What Are Progress Notes?

  • September 25, 2020
  • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
  • Online - Through Zoom


  • This is the standard rate for non- SB CAMFT members and guests.
  • This special discounted rate is a SB CAMFT member benefit available to current members of the Santa Barbara CAMFT Chapter.

Registration is closed

This is our second of 4 Law and Ethics Presentations. 

Register now for the FREE (for SBCAMFT members!) September 25 CE (1.5 hours of CE credits) Part II Law and Ethics Presentation:

What are Progress Notes?

September 25, 2020 L&E Presentation

Michael Griffin, Esq.

Michael Griffin, J.D., LCSW, is an attorney at law and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Mr. Griffin received his MSW degree from the USC School of Social Work in 1980, and obtained his LCSW in 1982. In 1998, Mr. Griffin was a member of the first graduating class at Chapman University School of Law and obtained his law license in 2002.

Mr. Griffin has a broad background of experience as a mental health professional and has worked as a therapist, clinical case manager, clinical supervisor and child/adolescent outpatient clinic director, and was the Director of Clinical Operations for Western Youth Services in Orange County, California. He also served as a BBS oral examiner for LCSW candidates.

For several years, Mr. Griffin was employed in the department of Psychiatry at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, CA., where he worked as a child- family therapist, clinical supervisor, and outpatient clinic director, and was the coordinator of school-based mental health programs. Mr. Griffin is a practicing psychotherapist in Orange County, CA., and is an attorney with CAMFT, where he consults with CAMFT’s members regarding legal and ethical issues.


A. Title, Date & Time

“An Overview of Progress Notes as They Are Utilized in Documenting Mental Health Treatment Records” 

September 25, 2020

10:00 am – 11:30 am

B. Instructor Information

Michael Griffin, Esq.

CAMFT Staff Attorney

C.General Information/Description

This 1.5-hour course, including Q and A, is intended to provide a brief overview of the topic of “progress notes,” as they are utilized in documenting mental health treatment records. 

D.Educational Goals

To help therapists understand the primary legal rules governing the provision of treatment via minor's consent. 

E. Measurable Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this workshop, attendees will be able to:

  1. Describe 3 or more specific functions/purposes for progress notes.
  2. Explain how progress notes are relevant to the requirements expressed in California Business and Professions Code, 4982. (v), which requires therapists to “keep records consistent with sound clinical judgment, the standards of the profession, and the nature of the services rendered.” 
  3. Explain how progress notes are relevant to the ethical standards concerning client/patient records, as expressed in §5.3 of the CAMFT Code of Ethics.  
  4. Explain the difference between “progress notes” and “psychotherapy notes” as they are defined by HIPAA. 



Progress notes are brief, written notes in a client’s/patient’s treatment record, which are produced by a therapist as a means of documenting various aspects of the treatment provided, including, the nature of services rendered, and the necessity and efficacy of such treatment.


The fundamental legal and ethical standards are nearly identical: 

Business & Prof. Code, §4982. (v) 

Unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following: Failure to keep records consistent with sound clinical judgment, the standards of the profession, and the nature of the services being rendered.


§5.3 CLIENT/PATIENT RECORDS: Marriage and family therapists create and maintain client/patient records consistent with sound clinical judgment, standards of the profession, and the nature of the services being rendered.


Progress notes may help to reflect a therapist’s sound clinical judgment in dealing with complex and challenging treatment scenarios. 

Progress notes may be used to comment on legal or ethical issues, which arise during the course of treatment, and the therapist’s response to those issues.  


Writing a progress note requires a therapist to contemplate what the client’s treatment consists of, and how it is beneficial to the client.   

G. CE Questions (optional) Thank you!

Additional Notes Pertaining To Our Policy As A CE Provider:

1) This course has been designed for a mental health professional that include LMFT's, LCSW's, LPCC's, and LEP's. Also, Pre-licensed and Associate members may earn hours of experience for attending the Santa Barbara Chapter of CAMFT workshops as approved by their supervisor.

2) Refund/Cancelation Policy: Attendees may cancel registration and request a refund one week from the time of the event.

3) To request accommodations for special needs, please email the Program Administrator at events@sbcamft.org.

4) To obtain the grievance policy or report a grievance please email events@sbcamft.org.

5) Course Completion Certificates will be awarded at the end of the course in exchange for a completed evaluation form.

6) As required by the California Board of Behavioral Science, this course meets the qualifications for 1.5 hours of continuing education credit for LMFT's, LCSW's, LPCC's, and LEP's.

7) SBCAMFT provider number (57942).

8) Santa Barbara Chapter CAMFT is Approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFT's, LCSW's, LPCC's, and LEP's. Santa Barbara Chapter of CAMFT maintains responsibility for this program/course and content.

9) The America with Disabilites Act (ADA accomodates attendees with disabilities in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. Event is ADA compliant.

Additional Information:

*This webinar will be available by Zoom. If you do not already have a free Zoom account, sign up for it today. The Zoom link will be emailed in advance of the webinar. The webinar will be a mixture of lecture and also Q&A.

For more information and online registration, click on the following link: September 25 Online CE Law and Ethics Webinar: What Are Progress Notes?

We look forward to seeing you there! 

Warm regards,

Santa Barbara Chapter of CAMFT

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