Practical guidance for avoiding 'power struggles' in therapy, and how to better align with clients in order to improve therapy outcomes

Interview-style, with Elizabeth Irias, LMFT

  • Course Description

    How do practitioners avoid the ever-famous and ever-awful ‘power struggle’ in therapy? Why do we sometimes find ourselves misusing that power, and relying on the violence of advice? This course discusses the power differential in therapy, and sheds light on how our culture and values might cause conflict between an outer definition of therapeutic success and an inter-value of peace and compassion. Through the lens of Motivational Interviewing, listeners will learn to differentiate between holding a position of 'power over' and compassionate conversation. Listeners will gain an understanding of how holding a position of 'power over' might be further damaging those we work with, and inhibiting therapeutic change.

  • Learning Objectives

    Upon completing this course, participants will be able to: Explain the difference between 'power over' and ‘power with’; Describe the limitations of the ‘power over’ position and its impact on therapeutic rapport; Outline one or more Motivational-Interviewing based therapeutic interventions that illustrate ‘power with’


    Target Audience and Instructional Level
    This course is intended for psychologists, therapists, social workers, clinical counselors, and addiction counselors. Instructional level: Introductory/Intermediate

  • How To Take This Course

    In order to receive a certificate of completion reflecting the associated CE credit hour, you must:
    #1: Have an active paid Clearly Clinical membership
    #2: Listen to the corresponding course podcast
    #3: Achieve a passing grade on the post-presentation test (the test has up to ten questions and you must earn a score of at least 80%; you are able to re-test)
    #4: Complete the requested course evaluation.

    Course elements (including the course audio, post-test, and requested course evaluation) can be completed on a computer or mobile device via your Clearly Clinical account.

  • Course Format

    This high-quality and interesting course contains a one-hour, non-interactive audio podcast presentation which is available for free via all major public podcast providers. You can also listen to and download the file via our course player.

  • Commercial Support

    There is no known commercial support or conflict of interest for this CE program, presenter, sponsor, instructor, or content.

  • Certificate Access Details

    Once you've completed the course, your certificate will automatically populate in the 'Certificate' section of your account; it will also be emailed to you. Access to completion certificate will expire 365 days after issuance. Course certificates will be on file for ten (10) years from date of course completion.

  • Accommodations

    If you have special needs or need an accommodation, please email us at info@clearlyclinical.com and we will do our best to assist you.

Interviewee and Interviewer

Stephen Andrew, LCSW, LADC

Motivational Interviewing Trainer

Stephen R. Andrew, LCSW, LADC, CCS, CGP, is a storyteller, trainer and the Chief Energizing Officer of Health Education Training Institute. He maintains a compassion- focused private practice in Portland, Maine USA where he also facilitates a variety of young person, men’s, co-ed, couples and caregiver groups. Stephen is a member of the International Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) since 2003. He is a MIA-STEP trainer (Motivational Interviewing Assessment; Supervisor Training Program) for the New England ATTC since 2007. Stephen has been Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity trained and has over 100 hours of training in Motivational Interviewing. Stephen provides coaching and training domestically and internationally (Singapore, China, Holland, Sweden, Turkey & UK) for social service agencies, health-care providers, substance abuse counselors, criminal justice and other groups on motivational interviewing, addiction, co-occurring disorders, counseling theory, “challenging” adolescents, supervision and ethics for care professionals, men’s work and the power of group work, as well as supervising a coding/ coaching laboratory and training for Motivational Interviewing. Stephen is the proud father of an adult son, Sebastian and co-author of Game Plan: A Man’s Guide to Achieving Emotional Fitness.

Elizabeth 'Beth' Irias, MS, LMFT

Interviewer & Clearly Clinical Founder

Elizabeth 'Beth' Irias (she/her) is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and the Founder and President of Clearly Clinical. She has specializations in Clinical Documentation, Best Practice, and Utilization Review, and works closely with clinical teams across the US as a trainer and national conference presenter; Beth was formerly an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University in the Graduate Psychology and Education department. Licensed in California and Oregon, she provides therapy via her private practice to young adult and adult clients, members of the LGBTQ population, and those with addictive disorders. She has two young children, a super cool spouse who helps out with Clearly Clinical's tech, and a rescue dog.

See why we're the country's premier CE provider

  • CONVENIENT: All courses are 1-hour podcast episodes, available on all public podcast platforms

  • AFFORDABLE: We offer quality CE courses through a reasonably-priced membership

  • SOCIALLY-RESPONSIBLE: We donate to The Trevor Project for LGBTQIA+ youth suicide prevention

  • WOMEN-OWNED: We are founded and run by Elizabeth Irias, LMFT

  • DIVERSE: We highlight expert presenters from historically-marginalized communities


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