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For NBCC Counselor (NCC), click here: NCC CE Requirements.

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

Purchasing UnitsFor pricing details and to purchase units, see our Pricing pageYou will need to purchase 1 unit for every 1 hour of coursework to gain access to the certificate of completion. (ie a 3-hour course will require 3 units)

Certificates of Completion — You will receive a certificate of completion after passing the exam, completing the course evaluation, and purchasing the appropriate number of units.  The certificate of completion will then be accessible on your myCourses page in the myCourses section under the tab “Aspira Courses I’ve Passed”.  There will be a “Download” button under the “Certificate” column that you will be able to click on to pull up your certificate once all requirements listed above have been met.

Course Content — To access the course document, click on the “View Coursework” button below (you may need to scroll down on the page). If the course is a video course the button will read “View Webinar” or “View Video”.  If the course is a Book course the button will display “Buy Book”.  If the course is with an outside agency, the button will display “Enroll in Course”.

What’s Missing From Your Charts: Writing Great Progress Notes (Recorded Webinar) – Online CE Course

PLEASE READThis course is an offsite online program by ZynnyMe and has a separate cost in addition to the units purchased with Aspira CE.  This webinar is offered by ZynnyMe as part of their paid community.  When you click on the “View Webinar” button below you will be redirected to the ZynnyMe site to enroll and pay for their Business School For Therapists program.  As a paid subscriber with ZynnyMe, you will then have access to this webinar.  After completing the webinar you can then return to this site ( to complete the exam for this course, pay for your units, and earn your certificate of completion for CE.

Want to build your business and get CEUs at the same time? Business School for Therapists is the largest online business training program for therapists, counselors, social workers and psychologists. (See 8 of the 9 modules for Business School for Therapists in our course list).

What’s Missing From Your Charts: Writing Great Progress Notes Course Objectives, Description, and Outline

Course Objectives:
  1. Identify 2 ways that keeping vague, late, or non-existent progress notes can harm therapists and clients
  2. Identify 5 common health plan documentation requirements
  3. Define and document “medical necessity” for care, a concept used by health plans to approve care
  4. Write a brief progress note that meets insurance plan and legal expectations
Course Description:

This training will give you a great overview of how to write progress notes, with an eye toward meeting legal, ethical, and licensing boards requirements. After viewing this, you will be able to create brief, helpful notes that can allow you to feel confident if you ever receive a records request, or if you have to defend yourself in a complaint. In addition, you will learn about health plan documentation requirements, in case you are audited. For all therapists, more detailed notes can mean protecting ourselves, as well as helping clients get the treatment they deserve.

Course Outline:
  • Speaker’s Introduction/Bio
  • Goals of Today’s Program
  • Why Don’t Therapists Keep Better Notes?
  • Why Therapists Should Keep Better Notes
  • Why There Has Been an Increase in Chart Reviews
  • Understanding the Key to Treatment Approvals: Documenting Medical Necessity
  • What Insurance Plans Require in Intakes and Ongoing Progress Notes
  • Questions (10 minutes)
  • Telehealth Documentation
  • 1 Poor Progress Notes, and 7 Sample Good Progress Notes
    • GRISWOLD Template
    • SOAP Notes Template
  • Altering Notes
  • Reasons Charts Might be Requested
Instructors: Barbara Griswold, LMFT

Barbara Griswold, LMFT is the author of Navigating the Insurance Maze: The Therapist’s Complete Guide to Working with Insurance – And Whether You Should, 8th edition ( She has served on the Ethics Committee for the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and their Board of Directors. In addition to her 32-year private practice in San Jose, CA, she provides consultations and trainings about insurance, progress notes, and practice building to therapists nationwide. Her passion is helping therapists to make more money and to hold on to the money they make by developing excellent business and documentation skills.


Click here to return to Aspira Continuing Education’s Home page of CEs for Psychologists, MFTs, Social Workers, Professional Counselors, and SUDC Counselors


You may also be interested in:

How to Write a 10-Minute Treatment Plan

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