Prescott Relationship Center, PLLC

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Ethical, Legal and Relational Risks of Integrating Individual and Couple/Family Work

What participants are saying:

“Excellent, personal, challenging, and expert presentation. Thank you so much.”

“I would like to spend more time on this topic, wonderful presentation!”

Thanks Keith! Very thought provoking. Could talk for hours about this!”

“Great discussion and very applicable to my current professional work. As a result of the training, I will add additional information to cover informed consent more thoroughly.”

“Very informative and helpful presentation.”

“Very helpful and necessary. Also, I appreciate the comic relief! Thanks Keith!”



FEE:   $35

This program is approved for continuing education by the Arizona Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Ethical, Legal and Relational Risks of Integrating Individual and Couple/Family Work, Keith A. Cross, Ph.D., LMFT
When working with clients individually, some clinicians will add a partner or family member(s) to the process or, when working with a couple or family, will concurrently see one of those members individually. However, many clinicians are not aware of the many legal, ethical, and relational risks to either of these scenarios. Clinicians should ask themselves:

• How do I manage information from the original counseling relationship in sessions with the new relationship (e.g. is the information from individual sessions acceptable to discuss in couple/family sessions or is it kept “secret”/confidential)?
• How do I maintain the client’s (or clients’) records (i.e. one record for the family or couple, or different records for each member)?
• What procedure and diagnosis code do I use for insurance reimbursement (i.e. do I code for couples counseling with a V-code knowing insurance will not likely reimburse or do I code for an individual session and diagnosis so that the client can use insurance)?
• Do the considerations change if the shift from individual to couple/family (or vice versa) is temporary (i.e. one, two, or five sessions) or permanent (i.e. until termination)?
• How do I engage “consultants” to the counseling process (i.e. non-client friends/family members temporarily engaged in the counseling treatment of an individual or couple/family)? What sort of informed consent do I use? What (if any) treatment forms do they complete? Do mandatory reporting,
• What are the risks of maintaining an ongoing, concurrent counseling process with both the couple/family and the individual client?
• How do I know whether it is ethical to make the shift? How do I know what the legal implications are? What might be the relational consequences?

These are some of the many questions we will address in this training, aimed primarily at the legal risks (i.e. the malpractice and state rules implications) and ethical realities/risks/consequences (relying primarily on the APA, ACA and AAMFT Codes of Ethics) of engaging and/or transitioning to/from individual and couple/family work.
1) Participants will be able to identify the ethical risks of combining individual and couple/family counseling.
2) Participants will know the specific State of Arizona statutes and rules that apply when combining individual and couple/family counseling.
3) Participants will be able to identify the potential effects on the client-therapist relationship when combining individual and couple/family counseling.

Keith A. Cross, Ph.D., Faculty, Department of Psychology and Counselor Education, Prescott College, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice at the Prescott Relationship Center. Keith currently serves on the AZBBHE Academic Review Committee for Marriage and Family Therapy and serves on teh board of the Arizona Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the Arizona Emotionally Focused Therapy Community.  Keith earned his Bachelor’s in Psychology from Arizona State University and his Masters and Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Purdue University. Keith has extensive experience working with diverse clients in a variety of settings including social service agencies, in-home therapy, college counseling centers, in-patient psychiatric hospitals, and crisis clinics. He has served in a variety of teaching and administrative positions in higher education. In working with clients, Keith maintains a focus on affect regulation and attachment issues, as well as a systems orientation to client concerns. Keith has a passion for working with couples and has extensive training in the most empirically validated couples therapy, emotionally focused couples therapy. He has conducted workshops on a variety of topics, but trains therapists most frequently on counselor ethics and the use of emotionally focused couples therapy.



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Prescott, AZ