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: $135 (provides lifetime access!)
  • Presented by: David Woodsfellow, Ph.D. (see bio below)

Educational Objectives:

At the end of this workshop, the participant will be able 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
  • "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
  • "Great, personable and kept me engaged. This was an awesome training." - MM

6 Ethics, Core, or Related CE Clock Hours:

  • Psychologists: The Knowledge Tree (TKT) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. TKT maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
    • Georgia Psychologists: All online webinars (both real-time "synchronous" and on-demand "asynchronous") count the same as "live" throughout 2022 (including ethics). There is also a proposed Board rule to make this change permanent. Please stay tuned for updates.
    • Licensed in another state: The Knowledge Tree is a Continuing Education Sponsor Approved (CESA) by APA, so all of our workshops should satisfy your CE requirements, but please check your state rules.
  • Counselors: The Knowledge Tree has been approved by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, 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.
    • Georgia Counselors: This workshop has been approved for 5 Core Hours as an "On-Demand - asynchronous" course by NBCC (ACEP # above). NBCC hours satisfy the requirements of the Georgia Composite Board. They do not need to be approved by LPCA. This 5 CE course needs to be "Core" because the Georgia Composite Board requires that all Ethics hours be obtained either live or via a live synchronous webinar.
    • Licensed in another state as a Counselor: The Knowledge Tree is approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, so all of our workshops should satisfy your CE requirements, but please check your specific state rules to be certain.
    • Licensed in Canada as a Counselor: This workshop is approved for 6 credit hours through CCPA, event code: 64959707.
  • Social Workers and Marriage & Family Therapists: The Knowledge Tree (TKT) is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. This workshop is also approved for 6 core CE hours through GSCSW, approval #061022.
    • Georgia: Because we have national approval for all our courses through APA, this workshop would be part of your option for up to 15 "Related Hours." For Masters Licensed Therapists in Georgia, "Related" hours are allowed to comprise up to 15 hours of the total 35 hours required per renewal period (10 hours of On-Demand are expressly permitted, and the extra five would be your optional Independent Study hours). "Ethics" hours must be obtained via a live "Synchronous" event (either in-person or Live Webinars). Please see our Live Webinars for Ethics options.
    • Licensed in another state as a Social Worker or MFT: The Knowledge Tree has national approval for all our courses through APA. Many states will accept APA-approved continuing education hours, but please check your specific state rules & regulations.

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