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Social Worker and Professional Counselor Workshops

Ethics and Boundaries in Trauma Work: Unique Challenges and Opportunities

Date: Friday, Jan. 27, 2023
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (with two 10-minute breaks)
Location: Virtual via Zoom
Presented by: Debra Minsky-Kelly, LCSW
Fee: $99
4.5 CEHs/0.4 CEUs

The subject of trauma is gaining more attention as a significant public health issue. Social workers and other mental health professionals are on the front lines of addressing the multitude of social ills that result from trauma exposure. This workshop examines the unique ethical questions raised by our work with trauma survivors. Participants will explore the adequacy of current definitions of trauma and ways our profession can address traumatizing effects of toxic stressors such as racism, poverty and other forms of oppression. The unique ethical and boundary questions raised by trauma work will be reviewed. This presentation will look at ethical issues of trauma work through a social justice lens.

This workshop has filled. Registration is closed.

Learning Objectives

In completing this workshop, participants will:

  • Critically examine definitions of trauma and scrutinize what is included and excluded.
  • Consider the impact of chronic conditions, such as racism, poverty and other forms of oppression in the study of trauma.
  • Apply professional ethical principles to the unique circumstances facing trauma survivors.
  • Evaluate case examples involving ethical dilemmas related to trauma.
  • Review basic brain science concepts to achieve a common understanding of trauma responses.
  • Explore the checkered history of the mental health profession’s response to trauma survivors.
  • Consider the concept of historical trauma and its impact on future generations of those directly traumatized.
  • Review the special considerations in trauma work related to professional boundaries.
  • Examine the limitations of psychotherapy as the sole intervention for trauma recovery.
  • Consider alternate, non-psychotherapy interventions to support trauma recovery.

Trainer Biography

Debra Minsky-Kelly, LCSW, is a professor of social work at Carthage College. She earned her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. Her experience as a clinical social worker includes serving as a director with Rogers Behavioral Health in Kenosha as well as working in areas of domestic violence, child welfare and homeless healthcare. Minsky-Kelly was selected as Distinguished Teacher of the Year at Carthage in 2021. She has a strong interest in ethical practice related to trauma, which is based upon her teaching of a semester course on trauma to undergraduate students since 2019.

CEH/CEU Requirements: For the March 1, 2021 – February 28, 2023 biennium30 continuing education credit hours are required. Of those, 4 credit hours must be in social work ethics and professional boundaries.

Social work training programs sponsored by the Northeast Wisconsin Alliance for Social Worker Continuing Education will be accepted by the State of Wisconsin as continuing education hours. Full attendance at the workshop will earn continuing education hours.

  • Professional Counselor CEH: The UW Oshkosh Department of Counselor Education, accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Program (CACREP) has approved these workshops for continuing education hours.
  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs): Workshop participants can receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for their full participation in each workshop.

In the event of late arrival and/or early departure, amended certificates indicating the actual number of credit hours earned will be provided upon calling our office.

Student Rate: Students currently enrolled in the UW Oshkosh Social Work Program may register at a reduced rate of $25. You must register using your UW Oshkosh email address and include your seven-digit student ID number.

Registration Deadlines: The registration deadline for each of the workshops is 10 business days before the program starts. After this date, please call the UW Oshkosh Division of Online and Continuing Education at (920) 424-1129 to determine program availability.

Credit and debit card payments will only be accepted electronically. OCE will no longer accept credit and debit card payments via phone, mail, or fax.

Questions and More Information: Questions concerning registration and program content should be directed to the Division of Online and Continuing Education, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Boulevard, Oshkosh, WI 54901-8623. Please call (920) 424-1129.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations received 10 business days before the program will receive a full refund, minus a $35 processing charge. No refunds will be given for cancellations received less than 10 business days before the program. UW Oshkosh reserves the right to cancel any program due to insufficient enrollment, as well as the right to limit enrollment due to excessive demand. UW Oshkosh is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. If you need special assistance and/or accommodations, please notify us by the registration deadline. All requests will be kept confidential.

Program Manager: The program manager for these workshops is Jason Hubbard. We are continuously looking for new and diverse program ideas. You can contact Jason at (920) 424-1129. You may also email him at

Click Here for a listing of Social Work and Counseling programs offered by University of Wisconsin Green Bay Continuing Professional Education.