Maintaining Professional Boundaries In Psychotherapy

General Information

Title: Maintaining Professional Boundaries in Psychotherapy (Ethics Course: Satisfies NYS Psychology requirement).

Presenter: Bruce V. Hillowe, JD, PhD, Attorney-Psychologist

Date: Tuesday August 6th, 2024. 10 AM to 1 PM ET

Fee: $85. Please contact us for special group rates.

Venue: Online Webinar

Includes full technical support, handouts, and 3 CE credits (mandatory for NYS Mental Health Professionals)

Maintaining Professional Boundaries In Psychotherapy


The New York State Board of Regents has mandated that effective April 1, 2023, psychologists, social workers and mental health practitioners (LMHC’s, LMFT’s, LPsa’s and LCAT’s) take as part of their required continuing education a three credit course on the maintenance of professional boundaries with patients. The reason for the new requirement is concern about the number of professional disciplinary proceedings by the State’s licensing boards against mental health professionals where boundaries have allegedly been violated. This course has been designed to meet the State’s mandatory CE requirement for a course on boundaries that covers New York laws, rules and regulations related to unprofessional conduct.   Topics will include:

  1. The ethical, professional, legal and clinical backgrounds for boundaries
  2. Boundary crossings and violations
  3. Decision-making with multiple relationships
  4. Boundaries at the outset of and during psychotherapy
  5. Maintaining clinical creativity and flexibility within the therapeutic frame
  6. Vulnerable patients and therapists
  7. The potential harm and legal consequences of boundary violations


Bruce V. Hillowe, J.D, Ph.D.  is a mental healthcare attorney with a law practice in Garden City, New York. A graduate of Binghamton University, Duke University School of Law, and Adelphi University Derner Institute (Clinical Psychology and Postdoctoral Programs), he formerly practiced as a psychologist-psychoanalyst, including as a coordinator of clinical training and a director of a forensic mental health service. He was a teaching attending psychologist in law and ethics at a major teaching hospital for 15 years. He currently teaches courses in ethics and law as adjunct faculty at the Derner Institute.  He is legal counsel to numerous mental health facilities, institutes, and practitioners and sponsors legal plans for professional associations. He has written articles and book chapters including for law reviews and healthcare publications, most recently regarding scope of practice and disciplinary defense. He is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers in healthcare law and is a “SuperLawyer” featured in the New York Times Magazine.   Bruce has defended hundreds of mental health practitioners in professional disciplinary proceedings in New York State, many of them for alleged boundary violations.

Maintaining Professional Boundaries In Psychotherapy


●Determine how legal, ethical and clinical standards necessitate the setting of boundaries in psychotherapy

●Define multiple relationships

●Assess the difference between boundary violations and boundary crossings

●Determine the factors in how to make ethically and clinically sound decisions regarding boundaries during psychotherapy

●Identify the circumstances that arise during therapy where boundary issues are implicated

●Identify vulnerability of therapists and patients that might lead to boundary violations

●Understand the possible consequences of boundary violations for therapists, with a particular focus on New York laws, rules and regulations related to unprofessional conduct

●Understand the impact on patients of boundary violations

●Review means for preventing boundary violations

Application Deadline

August 4, 2024, or until all training spaces are filled, whichever comes first.

Notification of Acceptance

Applicants will be notified, via email, of acceptance when registration is complete, and payment is received.

Refund/Cancellation Policy 

Tuition/registration payments are refundable (minus $15) until July 6, 2024.  Cancellations after this date are non-refundable. In this situation, we will attempt to find someone to take your slot (based on our waiting list).


Conference is via webinar. For live options, there will be handicap accessibility.

Course level


Level of clinician 



If you require ADA accommodations, please contact our office 30 days or more before the event. We cannot ensure accommodations without adequate prior notification

The Grievance Policy for trainings provided by NEFESH INTERNATIONAL is available here. Please Note: Licensing Boards change regulations often, and while we attempt to stay abreast of their most recent changes, if you have questions or concerns about this course meeting your specific board’s approval, we recommend you contact your board directly to obtain a ruling.

CE Information

Continuing Education Credit is granted through Nefesh International for the following professions: Psychologists, Social workers, Mental Health Counselors, and LMFTs. It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state. NEFESH International, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0116. NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0046 NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Mental Health Counselor #MHC-0082 NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0048. This program is co-sponsored by NEFESH International and Neuhoff Psychological Consulting . NEFESH International is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. NEFESH International, maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


Crtalic, A. K., Gibbs, R. L., Sprong, M. E., & Dell, T. F. (2015). Boundaries with social media: Ethical considerations for rehabilitation professionals. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 46(3), 44–50.

Dickeson E, Roberts R, Smout MF. Predicting boundary violation propensity among mental health professionals. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. 2020 Nov; 27(6):814-825. doi: 10.1002/cpp.2465. Epub 2020 May 19. PMID: 32342574.

Levitt, H. M., Minami, T., Greenspan, S. B., Puckett, J. A., Henretty, J. R., Reich, C. M., & Berman, J. S. (2016). How therapist self-disclosure relates to alliance and outcomes: A naturalistic study. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 29(1), 7–28. https://doi.org/10.1080/09515070.2015.1090396

Satisfactory Completion:

Participants must have paid the tuition fee, signed in or logged in and out each day, attended the entire webinar, and completed an evaluation to receive a certificate (for pre-recorded program, a post-test with a passing grade of 80% is required.) Failure to sign/log in or out will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire course. No exceptions will be made. Partial credit is not available. Certificates are available electronically after satisfactory course completion. A link will be provided for those who have completed the training.


Maintaining Professional Boundaries In Psychotherapy



Maintaining Professional Boundaries in Psychotherapy: Schedule

Topics elaborated by slides

Questions to be taken throughout



The reason for this course: malpractice and ethics complaints against psychotherapists

The psychotherapist as fiduciary

Boundaries defined

The assumed ubiquity of transference and countertransference

Ethics codes and boundaries, NASW, APA, ACA, AAMFT, APsa

NYS professional regulations and boundaries



A model for analysis of dual relationships; when does a boundary crossing become a boundary violation?

Multiple role relationships; before and around the therapeutic relationship

Boundaries during therapy  

Boundary challenges by patients



Sexual boundary violations with patients and ex-patients

The consequences for patients of sexual boundary violations

Social media, technology and publication

Post-therapeutic relationships

Ethical, professional and legal consequences for therapists of boundary violations 1

Systemic prevention

Personal prevention: warning signs for vulnerable therapists

Treatment of victims of boundary violations; special considerations

Maintaining Professional Boundaries In Psychotherapy