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Saturday Workshop Series: Seductions and Arrogance: Clinical Presentations and Therapist Vulnerabilities that Lead to Legal and Ethical Violations, Ronald Mah, PhD

  • Sat, November 09, 2019
  • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • 185 North Redwood Drive, San Rafael, CA 94903, Tamalpais Conference Room


  • Discounted price for members of neighboring Chapters-SFCAMFT RECAMF, EBCAMFT. Please send an email to to request your discount code.

Registration is closed



Saturday, November 9, 2019, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm


This is a different kind of seminar that has been designed to fulfill the law and ethics continuing education requirements for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, LEPs, RNs and PSYs

  • A law and ethics seminar addressing client types and issues and clinician personality and counter-transference leading to boundary violations; or
  • Who messes you up (including who is mostly likely to elicit an ethical or legal breach and who is mostly likely to make a complaint) and
  • How you screw up anyway (despite knowing better)!

Education, knowledge and training in graduate programs and Law & Ethics seminars every license cycle inform the professional or therapist of the “what” of legal and ethical boundaries and violations, but not necessarily the “whys” of how a therapist comes to make errors anyway. 

  • There are clients that are immediately perceived as potentially problematic, while others surprise and even ambush a therapist. 
  • Certain clinical situations are relatively straightforward, while others are littered with not only therapeutic, but also legal and ethical land mines. 
  • Sometimes knowing or getting clarification regarding legal and ethical requirements and guidelines, instead of giving a professional or therapist confidence, makes him/her more uncomfortable or anxious.  This is probably an indication of a vulnerability that may play out subsequently in a legal or ethical quandary, breach or mistake.

This seminar will use case vignettes derived from published cases of BSE and Psychology Board disciplinary actions and from experiences of the presenter (including his participation on the Ethics Board of the California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists - CAMFT, as author of NASW-CA online legal and ethics course and graduate school instructor in Masters degree programs for MFT and LPCC) to examine the client behaviors, issues, seductions and circumstances; the presenting issues and configurations in therapy; and the personal issues and vulnerabilities of therapists that combine to increase the probability of legal and ethical violations in therapy.  In the small group format of the seminar, participants will be encouraged to interact and offer their own experiences, both for consultation and for enhancing the breadth and depth of the seminar’s goal to help therapists be more clear and secure dealing with legal and ethical issues as they practice.

During the workshop of practical and clinical challenges and situations, the presenter will highlight and also invite participants to discuss relevant ethical and legal requirements from licensing regulations, association ethical standards, HIPAA, privacy practices, 42CFR2 and other ethical and legal requirements for the professional.

Participants can refer during the presentation or later to the copy provided of “Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records Regulation and the HIPAA Privacy Rule, Implications for Alcohol and Substance Abuse Programs, June 2004” U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment,


  • Participants will be able to list the nine categories of therapeutic boundary violations.
  • Participants will be able to describe potentially problematic client presentations that can lead to ethical challenges.
  • Participants will be able to describe therapist vulnerabilities that can lead to ethical mistakes.
  • Participants will be able to list the eight legal and ethical areas for therapists. 

Ronald Mah, PhD, LMFT has been in education, human services or therapy work since earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology & Social Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1975; completed the teachers credential graduate program at the University of California, Berkeley in 1976; holds a Masters of Arts degree in Psychology from the Western Institute for Social Research in Berkeley. He sees individuals, children, couples, and families as a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist in private practice in San Leandro.

Ronald Mah's other mental health experiences include:  mental health clinician with Severely Emotionally Disturbed high school students in San Francisco; supervised Richmond Area Multi-Services (RAMS) clinicians working with four high schools' Severely Emotionally Disturbed classrooms; clinical supervisor for clinicians at the RAMS teen mental health clinic at Washington High in San Francisco; clinical supervisor for school-based RAMS counselors and providing child, adolescent, and family consultation for counselors of the same community mental health agency;

He has been a presenter/trainer for the California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists- CAMFT on working and therapy with difficult children, teenagers, couples, cross-cultural therapy, child abuse prevention, and elder therapy; was the mental health consultant for a private elementary and middle school in Oakland; and has provided ongoing mental health consultation and training for various Head Start programs including Child Development Resources of Ventura County, Wu Yee Children’s Services of San Francisco, Child Family Community Services, Fremont and San Joaquin County Head Start.

Marin CAMFT encourages those who attend its events to respect the fact that some individuals may have allergies to fragrances and pet dander. We ask that you refrain from introducing these elements into our meeting room. Registered service animals are welcome, of course. 
Information: For more information about Marin CAMFT's Workshops and about joining the Committee, please contact the Director-at-Large for CE.
Continuing Education Goal:

 Marin CAMFT is committed to offering continuing education courses to train licensees to train LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs to treat any client in an ethically and clinically sound manner based upon current accepted standards of practice. Course completion certificates will be awarded at the conclusion of the training and upon participant’s submission of his or her completed evaluation. 

Refund Policy: Requests for refunds must be in writing and received by the Director-at-Large for CE no later than ten days before the program. There will be a $25.00 administrative fee to cancel registration for any program. The refund will be sent within ten days of the request.

Accommodation for Special Needs: The special needs of persons with disabilities will be accommodated. The Program Committee will endeavor to assure that continuing education program materials, content and venue selections will meet the special needs of the disabled and that reasonable accommodation will be made. A request for accommodation can be made to the Director-at-Large for CE who will work with the Committee and event venue to meet the need. All instructors will read and adhere to Marin CAMFT’s stated policies.
Grievance Procedure: Marin CAMFT will respond to complaints in a reasonable, ethical and timely manner, when submitted by program attendees in writing to the Director-at-Large for CE.
Anti-Discrimination Policy: Marin CAMFT shall not discriminate against any individual or group with respect to any service, program or activity based on gender, race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, age or other prohibited basis. Marin CAMFT does not require attendees to adhere to any particular religion or creed in order to participate in training. Marin CAMFT will not promote or advocate for a single modality of treatment that is discriminatory or likely to harm clients based on current accepted standards or practice.
  • CE Approvals: This workshop meets the qualifications for 6 hours of CE for LMFTs, LCSWs, LEPs and LPCCs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences for license renewal. These will be provided by Marin CAMFT (CEP # 56895), which is approved by CAMFT to sponsor CE for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs. Marin CAMFT maintains responsibility for this program and its contents  Contact Director-at-Large for CE for more information.
  • CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
    • The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.
    • SCRC is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider #CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California.
    • For questions about receiving your Certificate of Attendance, contact  For questions about CE, visit or contact David Lukoff, PhD at

Marin County Chapter of CAMFT                  

PO Box 9065 San Rafael, CA 94912-9065     

(415) 459 3484

Marin CAMFT is approved by  the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT Provider #56895) to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs

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