Robyn Simmons EdD, LPC, NCC, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor on Friday, April 7, 2023

Being a Responsible Play Therapist: Ethics, Supervision,

and Self-Care



In practicing play therapy, it is critical for the clinician to be aware of specific ethical considerations in working with minor clients. Additionally, play therapists are ethically responsible when they monitor for and respond to potential impairment as a result of burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma. The focus of this workshop will be on helping play therapists understand legal and ethical issues in play therapy and methods play therapists can use to minimize the negative impacts of working with difficult client material, as well as supervision strategies to help play therapists navigate ethical decision making and self-care needs.

Learning Objectives

  1. Compare and contrast the legal and ethical issues that are unique to play therapy and those shared with other modalities (i.e., documentation, competence, informed consent, confidentiality, cultural competence, boundaries, and duty to warn and protect).
  2. Increase awareness of the impact of client material on the clinician.
  3. Identify legal requirements and limitations of working with minor clients.
  4. Understand the distinctions between burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma.
  5. Increase understanding of counselor impairment that can result from burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma.
  6. Gain awareness of self-care methods to minimize the impact of traumatic client material.
  7. Learn creative methods of processing through client experiences.
  8. Using play approaches in supervision to conceptualize cases and identify interventions.


Robyn Trippany Simmons received her Ed.D. in Counselor Education from the University of Alabama in 2001 and has been a practicing counselor since 1996. She serves as Professor and Director of Faculty Development in the Department of Counseling at the University of the Cumberlands. Dr. Simmons has also served in programmatic administrative and leadership positions for much of her career. Dr. Simmons’s research and clinical interests include sexual trauma, vicarious trauma, play therapy, and professional identity issues. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor in Alabama and is a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. Dr. Simmons publishes and presents locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally on play therapy, creative approaches to therapy and clinical supervision, counselor education, and trauma counseling.


Workshop Session I8:30-10:00
Morning Break10:00-10:15
Workshop Session II10:15-12:00
Lunch On Your Own12:00-1:00
Workshop Session III1:00-2:30
Afternoon Break2:30-2:45
Workshop Session IV2:45-4:00
All Times are CST

Continuing Education Credit

Six Contact Hours will be awarded for a full day of attendance.  

Counselors:  Alabama Association for Play Therapy (AAPT) has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6211.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are identified.  Alabama Association for Play Therapy is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Marriage and Family Therapists: The Alabama Board of Examiners in Marriage and Family Therapy (ABEMFT) automatically approves courses that are NBCC approved for CE credit. 

Play Therapists: AAPT is approved by the Association for Play Therapy (APT) to offer continuing education specific to play therapy. APT Approved Provider No. 98-045.   

Social Workers: AAPT is approved by the Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners (ASBSWE) to offer continuing education to social workers. ASBSWE Provider No. 0284. 

Registration Fees:

REGISTRATION FEESAdvanced Registration On-Site Registration
AAPT/APT Member$70$80
Full-Time Student
(with proof of enrollment)
Space is not Guaranteed Until Your Registration is Processed.


Group Discount:

A discount of $10.00 per registrant for groups of 3 or more registering together. Email the Registration Chair ( to complete a Group Registration. Credit Cards are accepted if registering online. No purchase orders accepted.


Scholarships to attend the AAPT workshop will be offered to full-time students who volunteer to be available Thursday evening, April 6th, and all-day Friday, April 7th to assist with the conference. Volunteer duties may involve working registration, assisting with setup prior to the event, cleaning up after the event, selling books for the presenter, and preparing materials for the workshop. Students interested in volunteering for the event should contact Sarah Knapp at and submit proof of enrollment in a counseling or related program (SW, MFT, etc). 

Location: Blue Spring Road Church of Christ 2150 Blue Spring Road NW, Huntsville, AL 35810

Special Needs:

Please contact CE & Registration at, Registration & CE Coordinator


Registrants canceling up to 48 hours before a workshop will receive a tuition refund less a $20 administrative fee (per day). All requests must be made in writing or by email. No refunds will be issued for any reason after April 4, 2023.  In the unlikely event, the workshop cannot be held, registrants will receive complimentary admission to a rescheduled workshop or a full value voucher, good for one year, for a future workshop.

Membership Information:

To join the Association for Play Therapy click here.

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