By Dr. Leo Christie, PhD
Ethics and Law in Florida Psychology is a 3-hour online course for Florida psychologists. The purpose of this course is to ensure that Florida-licensed psychologists are fully aware of the ethical and legal privileges and constraints under which they are licensed to practice in the State of Florida.
Excerpt from Ethics and Law in Florida Psychology
APA Code of Ethics
The current version of the Code, which was adopted by the American Psychological Association on August 21, 2002, has been in force since June 1, 2003. APA requests that inquiries concerning the substance or interpretation of the Code be addressed to the Director, Office of Ethics, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242.
The standards in this Ethics Code are used to adjudicate complaints brought concerning alleged conduct occurring on or after June 1, 2003. Complaints regarding conduct occurring prior to that date are adjudicated on the basis of the version of the Ethics Code that was in effect at the time the alleged conduct occurred.
The Code can be found on the APA web site, http://www.apa.org/ethics. It is available in HTML, PDF, and MS Word formats. It is suggested that you open or retrieve the Code from the APA site for reading in conjunction with this course.
The Code is comprised of four major sections: an introduction, a preamble, five general principles, and ten categories of specific ethical standards. The introduction discusses the intent, organization, procedural considerations, and scope of application of the Code. The preamble and general principles are described as offering “aspirational” goals, which are intended to encourage psychologists to aspire to the highest ideals of psychology practice. Even though the preamble and general principles are not themselves enforceable rules, APA suggests that they be considered by psychologists in arriving at an ethical course of action.
The five general principles are these:
1. Beneficence and Nonmaleficence. Within this principle, psychologists are urged to strive to benefit individuals with whom they work, to do no harm, and to safeguard their welfare and rights.
2. Fidelity and Responsibility. Psychologists are urged to uphold professional standards of conduct, clarify their professional roles and obligations, accept appropriate responsibility for their behavior, and seek to manage conflicts of interest that could lead to exploitation or harm.
3. Integrity. Psychologists are urged to seek to promote accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness in the science, teaching, and practice of psychology.
4. Justice. Psychologists are urged to recognize that fairness and justice entitle all persons to access to and benefit from the contributions of psychology and to equal quality in the processes, procedures, and services being conducted by psychologists.
5. Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity. Psychologists are urged to respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination.
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Preventing Medical Errors in Behavioral Health
Domestic Violence: Child Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence
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 Florida Board of Psychology and the Office of School Psychology and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635).
Florida Psychologists – Additional Required CE Courses
Domestic violence, in the form of child abuse and intimate partner violence, remains a pervasive part of contemporary life in the U.S. Its effects are deep and far-reaching. This course is intended to help health professionals maintain a high state of vigilance and to be well prepared with immediate and appropriate responses when abuse is disclosed. There is a special section on the complexity of an abuse victim’s decision about if and when to leave an abuser. This course will teach clinicians to detect abuse when they see it, screen for the particulars, and respond with definitive assistance in safety planning, community referrals, and individualized treatment plans. This course satisfies the domestic violence requirement for biennial relicensure of Florida mental health professionals.
This course is intended to increase clinicians’ awareness of the many types of errors that can occur within mental health practice, how such errors damage clients, and numerous ways they can be prevented. Its emphasis is on areas within mental health practice that carry the potential for “medical” errors. Examples include improper diagnosis; breaches of privacy and confidentiality; mandatory reporting requirements; managing dangerous clients; boundary violations and sexual misconduct; the informed consent process; and clinical and cultural competency. There are major new sections on psychotherapy in the digital age, including the use of social networking systems, the practice of teletherapy, and the challenges of maintaining and transmitting electronic records. *This course satisfies the medical errors requirement for license renewal of Florida mental health professionals.