Licensure Renewal Courses Event (Ethics & Boundaries, Medical Errors, Laws & Rules, Domestic Violence)

  • Thursday, December 01, 2022
  • Friday, December 02, 2022
  • Palm Beach Atlantic University (Orlando Campus)


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Title: “Prevention of Medical Errors for Florida Mental Health Professionals” (2-Credit Hour course)

Presenter: Stefanie Meyer-Goodwin, PhD, LMHC, LMFT, NCC, CCMHC, ACS

Date/Time:  Thursday, December 1, 2022 (10am - 12pm EST)     

This course examines the impact of medical errors on clients in mental healthcare settings. Best practices and ethical guidelines for psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and mental health counselors that can help reduce and prevent medical errors are discussed. The course examines root cause analysis and its application to responding to medical errors in mental health settings related to competence, informed consent, HIPAA, cultural competence, confidentiality, abuse reporting, duty to protect, responding to suicide risk, and assessment errors. Strategies for error prevention and reduction are presented. Case vignettes and participant discussion is used to highlight key learning points.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to describe medical error terminology and definitions.
  2. Participants will be able to identify factors that impact the occurrence of medical errors in mental health practice.
  3. Participants will learn about the most common errors in mental health practice.
  4. Participants will be able to define root cause analysis.
  5. Participants will be able to apply error reduction and prevention measures.

Title"Boundaries & Professional Ethics in the Practice of Mental Health Counseling" (3-Credit Hour course)

Presenter: Burt Bertram, EdD, LMFT, LMHC

Date/Time: Thursday, December 1, 2022 (1-4pm EST)

The professional work of a Mental Health Counselor as well as the other FS 491 licensees presents unique ethical and legal challenges. Providing psychotherapy to individuals, counseling couples and families, and facilitating group counseling inevitably generates issues around defining and maintaining boundaries. Boundary challenges have taken on yet another complication during the pandemic when much of out-patient therapy has shifted from in-person to virtual. When practitioners fail to identify, define and enforce boundaries, complications leading to complaints to the licensing board and/or lawsuits, are almost inevitable. 

This presentation will remind practicing mental health practitioners of the purpose and value of professional association codes of ethics including the AMHCA Code of Ethics (2015), the ACA Code of Ethics (2014) and applicable state statutes and rules. Additionally, participants will be introduced to a Legal/Ethical Decision-Making Model and will apply the model to a complicated case study.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this 3-hour program, participants will:

Learn and/or be reminded of the importance of professional ethics

  • Personal vs professional ethics

  • How to understand and apply professional ethics

  • Importance of adopting/utilizing an ethical decision-making model

Learn to distinguish between and among confidentiality, privilege, and privacy 

  • Differentiating confidentiality, privilege and privacy

  • Review applicable ethics codes and statutes 

  • Review decision-making regarding responding to a subpoena

Review the challenges and complexities associated with identifying and maintaining professional boundaries for both in-person and virtual therapy

  • Impact on clients and treatment relationship

  • Legal and ethical requirements

  • Lawsuits and Board complaints: Data and Discussion

  • Legal/Ethical decision-making model

Apply course learning to complex real world case with emphasis on boundary issues associated with virtual therapy

  • Read case study

  • Small group discussion

  • Report out / Large group review

Title: “Florida Laws and Rules Update for Mental Health Professionals” (3-Credit Hour course)

Presenter: Anne Wedge-McMillen, Esq.

Date/Time: December 2, 2022 (9:30am - 12:30pm EST)

The purpose of this course is to provide basic knowledge of and practical understanding of the laws and rules governing the practice of mental health in Florida and to increase professional competency, improve legal understanding, and enhance client care.

This training presentation will provide foundational information regarding the laws and rules that govern mental health counseling professionals in the state of Florida. 

This training will include specific information regarding Telehealth. Laws and procedures impacting mental health professionals whose clients are involved in the civil and criminal justice systems will also be presented.

Participants will gain general knowledge of the laws, rules, and standards of practice that govern mental health professionals in the state of Florida (includes an understanding of rule development and important links and resources). Participants will gain specific understanding of confidentiality, record keeping, privileged communications, and mandatory disclosure (includes recent law changes and a telehealth focus). Participants will identify and discuss legal and ethical violations. Participants will review disciplinary proceedings and consequences to strategize professional, ethical, and legal best practices. Participants will explore the import and intersectionality of mental health evidence in criminal and civil trial proceedings. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the general statutory chapters that pertain to mental healthcare professionals and the rules that govern competent and legally sufficient practice.

  2. Understand proposed rule changes and recent law amendments and the practical application of these laws and rules in the daily practice of the mental health profession. 

  3. Describe the legal requirements of, and exceptions to confidentiality, especially as it pertains to appropriate record keeping and mandatory reporting.  

  4. Describe the general laws and rules pertaining to telehealth and identify special considerations for mental health professionals. 

  5. Discuss the concepts of mental health testimony and evidence in criminal and civil trial proceedings.

  6. Review disciplinary actions that may be taken against mental health professionals who violate state laws and strategize best professional, ethical, and legal practices to promote counselor well-being and enhance client care.

Title: “Domestic Violence Course for Florida Mental Health Professionals”   (2 - Credit Hour Course)

Presenter: Dorothy Pehowic, LMHC

Date/Time: December 2, 2022 (1:30 - 3:30pm EST)

Domestic violence continues to be a prevalent problem in the United States today. Because of the number of individuals affected, it is likely that most mental health professionals will encounter clients who are victims. It is important that mental health professionals recognize and interpret behaviors associated with domestic violence. It is mandatory that mental health professionals establish and begin protocols for identification of domestic violence victims and their abusers. In order to prevent domestic violence and promote the well-being of their patients, healthcare professionals in all settings must take the initiative to properly assess all women for abuse during each visit and, for those women who are or may be victims, to offer education, counseling, and referral information.

Learning Objectives:

Participants of this training will learn and be able to:

  1. To Define Domestic Violence on a National and Florida State level.
  2. Myths about Domestic Violence.
  3. Issues to Consider When Domestic Violence victims are charged with DV-Related Crimes.
  4. Identify the Cycles of Abuse.
  5. Identify the types of domestic and inter-personal violence., I.E. Power & Control.
  6. Identify how domestic violence could affect children.
  7. Identify the signs and symptoms of Domestic Violence.
  8. Identify national and community resources for assistance.


Stefanie D. Meyer-Goodwin, PhD, LMHC, LMFT, NCC, CCMHC, ACS has worked in the counseling profession for 11 years. She earned a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling and Certificate in Family and Relationship Counseling from Rollins College and a doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from Capella University.  She currently serves as the Clinical Director for The Meaningful Life Center, overseeing their evidence based complex trauma program. In addition she is a national Approved Clinical Supervisor and Florida state qualified supervisor for interns in mental health counseling and marriage and family therapy, and supporting professor in the Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Rollins College. Stefanie is passionate about multicultural and social justice issues in the counseling field and focuses her research and presentations on improving multicultural awareness and professional competency. Stefanie serves her professional community as the past President for Mental Health Counselors of Central Florida. 

Burt Bertram, EdD, LMFT, LMHC is a counselor, consultant, author and professor. Dr. Bertram has been in practice in the Orlando area since 1972. His professional efforts focus on assisting individuals, couples, families and workgroups to productively identify, understand and address the issues that are influencing or shaping their lives. Until recently he was graduate adjunct professor of counseling in the Mental Health Counseling program at Rollins College where for 25 years, he taught clinical counseling skills, family and couples counseling and ethics in counseling. Burt has served as President of the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association, the Florida Counseling Association, and the Central Florida Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. A nationally recognized expert on legal and ethical issues in counseling, Burt is co-author, with attorney Nancy Wheeler, JD of The Counselor and the Law (8th Edition), published by the American Counseling Association. Dr. Bertram and Nancy Wheeler have collaborated on numerous publications, tapes, webinars, podcasts and have made over 150 presentations together on topics related to legal and ethical issues in counseling.

Anne Wedge-McMillen, Esq., is a Licensed Attorney, post-graduate Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern and advocate. She graduated cum laude from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English technical writing and minor in criminology. Anne received her Juris Doctorate (JD) from the Florida State University College of Law and has been working as a licensed attorney for 23 years with a background in criminal, delinquency, and dependency law. Anne received her Master of Arts (MA) in clinical mental health counseling from Rollins College and is currently practicing as a mental health psychotherapist under supervision. She is passionate about justice system reform and the creation of trauma-informed court systems. Anne provides legal, mental health, and mitigation consultation services through her corporation McMillen Counseling & Consulting Inc. She is the Legislative Chair for the Mental Health Counselors of Central Florida (MHCCF) and actively participates on the Government Relations Committee to the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association (FMHCA). Anne was the recipient of the FMCHA 2021 Outstanding Community Service Award. She provides mental health counseling in a private practice setting at Stokes Counseling & Consulting in Maitland and is an instructor with the Valencia College Peace and Justice Institute.

Dorothy Pehowic, LMHC started public service at a very young age with her mother by assisting in ‘Jail Ministries'. She has traveled internationally and nationally to continue serving those who needed emotional and physical support. While in the country of Mexico, Dorothy served at an orphanage and visited women in their ‘homes’ made of mud and metal, where she saw abuse of women and children. Dorothy served as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in Los Angeles County, California while volunteering in the San Dimas Mountain Rescue Team. She then transitioned into working in the United States Army and as a Deputy Sheriff in Cherokee County, Georgia for a total of 8 years of public service. This experience allowed Dorothy to be chosen to serve for the Georgia Bureau of Investigations as a Temporary Special Agent for the 2004 G8 summit in Tybee Island. Following this experience, Dorothy received her Masters of Science in Professional Counseling at Grand Canyon University in the State of Arizona. In Arizona, Dorothy became certified as a Domestic Violence provider with the Center for Life Skills and Development in Tucson, Arizona, where she provided mandated domestic violence group therapy, under the guidance of a licensed therapist. She later provided therapy support at the Marana Mental Healthcare facility just outside of Tucson, Arizona, which allowed her to continue in the field of trauma and domestic violence work. Following her husband's relocation with the Department of the Navy, she continued her work in trauma while beginning her work in private practice. Today, Dorothy Pehowic focuses on the following areas in her Florida mental health private practice: Trauma, military, first responder, domestic violence, anxiety, depression, narcissistic abuse, childhood trauma, medical trauma and religious abuse. She is also formally trained and a specialty provider of: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Gestalt, Psychodynamic Therapy, Memory Recall, Inner Child work, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy, to name a few modalities. Dorothy is a public advocate and speaks at public venues for military veterans to give a new perspective with mental health stigmas; as well as speaking with public officials regarding our current state laws that pertain to the field of domestic violence and military veterans. Dorothy is a Coalition member for the Military Women’s Coalition out of Washington, D.C., aiding congressmen and woman to create bills for the benefit of our military men and women veterans and those who are currently serving in our armed forces. She is also on the board of ethics for the Specialty Hospitals in the Orlando, Florida area and is a life time member of various military veteran organizations such as: Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

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