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🎧 Couples Therapy: Billing, Documentation, and Ethical Dilemmas

  • Fri, February 12, 2021
  • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
  • Online via Zoom
  • 382


  • License, Reciprocal and Pre-licensed members

This event has passed, but the audio recording is available for Marin CAMFT members in our Podcast Audio Library!
Not yet a member? Find out more here!


Working with couples is not only clinically challenging, but it can be difficult to navigate the added complexities in the areas of billing, documentation, and ethical practice.  Who really is your client?  Do you need two charts and treatment plans?  What does insurance expect?  When one client comes in alone, how do you handle this, and how do you bill for the session?

This entertaining presentation will cover practical issues you deal with daily when working with couples, challenge myths you may have, and invite you to reconsider your current policies.

Time permitting, the presentation will address:

  • When you can (and can’t) ethically bill for couples therapy
  • Will insurance cover couples sessions?
  • Common mistakes in billing for couples
  • Billing for longer couples sessions
  • Common billing practices that are actually fraud
  • How do you diagnose a couple?
  • Must I choose an identified patient?  If so, how?
  • Confidentiality  and “no-secrets policies”
  • Whose record is it?  Handling record requests in couples therapy
  • Seeing a member of the couple individually
  • Changing from individual to couples therapist, or vice versa
  • Progress notes and informed consents; how they differ for couples
  • Appropriate couples therapy treatment goals for insurance


At the end of the webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify how to diagnose a couple when billing insurance
  • Identify two ethical ways to bill for longer couples sessions
  • Identify two common couples therapy billing practices that are actually fraud
  • identify whose permission is needed for a release of records        


Presenter Bio

Barbara Griswold, LMFT is a private practice consultant and the author of Navigating the Insurance Maze: 

The Therapist’s Complete Guide to Working with Insurance -- And Whether You Should, now out in its 8th edition.  

This year she celebrated 30 years of private practice in San Jose, CA.  She has taught hundreds of workshops and webinars on insurance and documentation, been interviewed on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” and her articles have appeared in Psychotherapy Networker and The Therapist.  In addition, she served for four years on the CAMFT State Ethics Committee.  She invites members to contact her for consultations at her website,

Upon registering you will receive a Zoom link and password

PLEASE NOTE: This event will be video recorded. By registering for this event you are consenting to a recording being made which may include your name and a video of you in attendance. In addition, an audio recording of this event will be posted on the Marin CAMFT website's events library, and available to members for review and downloading. By registering for this event you are consenting to be recorded and are aware that the recording may be accessed by Marin CAMFT members. If you ask questions or make comments during this event, be aware that your question, name, and/or voice may be contained in this recording. 

  • Time: 12 noon to 2 pm
  • Cost: Free for Marin CAMFT members, $20 for non-members.
  • Location:  Online via Zoom. Password and link sent upon registration.
  • Information: For more information about the Friday Continuing Education Series and about joining the Committee, please contact CE Director, Pat Saunders.
  • Continuing Education Goal: Marin CAMFT is committed to offering continuing education courses 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: Refunds are not available for this program, which is free to Marin CAMFT members and $20 for non-members. Please email the CE Director with any questions.
  • Grievance Procedure: Marin CAMFT will respond to complaints in a reasonable, ethical and timely manner, when submitted by program attendees in writing to the CE Director.
  • 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: This workshop meets the qualifications for two hours of continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LEPs and LPCCs. These will be provided by Marin CAMFT (CAMFT Provider # 56895), which is approved by CAMFT to sponsor CE for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs. We regret that at this time we are not able to provide CE units for Licensed Psychologists. Marin CAMFT maintains responsibility for this program and its contents contact Pat SaundersCE Director for more information.

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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