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First Friday Forum: Licensing Board Complaints
Friday, December 02, 2022, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM CST
Category: First Friday Forum (CE)

First Friday Forum: Licensing Board Complaints: Tips to Avoid, Strategies to Respond

Friday, December 2, 2022

This program will be held virtually via Zoom. Details with instruction on how to view the webinar will be sent to all registrants the day before the program (12/1).

Program: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

Friday Forums are cosponsored with the Metropolitan State University Psychology Department.

About the Program:
Psychologists and other mental health clinicians at all stages of professional development are vulnerable to unintentional ethical errors that could result in licensing board complaints. Receiving the dreaded notice that there has been a complaint is undoubtedly among the most distressing events that any of us could experience in our careers. Fear, shame, panic, anger, and despair are some of the common feelings experienced in the wake of such notification. Graduate training taught us to avoid problematic multiple relationships, protect client privacy, obtain informed consent, and maintain competence. It all seemed very straightforward. But then we were licensed and began engaging in actual relationships with clients—without the scaffolding of the supervision afforded by pre-licensure training. In practice, we may encounter difficult cases, requests that make us uncomfortable, or challenges from colleagues whose perspectives differ from our own. Sometimes, these real-life complexities only come to light when there is an allegation of unethical behavior. The objective of this session is two-fold. First, participants will learn to recognize some of the common ethical pitfalls encountered in clinical practice and to identify strategies for avoiding them. The presentation will include tips for addressing allegations that might mitigate an impasse and obviate a formal complaint. Second, participants will learn to identify actions that should be taken and those that should be avoided when responding to a board complaint. Fictionalized cases and vignettes will be used to illustrate concepts and strategies.

This program qualifies for 3.0 continuing education credits. Attendees must attend entire session to gain credit.
Level: Intermediate: Assumes post-doctoral education status and general familiarity with topic. It is designed for psychologists and other mental health professionals.
The speaker has no conflicts of interest to report

Participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize common ethical errors that may lead to board complaints.
  2. Identify strategies for inoculating your clinical practice against ethical mistakes.
  3. List “dos and don’ts” for licensees responding to notification of a board complaint.

About the Presenter:
Janet T. Thomas, Psy.D., LP, is a psychologist in private practice in Saint Paul. Dr. Thomas received a Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Saint Thomas. She has served on the adjunct faculties of three graduate programs where she taught courses including professional ethics, supervision and consultation, professional writing, and counseling skills. In her practice, Dr. Thomas provides psychotherapy as well as specialized services to mental health professionals and graduate students. These include ethics consultation, remedial supervision, and individualized courses for professionals completing requirements following licensing board complaints. Courses related to boundaries, record keeping, and confidentiality are examples. She has published and presented, nationally and internationally, on ethics-related topics, serves as an Ethics Item-Writing Team Lead for the EPPP-2, and is a former chair of the MPA Ethics Committee and a former member of the APA Ethics Committee. 

The Minnesota Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Minnesota Psychological Association maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

ACCESSIBILITY ACCOMMODATIONS:  If you need disability related accommodations to make this event accessible, please contact the Metropolitan State University Center for Accessibility Resources, 651-793-1549, or [email protected]


Registration Pricing:

Member Type MPA Member Non-Member Student Retired-Member (No CE credit)
Fee $60 $95 $15               $30

*Retired members have the option to pay the regular member rate to receive CE credit or take advantage of the discounted price with no CE.

MPA wants all members to have access to quality CE opportunities. If you are an MPA member and due to COVID-19 you are unable to work full time and can’t pay the full registration fee, please contact [email protected] to make other arrangements with staff.

Registration is now closed.

Click here to view and download a PDF program flyer and registration form.