Ethics of Managing Collaterals and Interested Parties in Therapy


SKU: LD - 161 Category:


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. Learners are encouraged to bring real life cases to process, gain clarity and a deeper understanding of the complexities of working within these systems.


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Attendance and Location Details


Date and Time


Friday, May 5, 2023


10:00am – 1:00pm CDT 

11:00am – 2:00pm EDT 

8:00am – 11:00am PDT



*Zoom link will be made available to you 24-48 hours prior to event date.



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  

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, is a trainer for Professional Case Management and Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling, 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 three therapy dogs (2005, 2010 and 2019) and is a tester/observer for Alliance of Therapy Dogs, a national credentialing organization for therapy dog teams headquarter in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Jodi’s passion for culturally meaningful human/animal bond and agriculture related services in rural areas resulted in her developing animal assisted therapy programs for two community behavioral health centers: Centennial Mental Health Center in Northeast Colorado and Peak Wellness Center in Southeast Wyoming.  She also developed a therapeutic horticulture program while at Centennial Mental Health Center.   Jodi has held positions as a clinician, clinical coordinator, clinical supervisor, regional clinical director, telehealth clinical supervisor and education and training coordinator in her years in community behavioral health.  In addition to the program development mentioned above, Jodi was the architect for and developed a centralized telehealth clinical supervision model for Peak Wellness Center.  

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

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