What’s Missing From Your Charts: Writing Great Progress Notes

2 CE Credit Live Interactive Webinar Friday, July 30, 2021
12-2 pm Pacific / 1-3 pm Mountain / 2-4 pm Central / 3-5 pm Eastern
Presenter: Barbara Griswold, LMFT

This webinar is co-sponsored by Sacramento Center for Psychotherapy

2 CE credit hours. For those unable to attend, CE credits (though not Live) will be available by viewing the recording and completing the posttest and evaluation.



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 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 3 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 insurance coverage and treatment approvals
  • Why your notes may be requested — and how to deal with this

For those unable to attend, CE credits (though not live) will be available by viewing the recording and taking the post-test and evaluation.

Target audience: This course is appropriate for all mental health professionals

Content level:   All Levels


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 provides coaching, individual consultations, and trainings about insurance, progress notes, and practice building to therapists nationwide.


Learning objectives 

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 — and licensing board — documentation requirements
  • Identify how to document “medical necessity,” the criteria used by health plans to approve ongoing treatment

Course outline 

  1. Why Don’t Therapists Keep Better Notes?  Results of a Survey
  2. Why Therapists Should Keep Better Notes
  3. It’s Not Just Required by Insurance Plans
  4. How it Can Assist Therapists in Providing Higher Quality Care
  5. How it Can Assist Clients Applying for Disability or More Sessions with Insurance
  6. What Insurance Plans Require in Initial Evaluations
  7. What Insurance Plans Require in Progress Notes
  8. Understanding the Key to Treatment Approvals: Documenting Medical Necessity
  9. Why There Has Been an Increase in Chart Reviews
  10. Sample Progress Notes
  11. “Can This Progress Note Be Saved?”
  12. SOAP Notes Format
  13. DAP Notes Format
  14. Another Notes Format
  15. What to Do if You Fall Behind
  16. How To Save Time Writing Notes
  17. Reasons Charts Might be Requested


  1. 10 Situations When You Should Take Extra-Detailed Notes

Course interaction & system requirements 

This live webinar is fully interactive. Attendees may ask and answer questions throughout the presentation and participate in instructor-led polls.

Registration for the webinar will be through Zoom.  On the day of the webinar, you will log-in using the link provided by Zoom.  Log-in will be available ten minutes before the start.  To be eligible for Live CE credits, you must be logged in the entire time.  Entry to the webinar will be closed 5 minutes after the scheduled start time.

System requirements: 

This webinar will be hosted through Zoom.  Upon registration, participants will be provided a

link that they can use to access live from any desktop, laptop, tablet, or smart device.   If you are unfamiliar with Zoom, we recommend you allow yourself 10-15 minutes before the event begins to assure you are able to successfully log in.   If you have any difficulties or questions, contact aviva@zurinstitute.com

Fee  $49.00

Course completion & CE info 

Course completion requirements: At the end of the webinar, you will be provided a link that allows you to register for the “course” where you will take a post webinar test, complete an evaluation and download your CE certificate.

That link will also be emailed within an hour after the webinar is over. For those wanting to review the webinar, a recording will be included as part of the “course” the day following the webinar.  For Live CE credit hours, you will have 30 days following the end of the webinar to login to your account at Zur Institute to complete the post webinar test and evaluation.

If you pay and either miss part of the webinar or are unable to attend: Don’t worry. You can still obtain CE credits (though not live) by viewing the recording and taking the post-test and evaluation You will receive an email notification when the recording is ready for viewing no later than 5 days after the webinar is over.

Our Live Webinars are live and include ample opportunity to interact with the presenters. They qualify as in-person continuing education in most states.  Each state sets its own requirements for licensure, including continuing education requirements, to maintain licensure. Questions about CE requirements for state licensure should be directed to your state board.

Live CE Credits for psychologists will be provided by The Sacramento Center For Psychotherapy, who is cosponsoring this webinar.  Sacramento Center For Psychotherapy is approved to provide live CE credits by APA.

CE credits for all other professions including New York licensed psychologists, will be provided by Zur Institute.

Zur Institute has been approved to provide Live CE credits by the following boards.

Social Workers: Zur Institute, provider #1113, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Zur Institute maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 06/1/2018 – 06/01/2021. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval.

Zur Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6036. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Zur Institute is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

New York Psychologists: Zur Institute 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-0029.

New York Licensed Psychoanalysts (LPsyAns): Zur Institute 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 psychoanalysts #P-0049.

New York Social Workers (LMSWs & LCSWs): Zur Institute SW CPE 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 #0081.

New York Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs): Zur Institute 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-0006.

New York Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs): Zur Institute 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 Mental Health Counselors. #MHC-0007.

Zur Institute maintains responsibility for this course.


For questions, concerns, or to request special accommodations, please email 




For questions, concerns, or to request special accommodations, please email Aviva@zurinstitute.com