Ethics and Boundaries: Addressing the Implicit Power Imbalance

Upcoming dates (1)

For registration assistance: 608-262-2451


This class meets Wisconsin requirements for ethics and professional boundaries continuing education for licensure renewal and is designed for social workers, counselors, therapists, psychologists and other helping professionals. It is offered fully online via Zoom with instructors Adesola Oni and Shawn Smith.

This 4-hour live webinar is designed for social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other helping professionals working in teams or as individual practitioners. This course leverages the 4 Principles of Cultural Humility and the person-centered approach of Motivational Interviewing to explore the impact of provider-client power imbalances on ethical practice and professional boundaries. During this course we will experientially explore the following:

  1. How to ethically address the implicit power imbalance in service relationships by sharing information and educating in partnership.
  2. Our own values to ensure we are maintaining healthy boundaries and implicitly avoiding foisting our values onto those we serve.
  3. How to leverage a served person's values to develop discrepancy in regard to decision making and/or behavior change while respecting their self-ascribed identity.


Learning Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe ambivalence about behavior change.
  • Apply strategies to energize served people to resolve ambivalence about behavior change.
  • Reflect on our values and how they may be unique from those values of served people.
  • Use Discover-Affirm+Ask-Tell-Ask in partnership with your colleagues, agency, and served people.

Learner Level

Beginner to Intermediate

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Overview: Extra Information

This training is conducted with members from Share Collaborative. Share Collaborative is a collective of innovative facilitators supporting individuals and teams to increase their ability to embrace a trauma-informed, culturally reverent approach to the work you do. Share Collaborative facilitators bring over 30 years of experience as direct service providers, program managers and executive leaders. Their facilitators have a comprehensive understanding of the constraints and dynamics of day-to-day service in a range of environments. Share Collaborative regularly works in the context of criminal justice, health care, behavioral health, education, workforce development and addictions.

This virtual class is being offered remotely at the listed days/times. Details, including instructions for accessing the online learning platform via the internet or dial-in option, will be provided to registrants one week before class.

Earn Continuing Education Hours

By participating in this class you will earn:

Instructional Hours 4
University of Wisconsin Continuing Education Units .4
American Psychological Association - Continuing Education Credit 4
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Substance Abuse Counselors - Continuing Education Credit Hours 4
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Marriage and Family Therapists - Continuing Education Credit Hours 4
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Social Workers - Continuing Education Credit Hours 4
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Licensed Professional Counselors 4

Explanation of Continuing Education Hours

Upcoming dates (1)

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Program Questions?

Contact Ashley Kuehl at ashley.kuehl@wisc.edu or 608-265-4267

Registration Questions?

Email registrations@pyle.wisc.edu or call 608-262-2451.

Continuing Studies FAQs

Meet your instructors

Adesola Oni

(Augsburg College, MSW) began her career as a Juvenile Correctional Officer in 2005. She provided support and supervision necessary to meet the needs of youths in various programs. In 2007, she worked as a Social Worker and primarily provided individual, group and family counseling and evidenced based interventions for 8 years. Adesola also served as an Evidence Based Practice curriculum trainer from 2012 till 2017. In this role, she developed and delivered training with curriculums in the areas of Motivational Interviewing, Assessment, and Cognitive Behavioral Interventions and has provided trainings to individuals in the fields of human services, corrections, and education. She is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers. Adesola currently works in a role that guides provision of innovative and equity based responses in the Juvenile Justice System. Adesola is a graduate of Augsburg College, MN with a Masters in Social Work. She is also a graduate of University of Minnesota, Twin Cities MN with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a minor in African American and Foreign Studies. She holds an Independent Clinical Social Work License and has been appointed by the governor of Minnesota to serve on the Cultural and Ethnic Communities Leadership Council for the Department of Human Services.

Shawn Smith

is a founder of Share Collaborative a human services professional development organization based in Milwaukee, WI and a Certified Motivational Interviewing Trainer and Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) Member. Share Collaborative's goal is to guide professionals in learning how to engage with people struggling with the impact of trauma in ways that support them choosing to heal and transform their trauma while revering their identity. Shawn has 20+ years of applied and practical experience as a direct service provider, program director, and agency leader in residential treatment, criminal justice, education, youth services, and workforce development settings; and is a Certified Motivational Interviewing Trainer and Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) Member. He is an early adopter of Cultural Humility and in 2015 initiated the first trainer of trainers with the founder Melanie Tervalon, MD, MPH.