Course Series

CNM Ingenuity Class or Series Name:

Ethical Challenges in Guardianship and Conservatorship: Skills for Improved Outcomes

Dates and Times: Saturday mornings, 9:00am to 12:00pm; January 29, through May, 21, 2022.  Any class canceled will be rescheduled before June 30, 2022.

Description: The Ethics of Guardianship and Conservatorship Advanced Topics present more in-depth ethical practice skills training to those serving the growing number of vulnerable aging individuals and adults with disabilities. This course series weaves together skill building information and techniques involving communication, managing challenging situations, self-care, and other issues important to maintaining and improving an effective, ethical service provision to the various populations served under guardianship and conservatorship. Sessions will include scenarios and role plays to show application of NGA principles, various skills and provide opportunity for interactive discussion among instructors and attendees.

**Requirements: Having taken CNM Ingenuity, Inc., Basic Course: Ethics and Fundamentals of Guardianship and Conservatorship; and registration for all eight sessions in this Advanced Course. No textbook required. Handouts for individual sessions.

Session 1: January 29, 2022, Conflict Management (CM)

This session discusses conflict management, reaching resolution, and communication tools for interacting with clients, families, and other providers in challenging situations. Calming skills can be helpful in intense interactions with various populations, with families, professionals and others involved with protected persons. Please note, this is not a certification class for CM rather an opportunity to learn about the method and consider the use of its basic principles in your work. Presented by Cynthia Olson, Dispute Resolution Specialist.

Session 2:  February 12, 2022, Mental Health Court; Mental Health Treatment Directives

District Court Mental Health Commissioner John Schoeppner, Assistant District Attorney Reynaldo Montano, and patient attorney Travis Scott will give an overview of the Adult Mental Health Court and the process for involuntary commitment and the appointment of a mental health treatment guardian. Brendan Gould, CEO of Honor Guardianship Services, will talk about the role of the mental health treatment guardian.

Carrisa Tashiro, ESQ. of Disability Rights NM will review the Mental Health Treatment Directives form and use, an important tool for the client but also anyone acting as surrogate for that person in time of need.

Session 3: February 26, 2022, Responsibilities of the Representative Payee; Navigating Online Forms; Conservatorship Issues

As Representative Payee for another person’s funds, ethical financial management expertise is needed, but also the ability to interact responsibly with sometimes challenging client behaviors, busy bureaucracies, and a tangle of forms and changing regulations. This session will strengthen skills in these areas, also applicable in many conservatorship scenarios. Presented by Linda Murphree, CPA, NCG, NMGA

Session 4: March 12, 2022, Drug Court and Other Specialty Courts; APD Crisis Intervention (CIT) and Albuquerque Community Safety Department (ACS)

District Court Judge Jennifer Wernersbach and Probation and Parole Officer Forrest Beard will present on problem solving approaches initiated by the Second Judicial District Court through its programs and specialty courts, such as Drug Court and Mental Health Court. These programs are designed to assist defendants suffering from substance abuse and mental health issues who frequently find themselves engaged in the criminal justice system.

Guardians of people with behavioral and intellectual diagnoses, homelessness and other disadvantages may find help from additional public programs during challenging episodes. The ABQ Police Department (APD) Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), and the Albuquerque Community Safety Department (ACS), among other programs, may offer supportive interactions needed for safe guidance through these situations. Presented by APD CIT and ACS.

Session 5: March 26, 2022, Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Motivational interviewing (MI) is an approach utilized to both identify a client’s readiness for change and to strengthen the motivation for change. It is a collaborative, client-centered, and goal directed approach that is used in both clinical and non-clinical settings. This session will provide a review of MI theory, principles, and strategies, and provide the attendee an opportunity to build skills through vignettes and small group practice. Please note, this is not a certification class for MI, rather an opportunity to learn about the method and consider the use of its basic principles in your work. Presented by: Dustin Truitt, LMHC.

Session 6: April 9, 2022, Sexuality and Spirituality: Responsibilities to Clients

Whether clients have ever been competent, they still have the right to be fully sexual. Past or current spiritual or religious beliefs and activities should represent their values. Guardians have the responsibility to protect clients from abuse and exploitation in both of these areas, but must be aware of over-reach and paternalism. Presented by Gail Joralemon, Ordained Minister, BioEthicist and Ellen Faryna, Ph.D., Psychologist.

Session 7: April 23, 2022: Geriatric Medical Issues and Their Implementation; Advance Directives; UHCDA

This session will discuss medical conditions common to aging relative to various populations. Medical interventions such as nutrition and hydration, antibiotic use and pain management will be defined. End-of-life treatment considerations such as comfort care and hospice care will be discussed regarding clients’ wishes. Implementing clients’ wishes when they conflict with your values, or are considered illegal or unethical, will be considered. We will explain the differences between assisted dying, suicide, and passive euthanasia, and the legal status of end-of-life issues in NM. Presented by H. Huson Middleton, lll, MD, CMD and Gail Joralemon, Ordained Minister, BioEthicist.

Session 8: May 21, 2022, Case Scenarios, Questions, Wrap up

The Course Development Team will present case scenarios that involve various Advanced Course issues for attendees to review and discuss with an eye toward the most beneficial outcome for the client, bearing in mind the NGA ethics and standards. These will provide a chance for practical application of knowledge and skill areas presented in previous sessions. Questions from attendees regarding material from the previous seven sessions will be addressed. This will be a chance for sharing the wisdom and insight from the Team and the attendees.

Presented by the CNM Program Development Team:

  • Susan Bennett, Program Lead
    Retired Guardianship Social Worker and Paralegal
  • Christine Burns, Ph.D., Neuropsychologist
  • Gail Joralemon, Ordained Minister; BioEthicist
  • Gaelle McConnell, Esq., NMGA
  • Linda Murphree, CPA, NCG, NMGA
  • Susan Stuart, BUS, CMC, NMG, Guardian
  • Rex Swanda, Ph.D., ABPP-CN, Neuropsychologist

Materials Provided: All course materials, handouts and presentation slides will be included as well as certificates of completion to serve as documentation of the trainings.

Location(s): Online via Zoom
Program Manager Contact: Kerri Eichwald,, Cell: (505) 206-4705