Ethical Life and Civic Life in the Therapy Room and Beyond
Dr. William Doherty, University of Minnesota
This workshop focuses on the new psychology of moral emotions and how to help therapists feel more comfortable with ethics-related conversations with clients, and increase their you skills ethical consultations. The workshop will also delve into a new frontier in therapy: how to create a space for conversations about public and political stresses that are affecting so many of our clients, and how to think of ourselves and our clients as citizens—that is, as responsible members of communities.
Bill Doherty is a Professor in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota where he directs two centers relevant to today’s presentation: The Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project, which develops ways to work with divorce ambivalence among couples considering divorce, and The Citizen Professional Center, which does community projects on divisive issues such as the relationship between Police and the Black Community. Following the 2016 Presidential election, he co-founded Better Angels, a citizen initiative to counteract political polarization and restore the fraying social fabric in American society. Among his awards is the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Family Therapy Academy.
A Relational Approach to Ethics
Bruce Minor and Brier Miller
This workshop is intended to be a collaborative conversation to spark further thinking about relational ethics, in comparison to prescriptive or institutional ethics. We’ll discuss the risks and limitations of bringing a fear-based or power-over approach to ethical considerations, which can too often decontextualize and dishonor the rich territory of culture, community and relationship. While prescriptive ethics provide important maps, we’ll explore the territory of the practice of relational ethics that honors every client’s strengths and is co-created and considered within the unique context of each therapeutic relationship. We’ll conclude by exploring what such a practice requires of us as therapists.
Minor and Miller Bio: We each had experience in human services before we met, but it was the discovery of the Family Therapy program at Stout early in our relationship that we each discovered a passion for relational healing and a lifelong profession. Our careers have followed similar paths, beginning in nonprofit settings serving diverse and marginalized communities, leading to supervision and management, then to graduate teaching and community leadership. We find our many differences, as well as our shared passion and commitment, have been a tremendous resource over the past forty years, and that our whole can indeed be greater than the sum of our individual parts.
Confidentiality in the Digital Age
Dr. Mark Hirschmann, LMFT, Cornerstone Counseling Services
Maintaining confidentiality is challenging in our world of instant and easily accessible information. While making references to professional codes of ethics and HIPAA, the presenter will make practical suggestions for psychotherapists to maintain and protect client confidential information on the Internet and on personal communication devices.
Mark Hirschmann is a couples therapist with Cornerstone Counseling Services in Milwaukee. He has taught professional issues with the Family Therapy Training Institute at Advocate/Aurora Family Services, Milwaukee for many years. Mark is a past-president of WAMFT and was an original member of the MFT/SW/PC Examining Board in the Department of Professional Services.
Managing Multiple Relationships in Small Communities
Dr. Dale Hawley, University of Wisconsin-Stout
Working in small communities poses numerous challenges for therapists who may run into clients at the local hardware store or receive a referral for someone whose child is in the same class at school as their own. Guidelines related to confidentiality often seem to suggest that therapists should not have any kind of relationship with a client outside the therapy room but therapists in small communities can find this a near impossibility. This session will examine how therapists can navigate this tricky terrain to provide care to people who also happen to be their neighbors.
Dale Hawley is Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy program and Chair of the Human Development and Family Studies department at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He currently serves as Chair of the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Therapy Education (COAMFTE) and is a former board member of WAMFT. In 2018 he was named the recipient of the Carl Whitaker award.