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Ethical Decision Making for Psychologists: A Practical Model

Christopher J. Quarto, PhD

CE Credit: 3 Hours

Target Audience: Psychology CE | School Psychology CE

Learning Level: Intermediate

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract

Ethical 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. 

From time to time, psychologists are confronted with ethical dilemmas that are difficult to resolve. Although ethical decision-making models provide guidelines as to how psychologists should proceed in such matters, they do not always do so in a pragmatic manner. This course will discuss 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

Learning Objectives

1. Identify differences between ethics and the law
2. List the purposes of an ethics code
3. Name moral principles that underlie the ethical practice of psychotherapy
4. Identify ways of recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas
5. Utilize a practical approach to ethical decision-making in psychotherapy and other roles enacted by psychologists
6. Identify moral principles associated with select portions of the APA Code of Ethics (2002)

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).


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

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About the Author(s)

Christopher J. Quarto, PhD, is a licensed psychologist who is a professor of psychology at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). He has taught courses in ethics, practicum/internship, mental health counseling, diagnosis and treatment planning, and psychological testing. Prior to his appointment at MTSU, Dr. Quarto was the co-owner of a private practice where he specialized in providing diagnostic and treatment services to children, adolescents and adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). He maintains involvement in professional organizations and is interested in enhancing online continuing education in the counseling and psychology professions.

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