Standards and Ethics - ADTA Code of Ethics

Members of ADTA and R-DMT or BC-DMT credentialed dance/movement therapists are required to adhere to the ADTA Code of Ethics and Standards of Ethical Practice. The Code defines responsible professional behavior and rules of conduct to protect the public. The Standards of Ethical Practice are specific guidelines that serve as a model for professional dance/movement therapy practice.


Need a consultation on an ethical question?  Contact Standards and Ethics Committee Chairperson, Ellen Schelly Hill, at adta.ethics@gmail.com.  She will return contact promptly by phone or e-mail, in accordance with your preference. 


The Standards and Ethics Committee serves to protect the public and the profession.  The Committee uses a constructive and educational approach to influence conscientious and ethical action by dance/movement therapists. When the interest of the public and the profession are in conflict with personal interest, the former is given priority.

Membership in ADTA or R-DMT and BC-DMT credentials obligate dance/movement therapists to practice in accordance with the Code of Ethics. For the ADTA Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice Document,
Click here


Reporting of violations is at the dance/movement therapist's discretion, not mandatory.  When a dance/movement therapist questions the ethical conduct of a fellow dance/movement therapist, informal discussion between the two dance/movement therapists is the first step. Contact the Standards and Ethics Committee Chairperson,

Ellen Schelly Hill, adta.ethics@gmail.com at  if you would like committee facilitation for the discussion.


If this does not resolve the difficulty, a formal complaint procedure can be undertaken. To file a complaint:
All complaints must be written, signed, and specify facts of the alleged violations; in addition, relevant documentation should be supplied. Send to: 
                                              Standards and Ethics Committee Chairperson
                                              American Dance Therapy Association, Inc.
                                              10632 Little Patuxent Parkway, Ste. 108
                                              Columbia, Maryland 2l044


Also see DMTCB Ethics Compliance Information

Helpful resources on ethics:
Garcia, J.G; Winston, S.M.; Borzuchowska, B. (2003). A transcultural integrative model for ethical decision making in counseling. Journal of Counseling and Development, 81(3). 268-278.

Hervey, L. (2007). Embodied ethical decision making. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 29(2). 91-108.

Pope, K.;Sonne, J.L. & Holroyd, J. (2000). Sexual feelings in psychotherapy:
Explorations for therapists and therapists-in-training
. Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association. 

Reamer, F.G. (2001). Tangled relationships: Managing boundary issues in the human services. New York: Columbia University Press.

Smith, E.; Clance, P.R., Imes, S. (1998). Touch in psychotherapy. New York: Guilford Press.

Willis, C. (1987). Legal and ethical issues of touch in dance/movement therapy. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 10, 41-53





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