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What's Missing From Your Documentation: Writing Great Progress Notes with Barbara Griswold, LMFT | 3 Ethics CEUs!

  • Friday, August 13, 2021
  • 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Online



August 2021 
Austin AMFT Ethics CEU Event

Zoom Webinar

Friday, August 13th

9:30am -1pm Central

(7:30am-11am Pacific / 8:30am-12pm  Mountain / 10:30am - 2pm Eastern)

(Breakout Room Small Groups for Networking - First 30 minutes)


Earn 3 CEU Hours!

Austin AMFT meets the requirements for CEU providers in the state of Texas for LMFT, LPC, Social Work, and Psychology. Attendees licensed outside the state of Texas are responsible for verifying that their licensing board will accept these CEUs.

If you would like to receive CEUs, you must pay the registration fee and complete the evaluation form below after the event. Your CEU certificate will be emailed to you within a few days.

If you are a current Austin AMFT member and have paid for this event, a recording will be accessible through the Austin AMFT member-only section of our website. The event recording will not be available to non-members.

August 2021 Ethics CEU Evaluation Form


What's Missing From Your Documentation:

Writing Great Progress Notes


Barbara Griswold, LMFT


While you may shiver at the idea of an insurance plan, ethics committee, or licensing board reviewing your psychotherapy charts, this is happening more frequently — even to therapists who don’t work with insurance. In these cases, well-written records are essential, can be your only defense, and can assist clients in getting treatment or disability approval.

But if you are like most therapists, you never received training in how to write notes. And you may not realize how your current note-keeping habits can hurt you – and your clients. For example, did you know that keeping poor notes may be considered fraud or unprofessional conduct, or lead insurance plans to ask for money back?

This LIVE ZOOM Ethics webinar will teach you how to write brief notes that satisfy legal, ethical, and insurance expectations, so that you’ll feel confident if you receive a records request. You’ll be introduced to different note templates, which you can download and use in your practice. Best of all, we’ll analyze sample progress notes, as you get the rare opportunity to see examples of what “good” progress notes look and sound like.

Other topics will include:

  • Telehealth documentation requirements

  • What insurance plans and licensing boards require in notes

  • What is required in intake documentation

  • Documenting “medical necessity,” the key to coverage/treatment approvals

  • Why your notes may be requested — and how to deal with this

Course outline (time permitting): 

  • Why Don’t Therapists Keep Better Notes?  Results of a Survey

  • Why Therapists Should Keep Better Notes

  • Good Notes are Note Just Required by Insurance Plans...

  • What Insurance Requires in Initial Evaluations & Progress Notes

  • Getting Treatment Approved by Documenting Medical Necessity

  • Why There Has Been an Increase in Chart Reviews

  • Sample Progress Notes

  • SOAP, DAP, and GRISWOLD Notes Formats

  • What to Do if You Fall Behind and How To Save Time Writing Notes

  • Situations Where You Should Take More-Detailed Notes


After attending this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify how writing vague progress notes can be harmful, both to therapists and clients
  • Identify common insurance plan, licensing board, and ethics requirements for documentation
  • Identify how to document “medical necessity,” the criteria used by health plans to approve ongoing treatment


Barbara Griswold, LMFT is author of Navigating the Insurance Maze: The Therapist’s Complete Guide to Working with Insurance – And Whether You Should (theinsurancemaze.com), now in its 8th edition. In addition to her 30-year private practice in San Jose, CA, she has been interviewed on NPR's "Morning Edition," and provides coaching, individual consultations, and trainings about insurance, progress notes, and practice building to therapists nationwide.  Contact her at theinsurancemaze.com.

This presentation is appropriate for all mental health professionals who provide psychotherapy and is designed to be useful for all levels of training and experience.

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