Audience:  This workshop is especially relevant for psychotherapists who use experiential and/or body-based approaches in their clinical practices, and/or for those interested in learning more about psychodrama. *The workshop is also appropriate for coaches, spiritual facilitators, non-clinical psychodramatists, and other helping and healing professionals.

What Participants Will Learn: In addition to exploring conceptual and pragmatic concerns about touch and self-disclosure in therapy, group members will learn three action structures that they can apply to topics other than ethics. Participants can replicate these structures with clients in their own practice setting.


Back by Popular Demand:  Classical Psychodramatic Role-Training. In the afternoon, we will use the psychodramatic action structure of role- training to explore ethical issues offered by participants.

This will be a double-track training session: You will learn the steps in facilitating a role-training with a group, while at the same time, exploring complex ethical issues through psychodramatic role-play. Role-training facilitates self-awareness and more skillful role performance. Participants will learn a step-by-step structure applicable to a great variety of issues and populations.


The Role Wheel: We explore concerns about touch in psychotherapy via The Role Wheel (Warner, c. 1979). With this sociodramatic action structure, group members participate in collective perspective-taking related to a specific situation. Here, we use The Role Wheel to examine an ethical dilemma about touch in psychotherapy, viewing it through the eyes of different persons or organizations that have a stake in the situation.

The Diamond of Opposites: During a demonstration of The Diamond of Opposites (Carlson-Sabelli, Sabelli, Patel & Holm, 1992; Hale & Little, 2002), participants learn a process for resolving ambivalence about different courses of action that could be taken in an ethical dilemma related to therapist self-disclosure. The Diamond of Opposites can be done as a paper-and-pencil activity and/or an exploration in action using psychodramatic role-play.

Intended Outcomes: As a result of the workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Identify key concepts from the professional literature on the intentional use of touch and self-disclosure in psychotherapy;
  • Explore ethical dilemmas using three different action structures—The Role Wheel, The Diamond of Opposites, and Classical Psychodramatic Role Training—to raise awareness of the complexities of ethical decision-making and move toward resolution.
  • Describe the steps in a classical psychodramatic role-training session.
  • Discuss how these action interventions can be used with clients to explore and resolve different types of issues and situations.

Workshop Leader:

Catherine D. Nugent is a licensed clinical professional counselor and Board-certified psychodrama trainer. From 2013-2019, Cathy taught in the graduate mental health counseling program instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She is the current President of the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry & Group Psychotherapy (ABE).

Cathy’s awareness of potential ethical dilemmas for action-oriented psychotherapists has emerged over her 30+ years’ experience as a psychodramatist and integrative psychotherapist. Additional training and experience in sensorimotor psychotherapy and yoga-as-therapy have further sensitized Cathy to the importance of the highest standards of personal integrity when entrusted with holding a sacred space for clients doing deep therapeutic work.

Cathy’s leadership roles in national organizations—as Ethics Chair of the ABE, and as a member of the American Counseling Association’s Task Force on Counselor Impairment & Wellness—have provided her with opportunities to consider many different ethical issues psychotherapists encounter. Her 20-year tenure with the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) gave her hands-on experience resolving complex diverse ethical dilemmas at the individual, group and organization levels.

Continuing Education: 7.0 hours Category I, Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners (can be used for licensure requirement); National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC – ACEP #6788); American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry & Group Psychotherapy. (See below for full continuing education information.)

Cost: $195-general admission; $175-members of LPTI ongoing training cohort;

A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Please inquire.

For further information: Send an email to cathynugent@verizon.net or

call 410-746-7251.

Continuing Education Information:

Catherine D. Nugent/Dramatic Transformations is an Approved Provider of Continuing Education, and is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners in Maryland to sponsor social work continuing education learning activities and maintains full responsibility for this program. This training qualifies for up to 7.0 hours of Category I continuing education for social workers in Maryland.

Dramatic Transformations/Laurel Psychodrama Training Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider with the National Board for Certified Counselors (AEP # 6788) and certifies that this program meets the criteria for up to 7.0 hours of continuing education for counselors. Programs that do not qualify are clearly identified. Dramatic Transformations/Laurel Psychodrama Training Institute is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Catherine D. Nugent, LCPC, TEP, is a Board-certified psychodramatist and psychodrama trainer. Up to 7.0 hours may be credited toward the Certified Practitioner in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy certification, C.P. credential, as approved by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy.

2021-2022 PSYCHODRAMA TRAINING COHORT

Catherine D. Nugent, LCPC, TEP

Executive Director & Principal Trainer

Covid Note: LPTI holds the health and safety of participants and our community as a singular priority. We hope to offer this workshop live and in-person. However, should federal, state and local public health recommendations preclude the necessary conditions for psychodrama, we will change to a Zoom format. Participants will be notified either way no later than October 07.

Training in psychodrama, sociometry and group psychotherapy will enhance your knowledge and skills as a mental health practitioner, addictions counselor, life or wellness coach, educator, spiritual facilitator, or other helping or healing professional. Whatever your professional role, you will acquire new competencies through this nine-month psychodrama program to work with greater clarity, confidence and effectiveness.

Through the LPTI Cohort Training, you will be able to:

  • Acquire skill using psychodramatic role-play with individuals, couples & groups.
  • Integrate body-based and creative/expressive methods with other approaches you practice.
  • Describe sociometric/psychodramatic concepts that support a holistic, integrative and experiential approach in your therapy, coaching or other professional practice.
  • Receive peer support and coaching as you apply psychodramatic methods in your work.
  • Experience inspiration, compassion and support from a cadre of diverse and dedicated professionals.

LPTI Training Approach: LPTI training sets itself apart from other trainings because every workshop or training we offer is holistic, integrative and experiential. Participants are offered a full-bodied, “whole person” experience. LPTI uses powerful and effective learning modalities including sociometry, sociodrama, psychodramatic role-play, brief action structures and full classical psychodramas. We emphasize four core learning domains in every LPTI training: theory, skills development, personal growth and professional application.

LPTI Conceptual Framework: LPTI training integrates classical psychodrama, sociometry and group psychotherapy as developed by J.L. Moreno (1889-1974) and Z.T. Moreno (1917-2016) with contemporary knowledge from interpersonal neurobiology (Corzilano, 2010; Siegel, 2015; Kain & Terrell, 2018) and attachment theory (Brown & Elliott, 2016; Heller & LaPierre, 2012; Wallin, 2007).

Concepts and techniques from sensorimotor psychotherapy (Ogden, Minton & Pain, 2006) and mindful hatha yoga (Emerson 2015, Fay 2018) are skillfully integrated. The result is a theoretically-grounded and research-informed model that is holistic, integrative and experiential.

Transfer of Learning: We want to be sure you actually apply the concepts and skills presented in the training to your work setting. Applications to specific settings and populations can be explored during training sessions or through individual consultations. The LPTI listserv is also a way for cohort members to share ideas, ask for assistance with their work, and share key learning from the training experience. Individual and small group consultations on a specific topic are available outside of the training cohort. LPTI also offers referrals to other experts when the expertise is not available at LPTI.

Benefits of Small Group Cohort Format: Each training cohort of approximately 8-12 members meets as a closed group once per month for 9 months. The continuity of meeting as a closed group fosters an environment where members can experiment with psychodrama in many ways according to their learning interests, preferences and needs. Under normal circumstances, the cohort meets in a home environment with comfortable rooms for relaxing and outside gardens to enjoy.

Participant-Led Approach: As a training institute, LPTI recognizes the important and value of participant voices in developing policies, practices, curriculum and other topics of significance in program design and implementation. The LPTI Leadership Circle consists of five LPTI students who offer input and feedback to the Executive Director/Principal Trainer. LPTI values transparency and welcomes comments and critiques to refine our operational policies and program offerings.

Peer Support/Resources:  LPTI values peer-to-peer learning and offers three opportunities to participate with peers in small groups during and outside of the training sessions:

  • A peer-led Reading Group focuses on psychodrama and related literature to supplement teaching of theory during the training sessions, and to support students in reading and discussing significant works by prominent psychodramatists.
  • Resource Pairs/Pods are created each year to offer various types of peer support outside of the formal training sessions. Resource Partners/Pods focus on current concerns or needs specific to the pair/pod members. Typically, Resource Partners share encouragement and feedback on psychodrama directing, clarification of concepts and methods demonstrated in a session, support in applying psychodrama techniques in their specific practice setting, and generally, emotional and instrumental support.
  • The Peer Mentoring Program provides opportunities for more advanced psychodrama students to support newer members. The Peer Mentoring Program Coordinate matches mentors who offer specific talents/expertise with mentees looking with needs the mentors can meet.

Training Schedule:  LPTI 2020-2021 Psychodrama Training Cohort

To accommodate participants’ schedules and to maintain small group size, LPTI is offering two cohorts for 202-2021. One will meet on Wednesdays and the other on Saturdays, as follows:

Second Wednesday of each month, October 2021 through June 2022.

October 13

January 12

November 10

February 09

December 08

March 09

April 13

May 11

June 08

Second Saturday of each month, October 2021 through June 2022.

October 9

January 08

November 13

February 12

December 11

March 19*

April 9

May 14

June 11

*Changed to 3rd Saturday for March 2022.

Time:  9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

IMPORTANT– Please Note: Cohort members make a commitment to participate in the entire series.

If you think you will be absent more than once, please check with LPTI about the advisability of enrolling at this time. Payment is expected for the full series (9 sessions).

Location:  Laurel Psychodrama Training Institute, Laurel, Maryland (near Route 29 and I-95)

Investment:  $195 per session paid at the beginning of each training day. You may pay in three installments of $585, if you prefer ($585 for 3 months, Oct-Dec; Jan-Mar; Apr-June). Checks, credit cards, Zelle and Pay Pal are accepted. (There is a $5 service charge on credit cards.) A limited number of partial scholarships opportunities are available. Please inquire.

Continuing Education Credit/Psychodrama Training Hours: For each session, 7.0 hours are granted through the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners, National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), and the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama. For completing the entire series, 63.0 credit hours are given. See below for full information and disclaimer*.

For further information/to register:  Contact: 410-746-7251 or cathynugent@verizon.net. Space is limited; please register early. New students are required to participate in a brief screening interview to help ensure a good fit between students’ interests, preferences and needs and the LPTI program offered.

New and returning students are required to submit an application form; review, sign and submit the LPTI Training Agreement, and provide payment for the first session before final acceptance into the 2021-2022 cohort.

*Continuing Education Information: 

Laurel Psychodrama Training Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider with the National Board for Certified Counselors (AEP # 6788) and certifies that this live interactive webinar meets the criteria for up to 7.0 hours of continuing education for counselors. Programs that do not qualify are clearly identified. Dramatic Transformations/Laurel Psychodrama Training Institute is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Catherine D. Nugent/Dramatic Transformations is an Approved Provider of Continuing Education with the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners and certifies that this live, real-time, interactive webinar meets the criteria up to 7.0 hours of Category I continuing education for social workers in Maryland.

Catherine D. Nugent, LCPC, TEP, is a Board-certified psychodramatist and psychodrama trainer. Up to 7.0 hours may be credited toward the Certified Practitioner in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy certification, C.P. credential, as approved by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy. (ABE allows psychodrama students to acquire up to 120 hours of distance learning in consultation with their primary trainer.)