Couples Therapy Ethics On-Demand Continuing Education Course for therapists, counselors, psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists


On-Demand: Ethics in Couples Therapy: What You Need to Know - 6 CEUs

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  • CE Hours Included: 6 Ethics, Core, or Related (please see below for details)
  • Format: On-Demand Webinar (“Asynchronous”) ~ At your leisure to be viewed at your own pace. You may pause, rewind, and fast forward at any point during the videos. You are in complete control of how you view this workshop. It also comes with a PowerPoint and references. There is a quiz at the end to ensure viewing and required by all CE approval organizations.
  • Investment: $140 (provides lifetime access!)
    • To pay with PayPal, ACH transfer, or CashApp, please email us at [email protected] or call us at 404-913-2005. Otherwise, click below on "Enroll Now!"
  • Presented by: David Woodsfellow, Ph.D. (see bio below)
  • Target Audience: Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychotherapists, Other Mental Health Professionals
  • Instruction Level: Intermediate

Educational Objectives:

In this workshop, you will learn how to:

  • Name the single most important thing to know before meeting with a new couple.
  • State one presenting problem for which couples therapy is NOT indicated.
  • State one presenting problem for which couples therapy is the optimal treatment.
  • List the four topics you need to discuss with your clients before shifting from couples therapy to individual therapy.
  • Describe the two different types of “secrets policies.”
  • Identify an example of a therapist value that should be shared. Explain why.
  • Identify an example of a therapist value that should NOT be shared. Explain why.
  • Discuss what to do when a prospective couple complains about their previous therapist.

Workshop Description:

Couples therapy sure isn’t boring. It’s exciting, energizing, and challenging. It’s especially challenging when it puts us in difficult ethical situations. We can’t just proceed as if it was individual therapy. Because it’s different – crucially so. In this workshop, you’ll learn the special ethical considerations in couples therapy to be prepared for those challenging moments. We’ll discuss loyalty, confidentiality, therapist values, and modeling relationality. There’s a challenge even before your first meeting with a new couple. It’s when you decide whether to do individual therapy, couples therapy, or both. That’s a big decision. We’ll review the ethical considerations involved. You also need to know when couples therapy is contraindicated and when individual therapy is not a good idea. We’ll also look at how to be careful when starting treatment with clients served by others.
Another crucial difference in couples therapy is the nature of confidentiality. With two clients, you’ll need two releases to speak to any third party. We’ll discuss the details of that informed consent. You may also encounter questions about confidentiality between your two clients – aka secrets. We’ll discuss how to formulate your “secrets policy” and how to get informed consent regarding it. And then, what to do when someone violates that policy. There are also questions about whether, when, and to what extent a couples therapist should share their own values with clients. There is not a simple yes/no. Some values must be shared; some values must not. Sometimes we must let the clients make their own decisions; sometimes we should do all we can to influence those decisions. In this workshop, we’ll discuss guidelines for determining what’s right to share, when, why, and how much. It’s not simple.
But that’s what’s so great about couples therapy. It’s not simple.

Presented by: David Woodsfellow, Ph.D.

Dr. David Woodsfellow is a licensed psychologist whose practice is 100% couples therapy. He has been seeing couples -- only couples, no individuals -- for 20 years, and teaching other therapists about couples therapy for 15 years. His workshops are highly engaging and immediately useable.

Dr. Woodsfellow received his B.A. at Harvard, his M.Ed. at Antioch New England, his M.A. at UC Santa Barbara, and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Georgia State University. He did his clinical psychology internship at the Neuropsychiatric Institute of UCLA Medical School. Dr. Woodsfellow has been personally trained by Drs. Harville Hendrix, John Gray, John Gottman, and Mr. Terry Real. He holds Master Certification in Relationship Empowerment Therapy, and has previously been a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist. He has taken Advanced Training in Gottman-Method Relationship Therapy and Emotionally-Focused Therapy.

What people are saying about this workshop:

  • "I really liked how knowledgable Dr. Woodsfellow was about the material. His passion for the work came across and I liked the real life examples he used and how he was informed but also let us in and allowed himself to be vulnerable about his experience with couples counseling (as the therapist AND the client). I am always much more interested when a therapist/presenter gives us personal and professional examples because I am interested in the real life of it all and I thought he was masterful in striking a balance between the two. I appreciated how he took time to answer my question about what to do if one client in the couple is ambivalent or states they don't want to be there. He said to validate their feelings and I needed that reminder. Overall a great CE experience!" - GED, LMFT
  • "Dr. Woodsfellow is steeped in clinical experience with couples and conveys his deep thinking extremely well. Thank you!" - DW, Ph.D.
  • "Both the instructor and the class content were amazing. Way better than I expected (especially from an ethics class). I am so glad I made time for this!" - RF, LPC
  • "He was very knowledgeable, professional, and interesting. He handled questions well and made good use of the time." - PAJ, LPC
  • "Polls are engaging and provides a point of reference of my own practice. The presentation was clear, coherent, and provided a wealth of great information. This one was probably the best I've attended. The bar is now high!" - JB, APC
  • "If you are considering working with couples or currently work with couples, you will find this workshop incredibly helpful!" - AR, LPC
  • "I thought Dr. Woodsfellow's organization of the material was very coherent, easy to follow, and therefore retainable. I liked his case examples and I especially appreciated how he shared his vulnerability as a clinician and a person. I absolutely loved that the participants were muted and not visible. I find all the people to be extremely distracting in other trainings. I like to focus on the presenter, and the format of this workshop allowed for that. This was by far the best online training I have attended. Thanks to Dr. Woodsfellow and The Knowledge Tree!" - KL, LMFT

6 Ethics, Core, or Related “Asynchronous” CE Clock Hours Included - Details by License Type Below:

  • PSYCHOLOGISTS: The Knowledge Tree (TKT) is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. TKT maintains responsibility for this program and its content. For more detailed information on the current CE ruling in Georgia, or if you are licensed in another state or country, please click here.
  • COUNSELORS: The Knowledge Tree has been approved by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) as an Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP), ACEP No. 7153. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Knowledge Tree is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. For more detailed information regarding CE approvals, please click here.
    • Counselors Licensed in Canada: This workshop is approved for 6 credit hours through the Canadian Counseling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), event code: 64959707.

  • SOCIAL WORKERS: This workshop is approved for 6 core hours through the Georgia Society for Clinical Social Work (GSCSW), approval #121523. If you are licensed in another state or country, please click here for more detailed information.
  • MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPISTS: This workshop is approved for Related Hours for Marriage and Family Therapists via GSCSW through reciprocal agreement with the Composite Board. If you are licensed in another state or country, please click here for more detailed information.

To view our various workshop policies, including our multi-workshop discount & refund policy, please click here.

We are an approved vendor for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for easy reimbursement of educational expenses for VA employees.

Neither the Knowledge Tree nor its speakers have received any commercial support for this program or its contents and will not receive any commercial support prior to or during this program.

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For information about our Continuing Education Workshops, please contact our Continuing Education

Workshop Coordinator at:


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