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Very few ethics trainings specifically address working with a therapy client’s collaterals and interested parties within complex family and societal systems. This aspect of professional practice is extremely important for all of us, no matter the treatment setting or area of practice. Virtually any client case, even if it starts out otherwise, might at some point move into the school system, child welfare system, family courts, or simply begin to pull in other family members, emergency contacts, medical providers, etc.

Treating individuals as a part of the various systems within which they operate presents a number of ethical challenges. Cases involving children in the school system and/or the child welfare system require therapists to engage in complex interactions with various parties including: family members, teachers, school social workers and counselors, department of family services case workers, and even guardian ad litems. With mandated clients, multiple third party payers (e.g. DHS, DOC, etc.) may seek information from you regarding your client’s case. Working within these systems as a mental health provider requires constant vigilance around professional ethics, mandated reporting requirements, and compliance with the law and court orders, all while establishing the conditions for success in therapy.

Without proper training, it can be extremely difficult to balance these concerns, avoid peril, and remain effective in the therapeutic process. These situations present a level of liability that can pose a significant threat to professional practice if mishandled. But if well-managed, navigating these liabilities successfully most often results in effective communication and treatment while maintaining the therapeutic alliance with the primary client.

In addition to the primary Course Objectives outlined below, learners will reflect on the nuances of working with individuals that operate within complex and often contentious societal systems. A review of a checklist for mandatory disclosure will also be provided to ensure the therapeutic relationship begins with a clear understanding of these challenging dynamics. 


Cost: $90 – Want to attend this course and any future event or course from our CE library for FREE and unlimited for the cost of $34.99/month for 12 months??!! Check out our Everything Plan here.



This training will provide participants clinical knowledge and tools to:

a). Identify three aspects of mandatory disclosure specific to working with individuals in complex societal systems (family, legal, medical, etc.).

b).  Identify two specifics regarding releases of information when working with individuals, collaterals, and interested parties within these systems.

c). Describe two ways to manage alliances drawn between family members, while maintaining the therapeutic relationship with the primary client.

d). Identify three significant areas of ethics that apply to these types of cases from the general ethics review offered in this training.

e). Name two strategies to deal effectively with payer sources often involved with Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and mandated clients.


Target Audience:

Clinical Mental Health Professionals such as Counselors, Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Licensed Clinical Social Workers.


Instructional Level: Intermediate

Instructor(s): Jodi Ann Geis-Crowder, MS, LPC, ACS

Material Author(s): Jodi Ann Geis-Crowder, MS, LPC, ACS  

Jodi Geis-Crowder has a passion for the helping profession to ensureaccess to care for all. She is also passionate about mentoring, supervising and training others to reach their professional potential. Jodi has spent the past 25 years dedicating her professional efforts to ensuring that individuals in rural, frontier areas in Northeast Colorado and Southeast Wyoming have access to quality, culturally meaningful behavioral health care and substance use disorder services, delivered by trained, competent providers. A native of Wyoming, Jodi holds an Associate of Science Degree in Education from Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Sciences with areas of emphasis in psychology, economics, political science and anthropology, and a Master of Science Degree in Counselor Education and Human Development with an emphasis in Leadership from the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. She holds professional counseling licenses in good standing in Colorado (LPC-2476, March 2000) and Wyoming (LPC-1602, September 2016), is an Approved Clinical Supervisor, a certified Solution Focused Brief Therapy practitioner, holds a certificate in the Human/Animal Bond from the Denver University Graduate School of Social Work, has studied and gained numerous continuing education credits in the area of the human/animal bond, has been registered with four previous therapy dogs (2005, 2010, 2019 and 2021) and recently passed her test and credentialing with her Border Collie, Shay River, through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Jodi’s passion for culturally appropriate human/animal bond and agriculture related services in rural areas resulted in her developing animal assisted therapy programs and therapeutic horticulture for two community mental health centers: Centennial Mental Health Center in Northeast Colorado and Peak Wellness Center in Southeast Wyoming. Jodi states, “I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to bring my passion for the natural world and rural culture into my professional work by developing programs that are culturally meaningful and support the rural culture.” She further states, “My original therapy dog, Mr. Big, taught me more about patience and unconditional love than any other relationship in my life. It is astounding to me how much he continues to teach me about grief and loss through his passing.”

Jodi has held positions as a clinician, clinical coordinator, clinical supervisor, regional clinical director and telehealth clinical supervisor, and education and training coordinator in her years at Centennial Mental Health Center and Peak Wellness Center. Jodi developed animal assisted therapy, therapeutic horticulture and peer specialist programs during her tenure at Centennial Mental Health Center and was the architect for and developed a centralized, telehealth clinical supervision model for Peak Wellness Center. Jodi has extensive training and experience in working in the telehealth model. She authored an article regarding transitioning to working remotely and provided support to others transitioning to remote work during the Covid 19 Pandemic shut down in March, 2020. This article was used internally at Peak Wellness Center to support staff during this transition. Jodi also served as secretary of the Iliff Head Start Advisory Board for six years in Iliff, CO and is currently on the Absaroka Head Start Advisory Board in Worland, WY.

Jodi currently works full time as a telehealth clinical supervisor and trainer for Volunteers of America Norther Rockies (VOANR). Volunteers of America Northern Rockies merged with Peak Wellness Center in July of 2020 and serves the needs of individuals with behavior health care and substance use disorder challenges, as well as specializing in services for veterans in Montana, Wyoming and Western South Dakota. She enjoys teaching webinars and assisting others in their professional development under her private company JGC Enterprises, LLC in the areas of Ethics, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, working in the telehealth model and the human/animal bond. Jodi is also a professional mixed media and water color artist and hopes to volunteer at the Washakie County Library in Worland, WY, developing an animal assisted reading program for youth.

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