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Though it is important not to “scare” ourselves out of pursuing opportunities to grow professionally, practicing mindfully and methodically can help minimize issues down the road and ensure you adequately protect your license and your livelhood. We hold disproportionate power in relation to our clients. We are ultimately entrusted by our licensing boards to acquire and maintain competence and to not misuse or exploit this power – i.e. to “do no harm” (nonmaleficence) and foster client welfare (beneficence).

Even if you’ve been in practice for a while, without proper ethics refreshers, you run the risk, especially with longtime clients, of becoming blind to the various pitfalls and dangers inherent in our field – no matter your professional setting or treatment population.

This program will explore the ethics of competency and scope of practice for mental health counselors, psychologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists.. Attendees will look at the multiple codes of ethics to understand what professional organization directives mean for our individual practice. Attendees will learn about gatekeeping and scope in other professions and how this can dictate our practice (i.e., giving nutritional or medical advice); examine the research around competency and scope to help us determine what it has to say about our readiness to work with specific clients or in specific modalities; and discuss the importance of consultation in broadening our competency in the context of current research.



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). Discuss ethical principles around scope in practice with an awareness of the ethics associated with their specific profession.

b). Develop and maintain self-awareness around competency and apply a framework for considering best practices in serving clients with specific needs and/or diagnoses.

c).Recognize limits of clinical competency and apply a framework for getting consultation/supervison, further training, and/or referring out.

d). Learn and apply the research around professional identity, competency, and best practices. 


Target Audience:

Mental health counselors, psychologists, social workers, drug and alcohol counselors, marriage and family therapists, telehealth treatment professionals, and other clinical mental health professionals.


Instructional Level: Intermediate

Instructor(s): Dawn Friedman, MSEd, LPCC-S

Material Author(s): Dawn Friedman, MSEd, LPCC-S

Dawn Friedman MSEd is a therapist in private practice; a lecturer at the Ohio State University in the Human Development and Family Studies department; and the founder of, a virtual education and support program for parents of anxious children. Dawn received her masters in community mental health counseling at the University of Dayton and has her post-graduate certificate in Infant and Toddler Mental Health through Arcadia University. In Portland, Oregon, Dawn founded the Safe to Grow program at the YWCA Women’s Resource Center, a shelter serving women and children escaping domestic violence, and taught parenting classes for the Oregon State Extension Service. Her writing appears in several books including Joanne Bombarger’s Mother’s of Intention (Bright Sky Press, 2011), Rebecca Walker’s anthology One Big Happy Family (Riverhead Press, 2009), Mothering and Blogging (Demeter Press, 2009) edited by May Friedman & Shana L. Calixte and the textbooks Child Adoption: Issues and Perspectives (Icfai University Press, 2009) and Mixed Heritage (Greenhaven Press, 2009). She has appeared on New Hampshire Public Radio’s Word of Mouth, on Q with Jian Ghomeshi, on Dawn Davenport’s Creating a Family, and also consulted on a This American Life episode about open adoption. She has presented at the Columbus Society for Clinical Social Work and Ohio State Counseling and Consultation; the 2011 Open Adoption Symposium in Richmond, VA; the American Adoption Congress annual conferences; the 2nd International Conference on Adoption and Culture; the Voices for Ohio’s Children Healthy Kids Conference; the Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children conference and several times for the All Ohio Counselors Conference and for the Central Ohio Counseling Association.

For additional information about this course, the instructors, or the material authors, please contact Content Assistance at

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