Ethics – Fall 2022

Sunday, October 23, 2021 – 10:00 am – 6:00 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

To Register complete the form at this link.

Overview:  Psychotherapists, coaches, healers and helpers 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 helpers and healers, 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.For example:

  • 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.

What ethical decision aids can help ensure we are using touch in a safe and ethical way?

  • In psychodrama, leaders sometimes share personal disclosures in the service of individuals, couples and groups. The intentional use of self-disclosure can be an important part of the helping process.
  • What ethical tools can we use to help be certain we are using self-disclosure intentionally – and for the benefit of those we serve?
  • In the small and somewhat insular community of psychodrama students, practitioners and trainers, there are possibilities to serve others in a variety of roles and relationships.
  • How can we assess the factors that could be influencing our decision to take on a dual or multiple role(s) with a client or student?

This workshop offers a deep dive into these important ethical issues facing action-oriented practitioners: We consider findings from theory and research and use psychodramatic role-play and related methods to explore these and/or other ethical topics in depth.

Intended Audience:  This workshop is intended for psychotherapists (psychologists, clinical social workers, mental health counselors, addictions counselors), as well as and other helpers and healers, such as coaches, organizational/leadership development specialists, spiritual facilitators, massage therapists and others who use body-based approaches in their professional practice. It is also relevant for any professional who is interested in learning more about psychodrama.

What Participants Will Learn: Depending on the interests, needs and preferences of the participants who attend, we may explore ethical issues of touch, self-disclosure, multiple relationships or others.

In addition, participants will learn sociometric and psychodramatic action structures that they can apply to topics other than ethics. Participants with sufficient background and training will be able to replicate the action structures demonstrated with clients in their own practice setting.

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

  • Identify key concepts from the professional literature related to at least two of three significant ethical issues that often arise in experiential/action-oriented professional practice – touch, self-disclosure, dual/multiple relationships, or others identified by participants;
  • Explore ethical dilemmas using specific psychodramatic action structures as decision aids. These may include The Role Wheel, The Diamond of OppositesThe Four Chairs of Differing Perspectives and Classical Psychodramatic Role Training.
  • Increase their awareness of the complexities of ethical decision-making and move toward resolution of challenging ethical scenarios.
  • Describe ways the action interventions demonstrated can be used with clients to explore and resolve different types of issues and situations.

Workshop Leader:

Catherine D. Nugent is Executive Director and Principal Trainer with Laurel Psychodrama Training Institute (LPIT). Cathy is a licensed clinical professional counselor and Board-certified psychodrama trainer. From 2013-2019, Cathy was adjunct faculty with the graduate mental health counseling program instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She is Immediate Past President of the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry & Group Psychotherapy (ABE), a Fellow of The American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama (ASGPP), and recipient of the ASGPP’s 2019 J.L. Moreno Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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.

Cathy will be assisted in this workshop by a team of students with LPTI.

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 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.