Organizing Chaos: Ethically Counseling Children and Families

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Treating children and families is complex and challenging, but for the most part fun. When clinicians want to work with children and families, getting started can be chaotic. Especially when faced with seemingly contradictory legal and ethical guidelines. Each professional counseling profession has their own Code of Ethics, training standards, and treatment philosophies, which often leads to confusion regarding what is appropriate when counseling children and families. This workshop will focus on outlining the best practices for ethically and legally counseling children and families. Participants will compare the similarities and differences between counseling profession codes of ethics, as well as reviewing the Association for Play Therapy’s statement on Play Therapy Best Practices. Participants will be required to take two assessments prior to the workshop in order to participate in the breakout sessions where they will discuss their own implicit biases and their own moral foundations. Discussions will focus on enhancing multicultural competency using examining the results of their implicit biases and moral foundations.

This course qualifies for 3 hours of non-contact CE’s with the Association for Play Therapy (APT Approved Provider 18-537).

Course Information

Advanced, Beginner, Intermediate



This training is for psychologists, social workers, counselors, school counselors, psychiatrists, family therapists, and other experienced professionals who work with children and families (CE credits can only be awarded to mental health professionals). The learning experience for this workshop is a convenient non-contact self-paced online training, with unlimited, lifetime access after registration and purchase starting June 7, 2021. Digital CE certificates are automatically generated with your name once all lessons have been completed, you have filled out the evaluation form, and you have passed the quiz with a score of 70% or more.

***NOTE: APT CE’s will NOT be awarded to registrants who are not mental-health professionals.***

Learning Objectives

  • Identify their own implicit biases and how they impact their use of play therapy.

  • Explain their legal and ethical restrictions to treating families and children with play therapy.

  • Compare their own professional code of ethics with play therapy best practices.
Dr. Whitehead Dr. Whitehead Author

About the instructor

Michael Whitehead, PhD, LMFT, RPT-S received his MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from Brigham Young University and his PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from Michigan State University. Dr. Whitehead is passionate about “whole family therapy”, wherein as many family members as possible come to each therapy session. His experience in using whole family therapy and his training in classical family therapy are hallmarks of his work, writing, research, and training. Dr. Whitehead is a Clinical Fellow, an Approved Supervisor, and recipient of the Certificate of Leadership from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). He has authored or co-authored various research articles and book chapters on topics ranging from treating children with Family Therapy, to research methods in family therapy. He was a founding board member of the Systemic Perspective Across the Lifespan Topic Interest Network with AAMFT, was a board member of the Idaho Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, is a board member for the Coalition of Associations for Systemic Therapy (COAST-MFT) and is a Distinguished Core Part-Time Professor at National University (formerly Northcentral University – NCU) where he teaches and supervises graduate students in the Marriage and Family Therapy department. For more information about Dr. Whitehead and his credentials, please request a CV from him at:

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