New Ethics & Risk Management CE Course

New Online CE Course

Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 8Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 8 is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that addresses a wide variety of really interesting ethics and risk management topics, written by experts in the field. Topics include:

Can Confidentiality be Maintained in Group Therapy? – Discusses ethical issues involved in conducting group psychotherapy.

A Short Course on Encryption and Cloud Storage – Provides answers to common questions about encryption, cloud storage, confidentiality, and HIPAA.

Retiring Ethically – Reviews the professional aspects of preparing for retirement and the various tasks and challenges involved.

Coping with Disruptions in Practice Due to Death or Disability – Shares two stories of a practice lost to sudden death, and the steps you can take to prepare for unexpected disruptions.

Informed Consent: Ethical Challenges and Opportunities – Provides an overview of the ethical obligations related to informed consent and outlines three ethical challenges.

Ethical Practice and the Challenge of Vicarious Trauma – Examines how vicarious exposure to traumatic material can dramatically impact clinicians both personally and professionally.

Competence for Execution: the Ethical Binds – Summarizes the complex issues involved in determining if a person is competent for execution.

Sorting through Professional Liability Insurance for Needed Coverage – Offers guidance and considerations for choosing between Occurrence Form Coverage and Claims Made Coverage.
Closing a Practice: Practical, Ethical and Clinical Dimensions – Reviews the tasks and challenges involved in terminating a psychotherapy practice.

Is it Ethics or Law? – Discusses the similarities and differences between ethics and law, and what to do when they conflict.

21st Century Changes Ethics for Private Practice – Shares personal experiences dealing with security breaches and offers guidelines for using technology in your own practice.

Ethical Considerations for Clinical Supervisors – Examines the impact of supervision on supervisees and their clients, including competence, clinical oversight, and informed consent.

Correcting vs. Altering Records – Discusses the importance of keeping good treatment records and offers guidance for what to do (and not to do) when needing to make a correction to your records.

Ethical Considerations for Media Presentations – Offers considerations to keep in mind when using the media for professional purposes (the article focuses on radio and television, but can also be applied to the internet).

‘Ghosting’ May Create Ethics Issue – Discusses the passive-aggressive strategy of “ghosting” and offers guidance for what to do when it happens to you, the therapist.

Reducing Risk in Treating Divorcing Families – Provides an overview of several risk management practices for therapists who work with divorced or divorcing families, particularly the children of divorcing families.

Who Let that Doggie on the Airplane? – Examines the growing trend of Emotional Support Animals (ESA) and what to do when you are asked to provide an ESA support letter.

Informed Consent: Records and Fees – Highlights areas of the treatment relationship and issues related to informed consent in the areas of providing records when requested and in establishing fees.

Cloud-Based File-Sharing Can be HIPAA Secure – Shares several options for storing and sharing information securely through the cloud, so therapists no longer have to rely on the burdensome methods of faxing or sending patient documents via proprietary networks.

Social Media and Ethics – Offers guidance to help clinicians engage in meaningful self-reflection prior to engaging in social media for the purpose of preventing ethical breaches.

Therapists Must Keep Pace as Technology Changes Practice – Discusses the change in the method of creating and maintaining patient files, evidenced by the increased use of electronic records, and the areas of concern involved.

Ethical Ways to Counteract Negative Reviews Online – Explains how to manage your online reputation, including what you can ethically do if you receive a negative review – real or not.

The Wounded Psychologist: Adverse Effects from a Licensing Complaint – Explains why licensing boards were created, how licensing board complaints are dealt with, and the negative effects of complaints on clinicians.

Disclosures for Forensic Evaluations – Discusses the requirements for disclosure in forensic evaluations.

Reimbursement Diagnoses may be Co-Morbid 
– Reviews the ethical, legal and professional challenges of balancing concern for diagnostic work with insurance reimbursement issues.

Giving Professional Commentary on Public Figures – Offers advice on what you can or shouldn’t say when asked to comment on public figures.

Managing Risk with Alcohol-Abusing Clients – Provides guidance on developing a dual-purposed informed consent agreement with working with special populations such as alcoholics or those characterized by high risk (e.g., suicidal or borderline personality disorder) behaviors.

Direct Secure Messaging is Best Electronic Option for Mental Health Records – Discusses use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs), concerns about the potential unrestricted flow of Protected Health Information (PHI), and how Direct Secure Messaging (DSM) can help.

Course #30-99 | 2017 | 49 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 8 is an online course that provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (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 approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; 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 Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

Recognizing Ethical Dilemmas

Course excerpt from Ethical Decision Making for Psychologists: A Practical Model

From time to time, psychologists are confronted with ethical dilemmas that are difficult to resolve. How do you know when an ethical issue arises that requires action on your part? What do you think are some of the characteristics of ethical dilemmas as they apply to psychotherapy? It does not take very long to answer these questions.

Recognizing Ethical Dilemmas

From time to time, psychologists are confronted with ethical dilemmas that are difficult to resolve.Kidder (1995) suggests that ethical dilemmas oftentimes involve right versus wrong choices or “moral temptations.” This certainly applies to a variety of situations including becoming involved in sexual relationships with clients, falsifying data, failing to be up front with clients about policies or procedures pertaining to the psychotherapy process, and using therapeutic techniques without having been trained in the use of those techniques. Most psychologists have either dealt with or thought about situations that make them question what the right thing to do is.

Denise and Andrew were certainly confronted with ethical dilemmas in slightly different ways. You can probably place yourself in their shoes and understand how they must have felt in their respective situations especially being new to the field: confused, surprised, and perhaps overwhelmed. In fact, recognizing ethical dilemmas oftentimes starts with a feeling, specifically, an awareness that you are feeling uncomfortable or uneasy.

Indeed, it is not uncommon for one’s unconscious self to pick up on and react to elements of a situation that one’s conscious self may overlook or fail to react to as quickly. This is not unlike the action of antivirus software, continually monitoring activities that are going on in the background of our computers while we are surfing the net. Although there may be times you are cognizant of the dilemma that aroused these feelings, other times you may realize that something is not right about a situation, but not necessarily be able to put your finger on it until you give it more thought. But it is the realization that “something’s not right” and the associated feeling that is your initial clue that you are dealing with an ethical dilemma.

It is important for you to be tuned in to the feelings that are kindled by ethical dilemmas and to use your feelings as data in the ethical decision-making process. Indeed, Remley and Herlihy (2007) point out that, “Virtue ethicists believe that emotion informs judgment.” They likewise provide the following advice: “Consider what emotions you are experiencing as you contemplate the situation and your possible actions…Your emotions can help guide you in your decision making” (pg. 13).

Think back to when you were a child. Did you parents ever tell you that everyone has a little voice inside that helps us distinguish right from wrong? Some people refer to this as a conscience. The same principle applies to recognizing ethical dilemmas. You might have a gut-level feeling that a situation is somehow problematic and demands action on your part. Although you may not know what you are supposed to do at that moment, you realize that “something’s wrong,” and that feeling does not go away. The emotional uneasiness produced by the dilemma yearns for a response from you to, in essence, put it out of its misery. Knapp and VandeCreek (2006) note that, “…for many psychologists the first indication of a problem comes from their own ‘gut’ reactions or the reactions of a patient. That is, a strain in interpersonal relationships or a feeling of emotional uneasiness is often the first indication of an ethical problem” (pg. 43).

Recognizing ethical dilemmas not only becomes easier with supervision and experience, but if the foundation of your professional identity is the six moral principles, then you will understand intuitively when an issue arises that demands sound reasoning and judgment. There is not one particular moral principle that will help you recognize an ethical dilemma. Psychologists continuously filter experiences through their moral principle net, and when issues get caught in the net they experience a twinge of discomfort that spurs the reasoning and resolution process.

Hare (1991) argues that moral reasoning starts with intuition: “…the intuitive level, with its prima facie duties and principles, is the main locus of everyday moral decisions” (p. 35). Cottone and Tarvydas (2007) likewise note that “The intuitive level of analysis always constitutes the first platform of decision making, even when the situation requires the more detailed level of analysis involved in the critical-evaluative level of consideration” (p. 91). The important point is that intuition is simply a starting point. Psychologists are trained to be self-aware so that they are sensitive to issues that should be addressed with clients. When considered in terms of a scientific process, intuition serves to generate hypotheses that can be confirmed or disconfirmed as psychologists interact with clients throughout the course of the psychotherapy process and discuss ethical concerns with colleagues.

Let’s take into consideration how this might work in the real world. Two psychologists have psychotherapy clients who both suffer from depression. Psychologist A, who is fresh out of graduate school, is concerned that his client is becoming too dependent on him given that the client calls him at home at all hours of the night and will do whatever he tells him to do. Psychologist B, who has been in the field for several years, is also dealing with a depressed client with dependency issues, but has taken a different approach. Psychologist B has placed limits on the number of calls she is willing to receive from the client and has requested that the client not call her at home.

How do the moral principles play a part in the reasoning processes of both psychologists? Psychologist A recognizes that something is wrong, but his moral principle net is “too loose” to catch the problem. Psychologist B understands that allowing the client to call her at home as often as he would like only fosters dependency and is not in the client’s best interests (the moral principle of beneficence or “helpfulness”). Although the client does not like the fact that Psychologist B has placed limits on him, he reluctantly agrees to abide by the rules. Psychologist B felt uncomfortable the first time the client attempted to maneuver into a dependency role and that feeling sparked a response that prevented her from enabling this behavior. But it was only because the discomfort was interpreted in relation to the moral principle of beneficence that Psychologist B understood why it was necessary to set limits.

Learn more:

Ethical Decision Making for PsychologistsEthical Decision Making for Psychologists: A Practical Model is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that provides psychologists with an intuitive method of resolving ethical dilemmas that is grounded in best practices as outlined in the professional literature as well as the APA Code of Ethics. Topics include the differences between ethics and the law, identifying moral principles which underlie the ethical practice of psychotherapy, and how to apply a practical approach to ethical decision-making. The course is written in a conversational style and includes mnemonics to assist in learning the material and drawing upon this knowledge as necessary when ethical dilemmas arise throughout one’s career. Closeout Course #30-41 | 2009 | 32 pages | 24 posttest questions

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 (CE Broker Provider #50-1635).