Ethics CE Course for SLPs Now in Audio Format

PDR now offers an audio-based online ethics CE course for Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs):

Ethical Considerations in Speech-Language Pathology is a new 1-hour audio continuing education (CE) course that examines ethical issues that SLPs may encounter in clinical practice.

Ethical Considerations in Speech-Language Pathology is a new 1-hour ethics CE course for SLPs - now available in audio format!

Participants will review the types of mistakes made and the importance of honesty and rule-following in practice. The course highlights the differentiation between ‘Principles of Ethics’ and the ‘Rule of Ethics’ and discusses the four general principles of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Code of Ethics.

Participants will look at the ethical responsibilities they have to themselves, colleagues, students, and clients as they consider their role in clinical practice (including tele-practice), research, and supervision. The course further discusses the link between research and ethical clinical practice, highlighting criteria that may help the clinician distinguish between scientific and pseudoscientific treatment claims.

This ethics CE course gives an overview of the factors that may drive dishonest or unethical behavior and describes how to use the Consensus Model for decision making. Finally, the participant is given the opportunity to apply their learning as they review case studies, ponder possible solutions to the ethical dilemmas presented, and review answers to common questions regarding the case. Course #11-41 | 2021 | 53m audio + 40p handout | 10 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

This audio ethics CE course provides instant access to the mp3 audio file, the course handout, and the CE test. The CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while listening to the course presentation).

Successful completion of this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation.


PDR also offers ethics CE courses for psychologists, counselors, social workers, MFTs, OTs, and RDNs.


Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the Continuing Education Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Arizona Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; 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-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Ethics & Boundaries in Psychotherapy – Online CE

Ethics & Boundaries in Psychotherapy is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course intended to give psychotherapists the tools they need to resolve ethical and boundary issues and dilemmas that may be encountered in their everyday professional practice.

Ethics & Boundaries in Psychotherapy is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course intended to give psychotherapists the tools they need to resolve ethical and boundary issues and dilemmas that may be encountered in their everyday professional practice.

Topics discussed include definitions of boundaries; resolving conflicts between ethics and the law; boundary crossings vs. boundary violations; multiple relationships; sexual misconduct; privacy and confidentiality in the age of HIPAA; ethics issues with dangerous clients; boundary issues in clinical supervision; ethics and cultural competency; ethical boundaries in use of social media; ethical practice in teletherapy; fees and financial relationships; and a model for ethical decision making.

*Ethics & Boundaries satisfies the ethics & boundaries requirement for license renewal of Florida counselors, social workers & MFTs. It also includes teachings from the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics to meet the ethics requirement of West Virginia counselors. Course #31-30 | 2021 | 52 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

Ethics & Boundaries provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation.


Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the Continuing Education Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Arizona Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; 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-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Ohio SLPs Enjoy 20% Off Online CEUs

Ohio SLPs have an upcoming license renewal deadline of 12/31/2020. The following continuing education (CE) requirements must be met in order to renew:

CE Required: 20 hours every 2 years
Online CE Allowed: No limit if ASHA-approved
License Expiration: 12/31, even years 
National Accreditation Accepted: ASHA
Notes: 10 hours must be in area of licensure, 10 may be related. 2 hours must be related to ethics. 1 hour may be used to show proof of training on human trafficking.
Date of Info: 11/10/2020

Still need CE? You can earn all 20 hours for renewal through online courses @ PDR. Order now and Save 20% on all online courses and earn credit in the comfort (and safety) of your own home. We report to CE Broker for you!

Ohio SLPs save 20% on CEUs for license renewal! Our ASHA-approved online CEUs allow you to earn credit in the comfort (and safety) of your own home!

Professional Development Resources is approved by the Continuing Education Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM) and the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Click here to view ASHA-approved online CEUs for Ohio SLPs.

Topics include:


Professional Development Resources is approved by the Continuing Education Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM) to provide continuing education activities in speech-language pathology and audiology. See course page for number of ASHA CEUs, instructional level, and content area. ASHA CE provider approval does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products, or clinical procedures. CEUs are awarded by the ASHA CE Registry upon receipt of the CEU Participant Form from the ASHA Approved CE Provider (we report to ASHA monthly). Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (Provider #50-1635) and the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635) (all courses are reported within two business days).

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Ethics & Risk Management – New Online CE Course

Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 9 is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that addresses a variety of ethics and risk management topics in the form of 26 short articles, written by experts in the field.

Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 9 is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that addresses a variety of ethics and risk management topics in the form of 26 short articles, written by experts in the field.

The articles included in Ethics & Risk Management 9 are:

  • Addressing Boundary Issues – Discusses the risks, benefits, and ethics of boundary crossings and multiple relationships in therapy.
  • Consider Risks When Contracting with Commercial Teletherapy Companies – Highlights the risks and provides suggestions for working in e-therapy.
  • Ethical Considerations in Hospital Settings – Discusses the unique ethical challenges professionals in hospital settings face.
  • What is a Disability, Anyway? – Discusses the legal considerations involved in certifying a patient as “disabled” or having a “disability related need.”
  • Pre-Employment Evaluations for Police and Public Safety – Reviews clinical criteria for completing pre-employment psychological evaluations.
  • Exposure Varies in Alternative Practice Models – Discusses potential risks and benefits of alternative practice models.
  • Confidentiality Limited for Service Members – Provides guidance for civilian clinicians that provide mental health services to members of our military.
  • To Terminate or Not to Terminate? – Offers practice tips for clinicians to use when considering terminating therapy with clients.
  • Investigation Notice Not Cause for Panic – Illuminates steps you can take to prepare yourself and your practice, now and ahead of time, for the inevitable complaint.
  • Duty to Warn: Don’t Get Distracted by Legal Cases – Evaluates that laws may change, but the focus of “duty to warn” stays the same.
  • Taking on a Supervisee – An overview of best practice tips practitioners would be wise to consider before beginning a supervisory role of their own.
  • African American Families, Diversity and Ethics – A navigators’ guide to traversing the complexity of African American diversity with integrity and effective professionalism.
  • Protect Yourself from Ransomware – Explores common cyber-security threats and what can be done to mitigate these risks to your practice.
  • The Importance of Informed Consent – An answer to the question, “When and which elements of informed consent are required in the case of court-ordered evaluation?”
  • Laws/Rules Vary for Telepsychology Practice – Discusses the need for researching the ethical and legal guidelines before offering telepsychology services.
  • Working Ethically with LGBTQ Clients – Explores complications that can arise when treating sexual and gender minority clients and offers suggestions to help the clinician.
  • Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Clients Require Special Ethical Consideration – Provides a look at why it is important to offer interpreters to HOH or deaf clients and the ethical concerns associated with it.
  • How to Fine Tune Consultations – Offers advice on how to determine when a consultation may be necessary and who may be best equipped to provide you the necessary information.
  • High Quality, Well Documented Patient Care is Risk Management – Explains how developing habits of good practice and judicious competence underlie risk management protocols.
  • Ethics of Technology and Clinician Responsibility – Differentiates between psychological testing and assessment of patients and highlights the importance of the clinician’s expertise in the process.
  • Unique Peer Consultation Issues in Rural Alaska – Highlights the need for developing connections with trusted peers, who can support the clinician living and working in a rural Alaskan community.
  • Therapists Vulnerable to Sexual Misconduct Accusations – Reminds practitioners of the importance of having effective policies, practices, and education in place to protect oneself against allegations of misconduct.
  • When Being Too Helpful Can Backfire – Discusses the difference between ‘good customer service’ and a therapeutic relationship.
  • How to Handle Conflicts of Ethics and the Law – Provides examples of times when the Ethics Code conflicts with the law and offers strategies to resolve these conflicts.
  • Managing Risks of Telepsychology – A brief overview of the possible risks associated with telepsychology.
  • Supervising in the Age of #MeToo, Trigger Warning and Safe Spaces – A look at the nuances of interactions between supervisors and supervisees in light of the current social and political climate.

Course #31-22 | 2019 | 51 pages | 26 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

Ethics & Risk Management 9 provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more.

Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; 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-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. 

Target AudiencePsychologistsSchool PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapists (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), and Teachers

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Wisconsin Psychologists License Renewal & CE

Wisconsin psychologists have an upcoming license renewal deadline of September 30, 2019. The following continuing education (CE) requirements must be met in order to renew:

CE Required: 40 hours every 2 years 
Online CE Allowed: No limit if APA approved
License Expiration: 9/30, odd years 
National Accreditation Accepted: APA
Notes: 6 hours in ethicsrisk management, or jurisprudence each renewal

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor online CE for Wisconsin psychologists and offers 20% off all courses:

Wisconsin psychologists save 20% on CE @pdresources.org

Use coupon code PDR451 at checkout to redeem. Coupon valid on all future orders thru 12/31/2019.

Click here to view online CE courses for Wisconsin psychologists.

Information obtained from the Wisconsin Psychology Examining Board website on July 30, 2019.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; 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-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. 

Target AudiencePsychologistsSchool PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapists (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), and Teachers

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Ethics & Social Media – New CE Course

Ethics and Social Media is a new 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the use of Social Networking Services (SNS) on both our personal and professional lives.

Ethics & Social Media is a new 2-hour online CE course that examines how the use of social media effects both our personal and professional lives.

Is it useful or appropriate (or ethical or therapeutic) for a therapist and a client to share the kinds of information that are routinely posted on SNS like Facebook, Twitter, and others? How are therapists to handle “Friending” requests from clients? What are the threats to confidentiality and therapeutic boundaries that are posed by the use of social media sites, texts, or tweets in therapist-client communication?

The purpose of this course is to offer therapists the opportunity to examine their practices in regard to the use of social media services in their professional relationships and communications. Included are ethics topics such as privacy and confidentiality, boundaries and multiple relationships, competence, the phenomenon of friending, informed consent, and record keeping. A final section offers recommendations and resources for the ethical use of social media and the development of a practice social media policy. Course #21-34 | 2019 | 43 pages | 15 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

Course Directions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; 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-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. 

Target AudiencePsychologistsSchool PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapists (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), and Teachers

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Renewal Information for Maryland Psychologists

Maryland psychologists have an upcoming license renewal deadline of March 31, 2019 (for odd-numbered licenses).

Maryland Psychologists Renewal Requirements:

CE Required: 40 hours every 2 years 
Online CE Allowed: 20 hours (independent study – must have posttest and certificate)
License Expiration: 3/31, every 2 years (even/odd license numbers due even/odd years) 
National Accreditation Accepted: APA 
Notes: 3 hours in ethics, laws, or risk management & 3 hours in cultural diversity due each renewal. If licensee holds a supervisory position – 3 hours in clinical supervision also required.

Maryland psychologists can earn up to 20 hours required for renewal through online courses offered @pdresources.org. Over 100 courses are available to choose from.

Order now and save 20% on CE:

Maryland psychologists enjoy 20% off online CE courses @pdresources.org

Click here to view online courses available.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; 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-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Ohio Psychologists CE & Renewal Info

Ohio psychologists have an upcoming license renewal deadline of September 30, 2018. 23 hours of continuing education (CE) are required to renew, and must be completed by August 31, 2018.

Ohio Board of Psychology  
CE Required: 23 hours every 2 years
Online CE Allowed: No limit
License Expiration: 9/30, even years – CE due 8/31
National Accreditation Accepted: APA
Notes: 4 hours in ethics or cultural competency required each renewal
Date of Info: 8/10/2018

Ohio Psychologists Save 20% on CE

Ohio psychologists can earn all 23 hours required for renewal through online courses offered @pdresources.org. Over 100 courses available.

Click here to view APA-sponsored online CE courses.

PLEASE NOTE: ALL CE COURSES must be sent to OPA or OSPA for certification before the associations send the hours to the Board. This includes APA-approved courses. Unless you send CE certificates to OPA or OSPA, they will have no way of knowing that the course was completed! The Ohio State Board of Psychology does not accept CE certificates directly.

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

When Being Too Helpful Can Backfire

When Being Too Helpful Can Backfire

When prospective clients call on the phone to ask about your services, some will also tell you a little about their problem. At this point, you may want to listen empathetically. But do not ask probing questions.

After speaking with you for a few minutes, a prospective client may make an appointment and then ask for suggestions on how to cope with their situation until they get in to see you. Resist the urge to give advice.

Why should you not be helpful? Isn’t that just good customer service? Being helpful is good customer service. However, in our business we need to be careful – for risk management reasons – not to engage in diagnostic or therapeutic services until we have the person’s informed consent.

Simply asking questions or giving general advice might erroneously communicate to someone that you have established a professional relationship with them. Most of the time that will be inconsequential; however, in rare cases, it could backfire. Here’s a hypothetical example:

Mrs. V, who is seeking help for her rebellious teenage daughter, calls you in desperation. “You’ve come highly recommended,” she says anxiously, “and I’d like to get her in as soon as possible.”

After checking your calendar, you offer her an appointment for early next week. “Thank you!” she exclaims. “I’ll be there. But can I ask one quick question first? My daughter is grounded for two weeks, but she has a gymnastics competition this weekend. Should we make an exception for that?”

Since you’re not busy, you figure it won’t hurt to spend a few minutes helping Mrs. V with this decision. It’s also an opportunity to establish rapport and to impress her with your expertise. So you ask a couple of questions about her daughter and about the family. Her story sounds like many you’ve heard, and you advise her to keep her daughter home from the gymnastics tournament.

The following Monday, Mrs. V calls to cancel her appointment because her daughter is in the hospital after cutting herself. She also threatens to sue you for malpractice and to report you to your licensing board.

Mrs. V may or may not prevail in a lawsuit or licensing board complaint. However, it is apparent that she did assume, from the way you communicated, that she was already in a professional relationship with you. Even though she had not yet met you in person, you were behaving like a treating psychologist, simply by asking probing diagnostic questions and giving specific advice.

The APA ethics code is silent on exactly when a therapeutic relationship begins. According to experienced ethics instructor Dan Taube JD, PhD, who serves as risk management consultant for The Trust, a professional relationship can be assumed simply from the behavior and intent of both parties. Moreover, intent need not be stated; it can be inferred in the absence of informed consent – as was the case in the hypothetical example of Mrs. V.

There are also good business reasons for not being too helpful at the inquiry stage. Ethical and risk-management considerations aside, giving advice to prospective clients may make them less likely to schedule an appointment right away, especially if they are ambivalent about starting therapy.

People are more motivated to take immediate action when pain or discomfort is involved. Therefore, if your symptom-focused advice to an ambivalent prospective client takes the edge off their distress, it’s quite possible that instead of making an appointment immediately, they promise to call back later. By the time “later” comes around, they may have forgotten your name.

What about giving advice in public education writing and speaking?

Taube recommends against giving specific advice, not only when talking to prospective clients, but also in nonclinical situations, such as presentations to community groups, interviews with news media and written articles for the public.

This does not imply that we should avoid speaking to or writing for public audiences. To the contrary, we have a professional obligation to provide the public with science-based information of general interest.

Section 5.04 of the APA ethics code outlines criteria for providing information to the public, but it does not prohibit nor discourage giving general tips or advice. When psychologists provide public advice or comment via print, internet, or other electronic transmission, they take precautions to ensure that statements:

  • Are based on their professional knowledge, training, or experience in accord with appropriate psychological literature and practice
  • Are otherwise consistent with this Ethics Code; and
  • Do not indicate that a professional relationship has been established with the recipient.

APA’s “Psychology Help Center” (apa.org/helpcenter) has some good examples of how to give general practical tips that are not likely to be interpreted as treatment. In addition, many psychologists add a disclaimer to their public education articles that the information provided is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for professional services.

When giving talks to community groups, or when being interviewed by a news reporter, you can give general advice about typical ways to approach a given problem. Depending on the situation, you might qualify your statement by saying something like, “Many people find it helpful to…although it may not work for everyone.” A general rule of thumb is to avoid the word you and its variants when answering “What should I do?” questions.

By Pauline Wallin, PhD

This article is an excerpt from the online continuing education (CE) course:

Therapy Tidbits - May/June 2018Therapy Tidbits – May/June 2018 is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE) course comprised of select articles from the May/June 2018 issue of The National Psychologist, a private, independent bi-monthly newspaper intended to keep mental health professionals informed about practice issues. The articles included in this course are:

  • New Prepayment Audits Strike Fear in Medicare Providers– Describes the difficulties practitioners are facing with when audited and explains the new method of auditing, ‘Targeted Probe and Education’
  • APA Council Approves Reorganization – Describes the upcoming changes as the American Psychological Association Practice Organization is reorganized.
  • Jail Opens Mental Treatment Unit – A brief look at how a Virginia City Jail is taking initiatives to support inmates’ mental health.
  • APA Practice Guidelines Raise Questions – Identifies concerns for the newly proposed sets of practice guidelines.
  • What is Obamacare Anyway? – An overview of Obamacare to date.
  • When Being Too Helpful Can Backfire – Discusses the difference between ‘good customer service’ and a therapeutic relationship.
  • MedPAC’s Latest Lead Balloon – An overview of the conflict surrounding the proposed change from Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) to the “Voluntary Value Program” (VVP).
  • What Have We Learned from 30 years of School Shootings?– Highlights the use of amphetamine-based drugs and lack of quality mental health care as factors in school shootings.
  • How to Handle Conflicts of Ethics and the Law – Provides examples of times when the Ethics Code conflicts with the law and offers strategies to resolve these conflicts.
  • Psychologists Should Study Uses of Marijuana – Discusses the importance of seriously considering medical marijuana as a viable treatment for patients.

Course #11-20  | 2018 |  20 pages |  10 posttest questions

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Texas SLP License Renewal & CE Info

Texas-licensed Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) must complete all continuing education requirements prior to the expiration of their license to renew and maintain continuous licensure.

Texas SLP Continuing Education (CE) Requirements

A continuing education unit is the basic unit of measurement used to credit individuals with continuing education activities for licensure. One continuing education units is defined as 10 clock hours of participation in an approved continuing education experience.

Texas SLPs are required to obtain 20 clock hours of continuing education (2 continuing education units), with 2 clock hours (0.2 continuing education units) in ethics.

CE Required: 20 hours every 2 years (30 if dual licensed)
Online CE Allowed: No limit if ASHA-approved
License Expiration: Date of issue, every 2 years
National Accreditation Accepted: ASHA
Notes: 2 hrs ethics required each renewal

Texas SLPs can earn all 20 hours required for renewal through ASHA-approved online CEU courses offered @pdresources.org. Order now and Save 20% on all courses:

Texas SLPs Save 20% on CEUs

Professional Development Resources is approved by the Continuing Education Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM) to provide continuing education activities in speech-language pathology and audiology. Over 20 courses are available @pdresources.org.

ASHA-Approved Online CEUs for Texas SLPs

Ethics for SLPsEthics for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that examines ethical issues that SLPs and audiologists may encounter in clinical practice. Ethical decision-making is based on awareness, intent, judgment, and behavior. The speech-language pathologist (SLP) or audiologist must be aware that an issue has ethical significance. Then a judgment must be made with the intent to make the ethically correct decision, and action taken. Ethics is about deliberate decisions made to benefit the people involved or to have the least harmful repercussions if a positive outcome is not possible. SLPs and audiologists encounter ethical issues across the spectrum of practice settings, from pediatric treatment to care of elders in skilled nursing facilities. This course will present an overview of ethical issues that arise in speech-language pathology and audiology practice, including barriers to ethical thinking, evidence-based ethics, economics, discrimination, abuse, bullying in the workplace, boundaries, confidentiality, social media, and infection control. Updates on the Codes of Ethics are included and discussed. Course #21-20 | 2018 | 37 pages | 15 posttest questions

Effects of Digital Media on Children’s Development and LearningEffects of Digital Media on Children’s Development and Learning is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews the research on media use and offers guidance for educators and parents to regulate their children’s use of digital devices. Today’s world is filled with smartphones used by people ignoring their surroundings and even texting while driving, which is criminally dangerous. Are there other dangers that may not be as apparent? Media technology (e.g., smart phones, tablets, or laptop computers) have changed the world. Babies and children are affected and research reveals that 46% of children under age one, and up to 59% of eight-year-old children are exposed to cell phones. In England, nearly 80% of senior primary-school staff reportedly are worried about poor social skills or speech problems of children entering school, which they attribute to the use of media devices. Media technology affects family life, children’s readiness for entering school or preschool, and classroom learning. Recent research delineates a developmental progression of understanding information on devices for children between ages 2- 5 years. Younger children may believe false information if it is on a computer. This research is important for understanding technology uses in education. There are also known health risks and possible adverse effects to social-emotional development. Statistics describing the increase of media technology and developing trends in media use are presented along with guidelines and position statements developed to protect children from risks and adverse effects. Course #30-96 | 2017 | 50 pages | 20 posttest questions 

More courses available @pdresources.org.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!