Can LPC Diagnose in GA | SB 319: 2019 and Beyond

Ethics Demystified: Can LPC Diagnose in GA

Georgia Composite Board Diagnose Law -Updated 1/23/2020

“I have heard that prior to SB 319 it was illegal for LPC’s in GA to diagnose”. This is false. The Georgia composite board has always enforced it is legal for LPC’s to diagnose. The driving force behind the new law was the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia. It further establishes the professional identity of masters level therapists. Now the word, “diagnose” is in the LAW and allows LPC, SW and MFT to inform a judge they can legally diagnose. Amending the law to include “diagnose” was important especially for civil suits.In practical terms, SB 319 addressed reimbursement issues and compliance with other state laws. For example Medicaid chooses which credentials they will reimburse for mental health services. If you bill Medicaid without that credential they can seek remedy including reporting this to federal authorities as fraud, but legality of “diagnosing” is determined by the state licensing board.

What is GA SB 319?

First, SB 319, is the most sweeping change to our practice law since the law creating these licenses was passed in 1984. My ethics workshops provide opportunities for you to ask questions about my experience enforcing this law. Senate Bill 319 includes an amendment to GA Code § 43-10A-3. This section of our law states what PC, SW and MFT can perform, what we can not perform, and what is an infringement especially on other licensed healthcare professions. can lpc diagnose georgia

Do I need to understand this law?

The language of this amendment is complex and convoluted. The law contains many other elements and changes that impact everyone licensed by the Composite Board- GA Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors. The other issues in the new law are related to education requirements and the various instruments used for psychological testing. However, now that GA law contains the word “diagnose” for LPC SW and MFT, they now also must prove they’re qualified to do it. You should read that law, but it is not possible to interpret because the board enforces it in a manner that suits the current climate of the profession. What is important is that you read and understand Board rule Chapter 135-12.

Corresponding Rule Chapter 135-12, Testing and Assessment

Board Acceptable Educational Requirements

What has changed is there are now educational requirements that must be met in order to be in compliance with the new rules. If you have been fully licensed ( not associate level) for 10 years, you are exempt from any additional requirements. If you have been licensed for less than 10 years you will need to document that you completed a 3 semester or 5 quarter credit hour graduate course that had diagnosing in the course content or a curriculum in diagnosing workshops. If you have not satisfied these requirements, here is where things get a little complicated primarily because the board has yet to determine the best way to enforce the educational requirements. The board could exercise discretion in the following areas: 1) The composite board does not accept diagnose continuing education as meeting the diagnose rule requirements. At least not yet. As of 5/13/2019,  the board is waiting for a decision from the Georgia attorney general’s office. This will officially establish if the board can begin to accept continuing education courses as a substitute for diagnose courses and the 45 hour curriculum offered by LPCAGA, GA NASW, GSCSW and GAMFT. 2) Accept courses that are completed after the 12/31/17 deadline as stated in board rules but prior to 9/30/18 license renewal.

PRO Tip: Would you like a personalized evaluation of diagnosing in your practice?

If you are interested in structuring your practice in an ethical manner including diagnosing, I can answer questions at any of my workshops. If you would like a comprehensive evaluation, call me and we can schedule a license consultation appointment.

4 Key Points: Rules Compliance With Diagnose and Testing

The following recommendations are based upon personal experience with many of Georgia’s other Georgia licensing boards scopes of practice violations e.g. psychology, nursing, and dental boards.

Diagnosing Mental Disorders

There is no list of mental disorders that LPCs can’t diagnose, however limit your diagnosing if possible. Usually it is not necessary for LPC SW and MFT to render highly specific diagnoses in order to carry out our work. For example, it is not inaccurate to render a more general diagnosis of recurrent major depression for a patient who a psychiatrist or psychologist has diagnosed as bipolar type I or borderline personality disorder since with all of these disorders patients may suffer from major depressive episodes. Psychiatrists and psychologists sometimes need to render more specific diagnoses. You are protecting yourself on several fronts if whenever possible you allow a psychiatrist to be the diagnosing clinician of record.

Social Workers, LPC and MFT and Psychological Testing

From reading the previous paragraph it is easier to determine which type of testing you are able to perform. Even prior to the new law, Composite Board licensees could legally administer many tests including the MMPI–clearly a psychological test. The fundamental change in this new law is that it clarifies the psychology board’s rights to perform psychology testing in an exclusive manner. The result is that it could be easier for the psychology board to issue cease and desist orders to non-psychologists for unlicensed practice of psychology. Cease and desist orders are a very serious and public disciplinary action.

Guidelines for Psychological Testing

1) The new board rules state you can administer tests that you have been properly trained to administer and interpret, but even though you have been trained in administering for example the Rorschach, it is clearly a psychological test that is usually studied in a psychology PhD program. 2) The board does not a have list of tests masters prepared psychotherapists can administer. In order to protect your license, err on the side of caution:

Suggestions To Avoid

Psychological tests that can potentially cause psychological harm to a patient if misinterpreted. For example, some IQ testing. Tests that are primarily used in psychological research. For example, the lexical decision task (LDT). Many of the common instruments used in a formal neuropsychological battery for example those used by the Social Security Administration for making determinations about psychological disability. Avoid making a determination of malingering. You can query this in your progress notes but also document either a referral or reference to a psychologist or psychiatrist needing to assess it. Avoid tests which are used to diagnose degenerative brain disorders. In fact, this potentially places you in the realm of practicing medicine.

Safe But Proceed with Caution

Questionnaires completed by the patient that render results that are a simple sum total of the items which you then interpret. Examples include the Beck Depression Inventory and the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. An example of a test you can administer and interpret by virtue of training is the Dissociative Experiences Scale. Many masters level therapists are trained in trained and skilled in treating dissociative disorders and the DES renders information useful for assessment and informing treatment planning. Career and vocational tests are generally acceptable. Some psychological tests, but only if under supervision of a psychologist. Document in your record that the psychologist both interpreted the results and directed you to administer the test.

Advertising Your Testing Services

Avoid the use of any and all terms with variants of the word, “psychology” in your advertising. Examples of what to avoid are psychological assessment, career psychology assessment services and psychological and counseling testing services. “Career and vocational testing” won’t likely be challenged by either the Composite or the Psychology Board. Be clear about your testing services. As a rule, don’t attempt to push the boundaries of any of your advertising.

Information for New Licensing Applicants

It is important you learn how to submit an LPC application that is clean, concise and clear.

All 50 States Diagnose

An alphabetical listing of counselor diagnosing by state scope of practice law and regulations. I have quoted this language directly from each state’s law or regulations. georgia counselor social work diagnose rules law It’s important to understand the history of diagnosing for professional counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists and other master’s level mental health providers. Many states have only recently added ‘diagnose’ to masters level therapists scope of practice laws. Some state boards including Georgia’s composite board have enforced masters level therapists diagnosing is legal even though the word ‘diagnose’ was not in the law. In some states, counselors have vast authority primarily due to their licensing boards lack of resources or the shortage of psychologists and psychiatrists.

Alabama

“…diagnose and develop treatment plans but shall not attempt to diagnose, prescribe for, treat, or advise a client with reference to problems or complaints falling outside the boundaries of counseling services.”

Alaska

“..may diagnose or treat, other than through the use of projective testing or individually administered intelligence tests…”

Arizona

” diagnosis and treatment of individuals, couples, families and groups.”

Arkansas

‘Diagnose’ is in the Social Workers law, however it is not in the Marriage and Family Therapists and Counselors laws.

California

“…the application of counseling interventions and psychotherapeutic techniques to identify and remediate cognitive, mental, and emotional issues…”

Colorado

(Will provide information as it becomes available.)

Connecticut

“…evaluation, assessment, analysis, diagnosis and treatment of emotional, behavioral or interpersonal dysfunction or difficulties that interfere with mental health and human development.”

Delaware

“… methods or procedures and the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders to assist individuals in achieving more effective personal and social adjustment.”

Florida

“…practice of mental health counseling includes methods of a psychological nature used to evaluate, assess, diagnose, and treat emotional and mental dysfunctions or disorders…”

Georgia

“…utilizes counseling and psychotherapy to evaluate, diagnose, treat, and recommend a course of treatment for emotional and mental problems and conditions…”

Hawaii

“…The assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of, and counseling for, mental and emotional disorders;…”

Idaho

“…prevent, assess, and treat mental, emotional or behavioral disorders.”

Illinois

“…diagnosing for the purpose of establishing treatment goals and objectives…”

Indiana

“… to evaluate and treat emotional and mental problems and conditions in a variety of settings…”

Iowa

“…“Mental health setting” means a behavioral health setting where an applicant is providing mental health services including the diagnosis, treatment, and assessment of emotional and mental health disorders and issues…”

Kansas

“…may engage in the independent practice of professional counseling and is authorized to diagnose and treat mental disorders…”

Kentucky

“…methods, and procedures, including assessment, evaluation, treatment planning, amelioration, and remediation of adjustment problems and emotional disorders,…”

Louisiana

“…means rendering offering prevention, assessment, diagnosis and treatment…”

Maine

“…means assisting individuals, families or groups through the counseling relationship to develop understanding of intrapersonal and interpersonal problems, to define goals, to make decisions,…”

Maryland

“… methods in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and amelioration of psychological problems and emotional or mental conditions…”

Massachusetts

“… includes, but is not limited to, assessment, diagnosis and treatment, counseling and psychotherapy, of a nonmedical nature of mental and emotional disorders,…”

Michigan

“…a service involving the application of clinical counseling principles, methods, or procedures for the purpose of achieving social, personal, career, and emotional development…”

Minnesota

“…the implementation of professional counseling treatment interventions including evaluation, treatment planning, assessment, and referral;…”

Mississippi

“…Counseling/Psychotherapy involves diagnosis, assessment and treatment by use of the following:…”

Missouri

“…techniques, methods, or procedures based on principles for assessing, understanding, or influencing behavior…”

Montana

“…conducting assessments and diagnoses for the purpose of establishing treatment goals…”

Nebraska

“Diagnosing major mental illness or disorder except in consultation with a qualified physician, a psychologist licensed to engage in the practice of psychology…”

Nevada

“…counseling interventions to prevent, diagnose and treat mental, emotional or behavioral disorders and associated distresses…”

New Hampshire

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Can LPC’s only give diagnostic impressions?

This is false. The term “diagnostic impression” is used in many different ways, but it did not form the basis for legality of diagnosing in Georgia.

Historical Timeline

11/21/16- The 2016 Law and Pending Composite Board Rules

If you are licensed by the Composite Board, avoid the use of any form or derivative of the word “psychology” in your practice or any information you publish or advertise through print and the internet or social media unless you are also licensed by the GA State Examining Board of Psychologists. This is regardless of whether the proposed rules are passed.

2/8/17: Rule changes focusing on psychological testing

First and foremost, the board enforces our practice law–no one else. There is no way of knowing what is legal under this new law until new rules are passed. The board has significant discretion in the interpretation of this law. Your main concern at present is to be certain you are not representing yourself as a psychologist.
  • Any new diagnose course requirements which could be passed for LAPC/LPC will become partially moot when an existing rule becomes effective after 9/30/2018 requiring a course in diagnose as part of an acceptable graduate degree. In essence, you will automatically be in compliance if you have completed that course and that course is required by most CACREP and other board approved degrees.
  • There may be CEU requirements, but the law allows the board to accept experience in lieu of educational requirements. It is not known whether the board will write the rules to allow that.
  • In essence how the new law will be enforced is unknown at this time. It is possible that the Board of Examiners of Psychologists will attempt cease and desist orders with individuals who are engaging in certain activities. However, most of psychology board’s cease and desist orders on Composite Board licensees are related to advertising.
  • The Composite Board has it’s February 2017 meeting on 2/9/2017 to further discuss SB 319 and rules drafts.
  • Don’t panic. As usual, adhere to GA composite board code of ethics 135-7. Avoid the use of any form or derivative of the word “psychology” in your practice or any information you publish or advertise through print and the internet or social media unless you are also licensed by the GA State Examining Board of Psychologists. This is regardless of how the proposed rules are passed. Beside that, there is no way of knowing what you will need to do to be in compliance with this law until the Composite Board begins to enforce it and new rules are passed.

2/15/2017: Rule Changes Still in Discussion and on the March 2017 Board Meeting Agenda

The outcome of the meeting will be reflected in the minutes which should be posted within a few weeks on the Secretary of State licensing board website. I will try to post here any other updates asap.

4/10/17: Composite Board Public Rules Hearing: May 5 2017, 2:20 pm, Macon Georgia

The most recent version of the diagnose and testing rules has been confirmed by the Attorney General’s office and has been posted on the Secretary of State Professional Licensing board website.  The May 5th hearing is open to any member of the public. There have been several versions of rules drafts that the board has considered. They could be changed again. It is important to note that the board has enforcement power over our practice law and they then write rules to interpret that law. Sometimes the board will exercise discretion and enforce a rule differently than written. It is a complex and fluid process and partly why it is difficult to predict how the board will enforce any aspect of regulating our practice. The previous rules draft was scheduled for a possible vote on 3/10/17. The vote was again tabled. This partly owed to administrative and other work on the rule having not been completed. In effect, we are therefore still regulated under the old/current rules. Until rules are passed, there is nothing factual that can be stated regarding any additional licensee requirements or legality of practice activity under the new law.  All of the recent rules drafts have contained diagnose course curriculum, completion of a graduate level course which includes DSM V diagnosis for LPC SW and MFT content or exemptions for those licensed 10 years or more, and revised language addressing psychological testing, but the rules could still undergo further revisions. For now, obtain a copy of your graduate transcript, descriptions directly from the school bulletin of any courses that include diagnosing, and course syllabus. Retain these in the event the board requires you to produce them. When passed, it is not possible to know precisely how the board will enforce the new rules. The logistics of enforcement of new rules can be a challenge for board members as well as staff.

5/5/17: Board Votes Unanimously to Accept 135-12 Proposed Rules

Have the new diagnose and testing rules officially passed? Not quite–the rules will be sent to the governor who has 90 days to approve, change or veto them. They will then be sent back the the Board Executive Director and once received after 21 days will become effective. It could be August 2017 or later when the rules are official. Stay tuned for developments on how the board begins to enforce this new rule.

8/18/17: Governor Signs “Certificate of Active Supervision”

The new diagnose and testing rules have been approved and signed by the governor. They will be in effect 21 days from 8/18/17. Nathan Deal’s signed document can be viewed here.

Clinical Supervisor is Incompetent and Unethical

Ethics Demystified: Clinical Supervisor Incompetent Unethical

So you say your clinical supervisor is incompetent?

Let’s learn to distinguish when a clinical supervisor is incompetent versus poor quality versus unethical. They may be one or all three. Some supervisor relationships can turn catastrophic.

But for sure, let’s learn what you can do about it. But be sure to read Guidelines for APCs from the Supervisors’ Perspective.

The relationship between a psychotherapy clinical supervisor and their supervisee is complicated. Clinical supervisors who provide distance or telesupervision face other challenges. Supervision is not for the faint of heart. One needs to work fearlessly and with confidence and conviction.

It has similarities to a client and therapist relationship. You may be a student in a graduate program. Perhaps it is an employer and employee relationship. Each has specific responsibilities. Very importantly, it is a professional peer relationship.

In any case, if you think your clinical supervisor is incompetent you’re clearly frustrated with with them.

Poor Quality Supervision

We encounter poor quality in everything we buy. Whether it is goods or services. Poor quality at a restaurant or from an online marketplace. Low quality clinical supervision whether provided by a social worker, psychologist or professional counselor.

In some instances what we perceive as poor quality clinical supervision may not be to someone else. So poor quality may not mean your clinical supervisor is incompetent. In addition, high quality supervision can be subjective.

However, when there is consensus of poor quality it probably just is. But what determines quality clinical supervision?

Clinical Supervision Training

There is quality supervisor training and inferior training. If you provide clinical supervision you should be trained properly. Training includes supervision CE continuing education workshops, masters or doctorate supervision coursework, one on one and group training in supervision of supervision and other.

In all situations, the training should meet an industry standard and be practical, logical and empirical. In many cases, a clinical supervisor is incompetent based on poor training. In short, clinical supervision training should be high quality.

A Competent and Experienced Therapist

Assuming our clinical supervisor is well trained, they also need to be experienced as a behavioral health clinician They should be a seasoned therapist with broad skills in treatment of mental illness and addictions. You will need someone to teach you these skills whether you are doing art therapy or working in a psychiatric hospital.

In other words, your therapy may not be deeply clinical. In most work settings, you WILL encounter suicidal and severe psychological disturbance. You need a clinical supervisor who has skill working with those problems.

A Supervisor Should Be Emotionally Mature

A clinical supervisor is held to a higher standard than your boss. In fact, your boss may be held to no standard at all. Perhaps held to a standard as an employee, but not as a boss. Managers are often provided little to no training.

A clinical supervisor needs to be a mentor. They need to know how to promote professional and personal growth. They need to be instructors and critics when needed. These are all skills required to provide counseling and psychotherapy.

Lastly, they should be receiving personal psychotherapy.

Incompetent or Unethical?

In brief, shortcomings in the above areas may suggest incompetence. Whereas not necessarily unethical but at it’s worst incompetent, inept and poor quality. Tragically, there are unethical supervisors.

+ MORE: Which Code of Ethics Should You Follow

Acting on Behalf of Another Against Your Best Interests

One encounters this most often when the clinical supervisor is also the boss. There is an inherent conflict with this arrangement. Mainly, in order for the supervisor to keep their job they must act on behalf of the mutual employer.

For example, you disclose to your clinical supervisor you refuse to comply with an employer policy of billing for services not rendered. Your supervisor reports your refusal and you are then fired. Therefore, the only way for you to resolve this conflict is to quit that job.

This does not represent high quality supervisory skills. In fact, there is an ethical violation: your supervisor has violated a confidence that has no bearing on your professional development. In fact, they have attempted to force you to something unethical. Even worse, they have pressed you to do something illegal.

Inappropriate Involvement With Your Off-Site Employer

For example, you inadvertently breached confidentiality. You have inflicted no harm. You ask your supervisor “John” for guidance. The supervisor believes it is their ethical responsibility to report the breach to your employer. They report and you are fired.

Perhaps an argument can be made for reporting to your employer. However, all other matters equal it is a violation of confidence and probably unethical. At the least, it is easy to understand why you might feel betrayed. An alternative solution might be your supervisor using this as a teaching opportunity. The breach was an accident and likely due to your inexperience.

We assume new and experienced therapists all make mistakes. The goal is first ‘do no harm’ and learn from the mistake.

As a side note, John has also put himself in a precarious position– his actions have directly caused termination of your employment. It’s easy to see this clinical supervisor is incompetent and unethical.

Appropriate involvement with an off-site employer can include confirming the worksite is consistent with that filed with the APC application and related matters. As a supervisee, you should provide your LPC clinical supervisor with a copy of the Directed Experience form completed by the Director.

Not Recommending For Licensure

John has supervised you for 12 months. It is time for you to submit your application for LPC licensing. You submit your application and it is denied because the supervisor checked the box that says, “I do not recommend for licensure”.

What happened? Why didn’t John notify you sooner? He told you he was concerned about the frequency of corrective action. However, it would have been best for John to notify you sooner that he did not intend to recommend you. It is probably an ethics concern because John accepted payment for supervision services for 12 months and was possibly aware before then of his intentions to not recommend.

Refusal to Complete Supervision Forms

Sometimes a supervisor will refuse to complete supervision licensing forms. The reasoning may be that the supervisee has an unpaid account balance. Or they do not want to recommend for licensure and refuse to complete the forms. The reason may also be they have formed opinions in their role as boss about the supervisees clinical skills.

Yet another reason, is this same boss / clinical supervisee has opinions about your job performance. Perhaps there is conflict with co-workers or deficiencies in completing agency paperwork.

Regarding an account balance, your supervisor would be wise to address it as a collection matter similar to unpaid patient accounts. In other words, this is not a matter for supervision, it is a fee dispute.

The others above are employer disputes and issues for the employer’s HR department to address. They may not directly reflect a supervisee’s competent and ethical practice.

Rude or Aggressive Behavior

There is a power differential between a supervisor and supervisee. It is unethical to abuse that power through aggressive, forceful or otherwise abusive behavior.

What You Can Do About It

Are Clinical Supervision Services, Services?

Yes they are. Like any service, we can choose to get it elsewhere. Anything we buy is a service and we pay –in some form– for clinical supervision. There is a cost of clinical supervision. That cost can be that an employer provides the supervision. Or we pay cash money for it. Ranging from $50.00 to $150.00 per session and higher.

Your Options

First, if you have exhausted all efforts to resolve the problem to no avail you can seek supervision elsewhere. If your supervisor refuses to complete your forms, you have several choices: do nothing and accept the license denial, attempt to resolve it with the supervisor, or rebut the supervisor’s refusal with the licensing board. Like all therapists, supervisors are fallible. If you want to justify your clinical supervisor is incompetent or unethical, make note of:

  • Can you defend it was an employer/employee dispute unrelated to your clinical competency?
  • Did the supervisor violate your confidence?
  • Was the conflict a result of your supervisor engaging in a dual relationship with your employer or other?

The Two Most Important Questions

There are two important questions to ask a supervisor during your interview:

• Have they ever refused to recommend for LPC licensure and if so, why.

• Have they filed a board complaint against a supervisee and why.

Determine whether you believe the supervisor had just reasons.

Lastly, request your supervision forms be completed immediately after you terminate with them. You can avoid problems that can result from attempting to get them signed later.

Simple CEU Requirements for Georgia LPC LCSW and MFT

Ethics Demystified: Simple CEU Requirements for GE LPC CSW MFT

Made Simple: Continuing Education Requirements for Georgia LPC SW and MFT

Pursuant to Georgia Code § 43-10A-16:

• 35 clock hours completed by September 30 of even numbered years.

‣ Five Synchronous ethics hours

‣ Minimum 15 core hours

‣ Maximum 10 Asynchronous (online)

‣ Maximum 5 hours of independent study

**This page was updated of 10/22/2020.** Contained in rule chapter 135-9, continuing education requirements had not changed in many years. However, the rule limiting to 10 online hours was amended when internet education courses and live webinars began to grow rapidly. Many LPCs also wanted to complete an NBCC Approved Live Webinar.

The rule also defines “not more than 15 shall be related hours”. But to clarify, theoretically, you could obtain 100 related hours during a licensing cycle– provided you complete 15 Synchronous Core Hours and 5 Synchronous Ethics. Therefore, there is no maximum number of related hours.

PRO Tip: Take advantage of those Independent Study hours.

The composite board accepts up to 5 hours of independent study activities as acceptable continuing education. Complete some independent research or reading – even if it is informal -to further your professional knowledge. Complete a signed affidavit detailing the research and you will be prepared should the board audit your continuing education during that licensing period.

Good Reads: Understanding Asynchronous and Synchronous: the 2020 CE changes

Purpose of Professional Continuing Education

Innovations and changes occur in all trades. Remember when dentists recommended you brush your teeth up and down? Then they changed it to brush downward. Now apparently you have to use an electric toothbrush.

The same applies to mental health professionals. Patients are treated with new psychotherapies.

Knowledge of brain function has advanced. It is important your counseling is based upon the most current research. Licensing boards are mandated by state governments to protect the public and ensuring competent professionals is included in that mandate.

You don’t want to become a dinosaur in your profession. There are emerging issues in counseling practice. The modern counselor or social worker should be competent in working with trends in sexual behavior and addictions. Importantly, online psychotherapy has changed what constitutes ethical practice. Ethics is the only specific content area that Georgia’s Composite Board requires each renewal period.

History of Masters Level Continuing Education Rules in Georgia

Chapter 135-9 was written shortly after the law creating the Composite Board and the original board members were appointed on September 1 1985. The rule provides more detail to the law at GA Code § 43-10A-16, but the law is brief:

‣ The board shall adopt continuing education requirements.

‣ The number of required continuing education hours would be limited to what is practical and realistic for licensees.

Telemental Health and Diagnose Educational Requirements

These requirements are technically not continuing education. They are educational requirements. Why?

‣ They are only required once.

‣ They are defined differently than CE hours.

You can view the board meeting minutes passing the telemental health rule.The board voted unanimously to pass the rule on September 11 2015 and it became officially effective October 7 2015.

Disclaimer:

I will do my best to keep you current, but I can’t guarantee this information will not change.

Second, the board does it’s best to apply all rules uniformly but having personally performed hundreds of audits there are other factors in evaluating CE certificates. What are CE requirements for GA LPC social workers and MFT? Here it is in detail:

PRO Tip: Complete a continuing education workshop in boundaries.

Did you know the most frequent reasons the licensing board suspends licenses is because of a dual relationship or boundary issue? Sometimes the boundary crossing is not deliberate, but you cannot plead ignorance. Gaining full competence in managing boundaries with patients is an ongoing challenge. You can never get too much training in boundaries.

Find the Continuing Education Rules

For LAPC’s  it helps to have a competent clinical supervisor to assist you understanding, but you are responsible for abiding by all board rules. Tap on this link to the Composite Board CE rules. the it will open in a new window. Attest to the copyright notice. Examine the index. Scroll down to Chapter 135-9 and open it. Here are the main points to remember:

How many hours are required and who needs them?

GA LPC SW and MFT are required to obtain 35 CE hours each even numbered year. If you have been issued any type of license by the Composite Board you must fulfill CE requirements as stated in rule Chapter 135-9 . I will provide examples of different scenarios and you will see there are many different ways of meeting continuing education requirements in Georgia.

Synchronous Ethics Continuing Education

Ethics continuing ed must be face-to-face. Their focus must be ethics. They must be professional association approved as ethics CE hours. These organizations include LPCA of Georgia, NBCC, NASW, AAMFT and so on.

Regardless of your license type, ethics hours are accepted by the board IF they are approved by ONE of those licensing specialties. They can also be counted as core hours. For example, if you are a LMSW who takes 5 ethics hours approved by NBCC (National Board for Certified Counselors) the board will accept the hours.

Georgia’s Composite Board does not require continuing education in specific content areas (there are exceptions but I will discuss that later in this post). Not true for some other states. For example some of Florida’s Licensing Boards requires HIV/AIDS related training.

Synchronous Core CE Hours

Core Hours can be face-to-face but may also be completed online. They must be approved by a state or national professional association that represents your licensing specialty e.g. LCSW, LMFT and so on.

For example, if you are a licensed social worker the CE workshop must be approved by NASW or GSCSW or a similar social work professional association. There are other non-professional association courses that are acceptable to the board primarily graduate courses through an academic institution.

Related CE Hours

They can be approved by a professional association or academic institution but not necessarily. There are many many other sources (hospitals and so on) and types of education that qualify as related hours. Related hours provide opportunities to obtain education in other healthcare topics.

Independent Study CE Hours

Just what it says: independent study. Delivering a presentation, personal academic study and similar activities. You are allowed five (5). Prepare a notarized affidavit that you attest to completing the independent study.

What is the difference between online and independent study?

They are entirely different. We frequently engage in professional development activities–general reading and study. This qualifies as independent study. Document the number of hours. Online courses can count as core hours if approved as such. Remember that online is limited to 10 hours.

Example Scenarios

1) As a social worker, you obtained 20 hours at the NASW Georgia Chapter Conference…Five hours were ethics… You also were a presenter of a 5 hour workshop at the same conference… You completed 10 hours sponsored by the University of Alabama School of Family Studies… Rationale: 15 Core + 5 ethics from the conference. 5 independent study from the conference for preparation time of the presentation + 10 related from U of Alabama = 35.

2) As a professional counselor, you obtained 6 hours supervision ethics approved by NBCC…Five (5) hours ethics and boundaries approved by GSCSW…Five (5) hours “Ethics: Understanding the Composite Board Complaints Investigation Process” approved by NBCC…Ten (10) hours of online CEs approved by NBCC for Core Hours… Four (4) hours in medication management provided through Emory University Nursing Department…Five (5) Hours of Independent Study. Rationale: You met your 5 ethics via the GSCSW approved program. The remaining 11 ethics hours can be applied to core since they are approved by a professional counseling association. The 10 online are also approved for Core Hours. You have a total of 21 Core Hours. You have 4 related hours via the Emory University Nursing Department. 5 hours independent study: 21 Core + 4 Related + 5 ethics + 5 Independent study= 35 hours.

The “strategy” used in this scenario is to apply the GSCSW hours for your 5 hours ethics and “save” the professional counseling approved hours for your core hours.

3) Marriage and Family Therapist…

Twenty (20) Hours from GAMFT conference…Twenty (20) Hours at the National AAMFT Conference which included 5 Ethics. Rationale: 35 Core Hours + 5 Ethics = 40 CE hours.

Chapter 135-11 Telemental Health and Chapter 135-12 Testing and Assessment

The composite board added two new rule sections– telemental health and testing/assessment.There is a new testing and assessment law.

There is no telemental health law–only rules.

Review these requirements. Both are one-time requirements hours that may be applied to the biennial licensing renewal period. In other words, these hours can be also used to fulfill PC SW and MFT continuing education requirements. In this instance, you may double-dip.

Telemental Health and Telesupervision

You only need these if you are delivering telemental health or telesupervision. In short, 6 hours of telemental health training and 3 additional in telesupervision ( AKA distance supervision).

Diagnose and Testing Assessment Educational Requirements

In short, 5 or 3  academic clock hours in quarters or semesters respectively. You likely completed these in your graduate program. The course curriculum should include DSM or Psychopathology. The board at it’s discretion can choose to accept other courses. An organized training acceptable to the board. “As of April 26, 2016, persons licensed under this chapter with at least ten years of experience as a professional counselor, clinical social worker, or marriage and family therapist working with people with mental illness, developmental disabilities, or substance abuse and in good standing with the Board are exempt from this requirement.”

For additional questions, inquire directly with the board.

Ethics in LPC License Training and Supervision

Ethics Demystified: Ethics LPC License Training and Supervision

Ethics in Clinical Supervision

Ethics is the foundation of professional practice as well as LPC licensure training and supervision. Ethics isn’t a component of your practice: all aspects of your practice are based upon ethics. It is the cornerstone of the practice of psychotherapy. Your practice can’t survive if you don’t have a solid grasp of what is right and wrong. Morally, clinically and legally. Without that foundation, even the most sophisticated counseling skills are of little value.

None of us are automatically ‘ethical’. You must learn it from more experienced peers. Either through consultation or professional CEU workshops. In a broader sense, LPC licensure training and supervision involves getting a license, maintaining it, and receiving/giving help to our peers.

The state of the profession is determined by those it gives birth to.

In other words, experienced therapists have an obligation to nurture the growth of those new to the counseling profession. Good license hygiene requires a mastery of ethics.

This should start from the time we begin pursuing a license. It transcends professional identity or orientation: this guide applies to everyone licensed to practice psychotherapy including psychologists.

Background

My decision to provide ethics training and supervision was based on my experience serving on the Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists.  Board members are appointed by the governor. I served for 7 years. When I departed, I wanted to share my experiences with peers. I knew I could have a positive impact on the profession. I felt a duty to share how the board evaluates ethics complaints.

Why ethics should be your top priority

Some of the most common ethical violations are found to be boundary crossings.

For therapists, the greatest job hazard is managing human contact. When our helping turns into rescuing, we have engaged in a boundary crossing. This type of boundary crossing is a common blind spot for new or inadequately trained therapists.

Sometimes therapists lack a capacity to see they have crossed a boundary. This is very concerning and it is compounded when their clinical supervisor doesn’t see it either.

Supervisors must be skilled not only in recognizing boundary crossings, but they must use those skills so together you can get your work back on track.

As you can see, you need a solid foundation in ethics in order to practice safely and fortify where you are most vulnerable. 

What is good license hygiene

Hi-giene (ˈhīˌjēn) noun: conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness. synonyms: cleanliness, sanitation, sterility, purity.

First, hygiene is prevention. As you proceed towards licensure, you should be proactive in ensuring a clean and unblemished license history. You accomplish this by incorporating a system for addressing areas where you need to strengthen your license.

There are 7 essential elements to gaining a solid grasp of ethics and good license hygiene.

7 essential elements of ethics and good license hygiene

Read the Composite Board Code of Ethics

Review the Composite Board Code of Ethics. Georgia professional counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists are all bound by this same code. I cover it with participants line-by-line in my ethics workshop, Understanding the Composite Board Complaints and Investigations Process.

Supervision by a Well-Trained Supervisor

Having a state practice license is a serious matter.  Select your supervisor carefully. For example, if you are working with children, they need to have worked with children. They should state to you their approach to supervision.

Your supervisor should know the board rules and ethics. They need to stay on top of rule changes as well as board policies. They need to be competent in guiding you on ethical dilemmas.

There should be a ‘click’ between you. There is too much at stake to put your pursuit of licensure in the hands of someone you don’t fully trust. You are paying them for your service. They should work on your behalf and in your best interests.

Nonetheless, they should be someone who will also kindly yet bluntly challenge your work. But, if you can’t share challenging ethical situations with your supervisor, it will be difficult for you to develop as an ethical therapist.

Rethink Definitions of Boundary Crossings

We all know the obvious boundary violations. For example, we know not to engage in intimate relationships and barter with clients. However, there are subtle boundary crossings we tend to miss.

Consider how this can roll down hill very quickly. The client begins work. After several months they become disgruntled with their boss who is your friend who gave you the “hook-up” on the job. At this point a breach has occurred. The client further becomes upset with you for connecting them with a job where they have a legitimate harassment case. The client files a licensing board complaint against you for the breach and unprofessional conduct.

Do you want to avoid these types of complaints? Note the following best practices:

CEU Workshops on Boundary Management

From the above illustration it is easy to see why you can never get too much education in boundaries. Research the workshops and presenters thoroughly. It is important the information you learn is accurate and comprehensive.

Presenters/trainers should be in active clinical practice. The workshops should be empowering! You shouldn’t leave with your head spinning feeling more confused and frightened.

Understand There is Always a Power Differential

Even though client relationships can be casual and relaxed, your client idealizes you. It may not be apparent, but clients hang on your every word and see you as the expert. Therefore, clients can be injured easily.

Choose your words carefully and check in with them to confirm that what you intended to convey is what they heard.

Peer Relationships That Are Friendships.

Perhaps the best way to achieve this is to carefully screen and select practice partners and office mates. Having a trusted peer on-site is invaluable.

Working through your ethical dilemmas often requires a non-judgmental third party and the bond of friendship can facilitate this.

Personal Psychotherapy

It is very difficult to effectively practice psychotherapy if you have not been a client in therapy. Personal therapy compliments supervision. It also helps you recognize projections and transference/countertransference. Further, your supervisor will likely confront you when they believe that personal issues are impacting your work and you need to be able to respond to your supervisor.

Putting it all together

Now you can develop a personal system to ensure good license hygiene.

1) On even numbered years, you are required to complete 35 hours of continuing education. Take plenty of ethics courses especially boundaries. 10 hours is good. Choose topics that will help correct weak areas of your practice. Approved ethics courses can be used to fulfill all of your board CEU requirements. You can the round out our requirements with elective workshops.

2) As you encounter ethical dilemmas, you have at least two resources for help: your trusted supervisor and trusted peers. Through CE training you will have skills to interact in an educated manner with your trusted peers.

3) Incorporating and sharing your personal psychotherapy can be very helpful for your development. **More often than not, struggles with a client are related to personal issues and not sheer lack of clinical skills.**

Closing Comments

I have tried to thoroughly cover ethics of LPC licensure training and supervision. If you have questions about this article, feel free to contact me by phone. If it is simple question, I am happy to offer a free phone consultation. Best wishes wherever you are in your career as a therapist!

Find LPC Workshops in Georgia | Ethics CEs

Ethics Demystified: Find LPC Workshops GA Ethics

Continuing Education

“Documentation and Freedom in Supervision Ethics”

6 HR CPCS NBCC ethics training that will reduce your worry and anxieties of supervising.

6 NBCC Hours for CPCS3/27/2020 Friday

Seeking that CPCS credential? This supervision ethics workshop will teach you the process for reaching the ultimate goal in providing clinical supervision: freedom from apprehension, anxiety, tentativeness, and concerns about supervisor liabilities so you can focus on developing your supervisees into competent therapists.

Course Objectives:1) Participants will demonstrate knowledge of critical factors in interviewing and selecting candidates for supervision.2) Participants will learn a system of proactive documentation that simplifies documentation of supervision sessions. 3) Participants will demonstrate abilities to remove constraints and obstacles and promote ethical supervision to be more enjoyable and rewarding.4) Participants will learn a solid and ethical rationale and system for knowing what and how to document supervision.

Register Now

“Dual Relationships: The Anatomy of a Boundary Crossing”

5 HR Ethics: Learn to know how to avoid them. Over 17 case examples are provided.8/28/2020

Client advocacy, improper termination, violating confidences of colleagues, addiction, bartering, practicing beyond your expertise–did you know all can reveal dual relationships and poor boundary management? Let me prove it to you. Learn to know when and how to avoid them. Over 15 case examples are provided.

5 Ethics Hours8/28/2020 

“Board Complaints: Understanding the Investigations Process”

5 HRs NBCC Ethics: A former composite board president teaches you how to quickly and accurately resolve ethical dilemmas.

5 NBCC Ethics HoursNew dates to be announced!

Register Now

Whereas there are many professional association codes of ethics, if you want to maintain your license the Composite Board uses Chapter 135-7 “Code of Ethics” for handling patient complaints.

The purpose of this workshop is to explain the process by which complaints are investigated. Participants bring actual ethical dilemmas for guidance.

Course Objectives:1) Demonstrate understanding of the process of composite board complaints.2) Through a line by line analysis of 135-7 demonstrate an understanding of how composite board ethics are applied.3) Gain an understanding of how boundary crossings deteriorate into ethics boundary violations ( view course dedicated to Dual Relationships and Boundary Issues)  and how this can be remedial and implemented in professional practice.4) Participants will learn how to quickly and accurately resolve ethical dilemmas.

“Telemental Health: After The Dust Settles”

Coming soon! Digital and virtual counseling is rapidly advancing. Every system has vulnerabilities and points of exploitation of information. HIPAA compliance does not cover the irreconcilable dilemmas of treating clients via the web. Learn the future of  safe telemental health.

Course Objectives:1) Participants will learn to develop a simple and safe system that protects the client and your license. 2) Demonstrate understanding of the impact of electronic interactions ​on telemental health risk.3) Demonstrate understanding of low risk and safe electronic communications.

“DSM V: Understanding Perceptual Disturbance”

Coming Soon! “Ethics and DSM V: Diagnosing and Comprehensive Assessment of Perceptual Disturbance” 5 hours continuing education workshop. This unique approach to training mental health professionals in diagnosing focuses upon a factor common in all mental disorders: perceptual disturbance. Disturbance in perception is a cornerstone of diagnosing accurately. This continuing educational training also helps participants determine how to ethically and empathetically discuss patients’ diagnoses. This approach will enable clinicians to identify a range of mood, substance use, and functional disorders of perception and psychosis.

Eric Groh LPC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6921.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Eric Groh LPC is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

“The use of real-life board incidents perfectly illustrated ethical issues / boundaries that can lead to legal investigation,” – Stephanie Morton, LPC

female icon testimonial

LPC Jobs in Georgia That Are Board Approved

Finding LPC Jobs in Georgia That Are Board Approved

Finding a counseling job that is acceptable for obtaining your license is becoming increasingly difficult. State licensing boards are getting more and more stringent in their acceptable psychotherapist practice settings. These efforts are a precaution for ensuring applicants are properly trained.

You can lose valuable time – sometimes years – if you don’t select a job that will be eligible for licensure in GA. You may have concluded there are no LPC jobs in Georgia that are board approved particularly if you do not have an associate license.

Whereas there are no guarantees your work setting will be approved, you can maximize your chances. Here are guidelines and job board for LPCs :

find lpc jobs georgia

Avoid Work Settings That Resemble Independent Practice 

You have been hired as an independent contractor at “We Are Great Counselors, LLC.” This LLC is owned and operated solely by Bobby Sue an LPC. There are three counselors including yourself – all APC (associate professional counselors). Bobby Sue provides Supervision to some of you. You each have an office and everyone does the same thing: sees their psychotherapy clients and leaves for the day.

There is no formal system in which Bobby Sue provides oversight to any of the APC’s either as a Director or Supervisor. ( Make sure you understand definitions of a Director, Supervisor, Directed Experience and so on.

This is a risky work setting. Work within this type of arrangement at your own peril. First, as a new counselor you will not receive high quality and affordable LPC supervision or telesupervision needed to develop competence. You may feel lost and lack confidence in your clinical practice.

Second, the Directed Experience could be determined as ineligible. “But that’s the only work I can find so…

“…it leaves me with few choices.”

You do not need to work in an unsupportive work setting. In fact, a site with too much structure can be hazardous. Some organizations that receive may require you to choose between employer policies and what you know to be ethical practice. Note the following middle ground: 

Solid Clinical Experience and Directed Experience Under Supervision

One of the most widely available opportunities are private psychiatric practices. These can be great opportunities. This work experience is often acceptable if it includes the following components:

System for emergency intervention because a psychiatrist or advanced practice nurse is on site.

Fully licensed counselors. social workers or marriage and family therapists and TRUE supervision.

Use of DSM V and gaining a working knowledge of diagnosis the spectrum of mental disorders.

Systematic oversight and a system that understands and supports professional practice issues.

Summary

Be sure your work setting has systems that provide strong and supportive structure. A full directed experience site with comprehensive and competent supervision. 

  • System for emergency intervention because a psychiatrist or advanced practice nurse is on site.
  • checkFully licensed counselors. social workers or marriage and family therapists and TRUE supervision.
  • Use of DSM V and gaining a working knowledge of diagnosis the spectrum of mental disorders.
  • Systematic oversight and a system that understands and supports professional practice issues.

LPC Ethics Continuing Education Atlanta

LCSW, LMFT and LPC Ethics Continuing Ed Courses

Your Presenter: Eric Groh LPC CPCS NCGC II;Former President; Composite Board of PC, SW and MFT’sClinical Supervisor and Ethics Consultant

5 NBCC Hours

5 Hours Ethics: Understanding and Avoiding Composite Board Complaints for PC, SW and MFT

  • “I’ve received a letter from the Composite Board asking for information or to appear at the board offices- now what?”
  • “What is a consent order?”
  • “What is the board process for investigating complaints?
  • “How do I know when I am violating the law versus violating our ethics? Which government entity enforces our practice law? How should I handle unethical practice of peers?

Eric Groh LPC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6921.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Eric Groh LPC is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Holiday Blues?

There is a quote from a famous therapist. “If you think you’ve heard it all before, you aren’t listening.” Each person is unique. Many clients feel lost. It is your role to talk in your sessions and my aim is not to fix you. It is not my role to find you. You seek counseling to find yourself.

Atlanta Depression Counseling with Eric

Thinking of getting a therapist? I work with adults who struggle with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, life trauma, dissociative disorders and gambling addiction.

There are thousands of psychologists, professional counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists in metro Atlanta eager to help you. Like clients, each professional is unique in their approach to provide counseling for depression.verified by Psychology Today

Depression is a broad term but it often manifests as feeling stressed, irritable, sleepless and even unexplained aches and pains. It is the first word that enters our mind when we think about our emotional pain. Depression may also be the “ball of confusion” we feel when we lose a family member, divorce or are struggling in a difficult relationship. Some of the red flags of depression are panic attacks, crying spells, social withdrawal. There are others. Therapy can be incredibly helpful for reducing or eliminating these effects. In fact, many are amazed with their ability to recover from depression and anxiety once they seek help. Therapy can help with many other forms of mental or psychological distress.

I am a therapist. I am also a part time musician. The skills required for both are surprisingly similar. They are equal parts science, art, and craft. When a therapist fuses these skills, clients feel empowered, that their feelings are real, that someone understands them. As a result, they feel less depressed and anxious. When we understand our feelings and beliefs, we learn what motivates our behavior. When we learn what drives our behavior, we can change it. And also change how we think and feel.

Therapy as Science

The science of therapy is learned in graduate school through coursework and research– textbooks on family therapy, play therapy, group therapy, diagnosis of schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses. Also, there are many theories and approaches to helping people improve their mental state and change behavior. Some are therapeutically confrontational; assertive approaches to helping you see irrational behavior. Some are homework based. Some are targeted at specific fears like spider phobia. My therapeutic approach is focused on growth, change, developing healthy relationships, finding peace and happiness. In textbooks, it is known as eclectic or blended therapy. I blend cognitive, interpersonal and experiential therapy.

Therapy as Art

There is a quote from a famous therapist. I don’t recall his name:

“If you think you’ve heard it all before, you aren’t listening.”

Each person is unique. Therefore, I do not perform therapy as a “procedure”. I do not aim to fix you. Since my life is not your life, I don’t tell you what is best for you. You have the ability to make the best choices in your life. My role is to listen and observe carefully and provide a different perspective. Many clients feel lost. As such, it is not my role to find you, but to help you find yourself.

You as an Artist: Making a Sketchbook of Your Life.

With The Art of Experiential Therapy, everything you experience in my office is an opportunity to help you understand yourself, grieve your losses, and allow yourself to feel and heal and grow and change. When you notice something on my desk has been moved a few inches. When I yawn (but that doesn’t happen often-honestly). When YOU yawn. When your eyes tear. When you suddenly change the topic…these are only examples.

Therapy is both scary and exciting, but that is how therapy should work. As they say, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’. If you are taking risk and feeling emotion in your sessions with me, you will make progress and feel better.

Therapy as Craft

The seamstress, the carpenter, the brick mason. What do these occupations share in common? They all develop their skills through apprenticeship. As a therapist, you learn special techniques; means and methods and systems. Others teach you. As you collect tools, you place them in your tool box. Some you will use often. Some only occasionally. Nevertheless, all the tools have a purpose. One of these tools are the therapist’s own feelings; their compass. It is when the science moves out of the way and the art/craft moves forward that exciting things happen in therapy. You may come to a session thinking you have nothing to share or discuss. You may leave the same session feeling incredible relief and delight that you had a breakthrough!

“There is no substitute for experience.” – Eric Groh LPC GA Licensed

My Background

Now that you know my science, art and craft for providing therapy, please feel free to book an instant appointment.

Professional Specialties

Professional Ethics Training Specialist

GA Approved Supervision Ethics Courses

“The content and quality of the material and presentation was superb! The workshop has assisted me in finding new ways to reduce paperwork. Thank you.” –Barbara Lattimore “…extremely thorough information for our new supervision program. Thank you.” -Angela Wheelus. “Eye-opening workshop as regards board law rulings versus civil law proceedings!” Georgia LCSW

LPC Supervision Ethics: Documentation and Stress-Free Supervision

5 Hours. Meets CPCS and GA composite board ethics requirements. Register Now.

For supervisors and supervisees. This ethics workshop will teach you the process for reaching the ultimate goal in providing clinical supervision: freedom from apprehension, anxiety and tentativeness so you can focus on developing the confidence to create competent.

There is a higher probability of a licensee being sanctioned when the board determines that addiction is material evidence in an ethics complaint. As a supervisor you may encounter supervisees with prior disciplinary actions taken against their license. In addition, after engaging in a supervision arrangements you may discover your supervisee is in active addiction. The afternoon session will focus on supervising the impaired professional.

This workshop is an excellent opportunity for supervisees needing to know what both your supervisor and state licensing board expect of you.ga approved cpcs ethics

Course Objectives:1) Participants will demonstrate knowledge of critical factors in interviewing and selecting candidates for supervision.2) Participants will demonstrate learning of  “The Redundancy Principle” and it’s importance in providing authoritative clinical supervision.3) Participants will demonstrate abilities to remove constraints and obstacles and allow supervision to less stressful and more rewarding.5) Participants will demonstrate increased understanding of how, what and why to document activities with supervisees.

Due to decreased quality employment clinical supervision boundairesopportunities and other factors necessary in learning the practice of psychotherapy, many new therapists are receiving incomplete clinical training in critical areas of practice. Nonetheless, many are eager to engage in a supervision relationship that will make them better therapists. As supervisors, a philosophy of creating competent therapists prior to their practicing independently allows us to participate in enhancing ethical practice within the profession. The concept of freedom in supervision is predicated on supervisors reconciling concerns about personal liabilities, when to actively intervene and allowing supervisees opportunities to take risk, make mistakes and grow. This workshop will teach supervisors how to attain this freedom and fluidity.

Your Presenter: Eric Groh, LPC CPCS ACS Level II National Certified Gambling Counselor

Eric has 20+ years experience designing and implementing mental health and addiction treatment programs to address psychological trauma and emotional adjustment issues. For over 12 years he has provided licensure supervision and advanced clinical consultation particularly in the area of ethical dilemmas. He was the founder and catalyst who oversaw the ground up development of the State Chapter Georgia Council on Problem Gambling. He is the first of only three National Certified Gambling Counselors in the state of Georgia and the only NCGC Level II which requires 2000 direct contact hours. As a U.S. DHHS consultant post-Hurricane Katrina, he assisted with the development of a protocol for the first PTSD Screening for the Louisiana State Board of Health. He is a national presenter and trainer of therapists with a primary focus on ethics workshops. Eric is a former president of the Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists.ga approved cpcs ethics

nbcc approved continuing education provider georgia

Eric Groh LPC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6921.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Eric Groh LPC is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. 

NASW Code of Ethics

NASW Code of Ethics

(from the NASW website)

The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. These core values, embraced by social workers throughout the profession’s history, are the foundation of social work’s unique purpose and perspective: Service, social justice, Dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. The NASW Code of Ethics does not specify which values, principles, and standards are most important and ought to outweigh others in instances when they conflict. Reasonable differences of opinion can and do exist among social workers with respect to the ways in which values, ethical principles, and ethical standards should be rank ordered when they conflict. Ethical decision making in a given situation must apply the informed judgment of the individual social worker and should also consider how the issues would be judged in a peer review process where the ethical standards of the profession would be applied. Ethical decision making is a process. There are many instances in social work where simple answers are not available to resolve complex ethical issues. Social workers should take into consideration all the values, principles, and standards in this Code that are relevant to any situation in which ethical judgment is warranted. Social workers’ decisions and actions should be consistent with the spirit as well as the letter of this Code.

It is important to note that states have their own codes of ethics relevant to maintaining your practice license. Professional association codes of ethics are relevant for maintaining their credential.