When: Thursday & Friday, October 27 & 28, 2022; 12-3:15pm ET
Where: On Zoom
Instructor: William Doherty, PhD
Rates: Early Bird applies until 10/6/22
Regular Rate Full – $175, Early Bird – $150; Student/Agency Clinician Rate* Full — $125, Early Bird — $100; Equity Rate* – $75
Additional Rate for CEs: $20

CEs: 6 CEs approved for LMFTs, LICSWs, LMHCs, and Lic. Psychologists
Target Audience: Marriage & Family Therapists, Social Workers, Mental Health Counselors, Psychologists

Read CFINE’s Diversity Statement

Whether to divorce, to cut off a difficult family member, to keep or reveal a family secret, to end or continue an affair—clients seek our input as they grapple with a wide range of ethical dilemmas. But our field is largely silent on the ethical part of clients’ lives and the therapist’s role in discussing them. How can we own our role as ethical consultants and develop skills in something we’re doing all the time? How can we help clients deepen their understanding of their ethical challenges and not reduce moral complexity to clinical clichés such as “what do you need to do for you?” or the pretense that we have to know the right answer for clients? In this presentation, participants discovered how to:

  • Identify the wide range of ethical issues wrapped up in what clients bring to therapy
  • Develop skills in ethical consultation while respecting client autonomy
  • See how we can make a difference in the broader society via being a “citizen therapist”

Schedule (all times in ET):

Thursday, October 27,
12-12:15pm Overview of the Field of Ethics
12:15-12:30pm Key Terminology and Definitions
12:30-1pm Why Ethical Consultation is Challenging for Therapists
1-1:30pm Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory
1:30-1:45pm Break
1:45-2:50pm Basic Skills in Ethical Consultation (with Case Illustrations)
2:50-3:15pm Application of Theory to Practice

Friday, October 28
12-1pm Video Demonstration and Discussion
1-1:30pm Advance Skill: Challenge
1:30-1:45pm Break
1:45-2:10pm Discussion of Participants’ Cases
2:10-2:50pm The Citizen Therapist
2:50-3:15pm Application of Theory to Practice

At the conclusion of this program, participants were better able to:

  1. Identify 6 common ethical issues that adult clients present with in everyday practice.
  2. Discuss 3 reasons why therapists have tended to stay away from the ethical domain.
  3. Discuss the 5 categories of Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory and its implications for therapy.
  4. Identify 4 core skills for consulting with clients about ethical dilemmas.
  5. Discuss 2 ways to respect client autonomy while sometimes challenging them about potential harm to third parties.
  6. Describe 2 implications of relational ethics for the role of therapists in society.


Bill Doherty, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota where he directs the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project, which developed “discernment counseling” for couples on the brink of divorce, and The Citizen Professional Center, which does community engagement projects on health care and on divisive public issues. Following the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, he co-founded Braver Angels, a citizen initiative which uses couples therapy principles to bring conservatives and liberals together to counteract political polarization and restore the fraying social fabric in American society. Among Bill’s awards is the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Family Therapy Academy. His latest book is The Ethical Lives of Clients: Transcending Self-Interest in Psychotherapy, published by the American Psychological Association. Learn more at dohertyrelationshipinstitute.com.

*Agency Clinician/Student Rate: We offer this discounted rate to enable students and clinicians working in community mental health settings on a full-time basis to be able to participate. Group practices are not eligible.

*Equity Rate: This registration option is for participants with historical/institutional barriers to access. Please choose equity pricing only if you are a member of one or more historically marginalized communities.

This activity is approved certification by the New England Association for Family and Systemic Therapy (NEAFAST) on behalf of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health & Human Services Professions for LMFT professional continuing education.

This activity is approved certification by the The Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association (MaMHCA) on behalf of the Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health & Human Services Professions for LMHC/LPC professional continuing education.

This activity is approved certification by the The National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts Chapter (NASW-MA) on behalf of the Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health & Human Services Professions for LICSW/LCSW professional continuing education.

This activity is approved certification by Amego, Inc. (DBA Amego Prepare) on behalf of the American Psychological Association for Licensed Psychologists.


NOTE: It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their state boards to determine CE requirements and rules of reciprocity, i.e. to assess whether out-of-state and/or APA-approved certificates can be accepted.

This program is being offered independent of any commercial support or conflict of interest.

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