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.

lpc licensure training and supervision

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. I explain this further in my approach to supervision.

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.

boundaries ethics therapists

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.

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!

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LPC Ethics Continuing Education Atlanta

“Eric Groh’s ethics workshop was the best ethics CE that I’ve attended.”- Seasoned Atlanta LPC. “This workshop answered questions I’ve had about our industry for 20 years.- Richard Blankenship Sexual and Relational Recovery… “I wish I had taken this workshop when I was initially licensed.” – Tamara Ashley “the least tortuous ethics training I’ve attended.”- Jaclyn DeVore

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?

LPC ethics workshops atlantanbcc 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. 

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 atlanta depression counselorshomework 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. 

Ethics and Telemental Health: After the Dust Settles

As we embrace the inevitability of consumption of mental health services via the internet, it is imperative that as it evolves, practitioners are clear on what activities are safe, ethical and protect their licenses. Understand the fundamental issues most frequently overlooked, irreconcilable limitations of electronic therapy, future trends, and frameworks for practice. *Dates to be announced in November Newsletter*

For exclusive information, tap on the right to subscribe to the Ethics Demystified newsletter.

Areas Served

I provide services to many areas in Georgia. Stay tuned for more information.