Presenter: Justin Smith, Psy.D., LMFT
Ethics is foundational to MFT training and a continuing competency of practitioners. The COVID 19 pandemic of 2020 has seen significant changes to common practices and service delivery, forcing many clinicians out of their professional comfort zones and even competence. This training focuses on ethical competencies for MFT’s including decision making processes.
All mental health professionals are required to have a basic competence in ethical practice and decision making. Initial training in ethics prior to licensing is supplemented by ongoing training in ethics as mandated by professional organizations and licensing bodies. Disciplinary proceedings and investigations by licensing boards show that unethical behavior and poor decision making continues to be a problem for mental health providers.
Ethical competence in marriage and family therapy covers nine areas: responsibility to clients, confidentiality, professional competence, responsibility to supervisees, research, telehealth, forensics, finances, and advertising. State statutes and codes also govern ethical practice and should be reviewed regularly to ensure a working knowledge and compliance. Independent licensure assumes that practitioners should self-monitor their actions and that this self-assessment constitutes the first line of defense in protecting both the public and the professional.
This workshop assumes a basic knowledge of MFT ethics and builds on the person-of-the-therapist as a competent professional who self-assesses and self-regulates professional behavior. Particular emphasis is placed on how the nine standards of AAMFT’s Code of Ethics have been impacted by COVID 19. This training is not devoted to developing competence in telehealth but it will cover Standard VI Technology-Assisted Professional Services. Changes and updates to the Arizona Behavioral Health Code and statues will also be covered.
Justin Smith is a licensed marriage and family therapist, Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor with AAMFT, and Chair of the Arizona Special Interest Network of AAMFT. He has 30 years of clinical experience in couples and family therapy including supervision, graduate education, in-home and wrap around services, outpatient and inpatient therapy, forensics, and working with global workers. He is published and has presented nationally and internationally on understanding and treating interpersonal violence.
Learning Objective 1
Participants will review the AAMFT Code of Ethics and the Arizona Behavioral Health Code and statues and discuss questions, updates, and changes.
Learning Objective 2
Participants will rehearse legal and ethical decision-making processes and best practices in light of the challenges to practicing during the public health crisis of 2020.
Learning Objective 3
Participants will describe one key facet of each of the nine standards in the AAMFT Code of Ethics.