Date & Time: April 27, 2023 10:00am – 1:00pm
Location: Virtual

Understanding the subtle and not-so-subtle aspects of appropriate boundaries in therapeutic relationships is an important part of providing effective mental health services.

CEs: 3

In this course, participants will review legal and ethical requirements for providers of mental health services as well as how to understand cultural influences on boundaries and how to handle boundaries in challenging therapeutic situations. This course meets the 3-hour CE requirement for a course in Appropriate Boundaries which goes into effect on April 1, 2023.

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Course Objectives

This course is designed to help participants:

  1. List 4 potential hazards of not maintaining ethical boundaries with clients;
  2. Identify appropriate boundaries in at least four challenging situations with clients;
  3. Explain how to maintain boundaries with clients related to social media use;
  4. Identify two cross-cultural issues related to boundaries when working with clients from different cultural backgrounds than their own


Rachel Michaelsen, LCSW

Rachel Michaelsen, LCSW, is a clinical social worker who has worked in HMOs, public agencies, and private practice as both a mental health provider and a supervisor for outpatient mental health services in schools, hospice and clinics for more than thirty years. She teaches courses in a variety of mental health topics including law and ethics for direct service providers and supervisors, diagnoses, supervision, trauma informed care, energy psychology, suicide and more. Ms. Michaelsen has a private practice in Oakland, CA and is the immediate past Chair of the Association of Energy Psychology’s Humanitarian Committee.


American Association of Marriage and Family Therapist (2015). AAMFT code of ethics.

American Counseling Association. (2014). ACA code of ethics.

American Psychological Association. (2017). Ethical principles on psychologists and code of conduct (2002, amended effective June 1, 2010, and January 1, 2017).

Hoop, J., DiPasquale, T., Hernandez, J., & Roberts, L. (2008). Ethics and culture in mental health care, ethics & behavior, Ethics and Behavior, 18(4), 353-372. DOI: 10.1080/10508420701713048

Lott, D.A. (1999). Drawing Boundaries. New York, NY: Psychology Today. Retrieved from the Psychology Today website:

Maintaining Appropriate Professional Boundaries retrieved from

Social Workers, N. A. (2008). NASW Code of Ethics (Guide to the Everyday Professional Conduct of Social Workers). Washington, DC: NASW.

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