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Ethics & Boundaries in Psychotherapy

Leo Christie, PhD

CE Credit: 3 Hours

Target Audience: Psychology CE | Counseling CE | Social Work CE | Marriage & Family Therapy CE

Learning Level: Intermediate

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract


This course gives psychotherapists the tools they need to resolve the common and not-so-common ethical and boundary issues and dilemmas that they may expect to encounter in their everyday professional practice. Among the topics discussed are definitions of boundaries; resolving conflicts between ethics and the law; boundary crossings vs. boundary violations; multiple relationships; sexual misconduct; codes of ethics of the APA, NASW, NBCC, and AAMFT; privacy and confidentiality in the age of HIPAA and the Patriot Act; ethics issues with dangerous clients; boundary issues in clinical supervision; ethics and cultural competency; technology and ethical boundaries; fees and financial relationships; termination of psychotherapy; and a 17-step model for ethical decision making. * This course satisfies the ethics & boundaries requirement for biennial relicensure of Florida mental health professionals.

Course #30-12 | 2012 | 38 pages | 20 posttest questions

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Learning Objectives

1.List four domains in which ethical boundary guidelines may be found
2.Distinguish between boundary crossings and boundary violations
3.List ways therapists can safeguard clients’ privacy under HIPAA regulations
4.Identify the ethical dilemma for psychotherapists posed by the Patriot Act
5.List three areas of clinical supervision where there may be ethical dilemmas
6.Identify ways therapists can manage their own cultural bias in psychotherapy

Professional Development Resources is approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) to offer home study continuing education for NCCs (#5590). We adhere to NBCC guidelines. Professional Development Resources is also approved as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling (#BAP346); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage & Family Therapists (#193) and the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage & Family Therapist Board (#RCST100501). 


Disclosure: No commercial support was received for this CE activity. The author has no financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.

About the Author(s)

Leo Christie, PhD, LMFT, is a Florida-licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Florida State University. Past President of the Florida Council on Family Relations, Dr. Christie is a past CEO of Professional Development Resources, a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to deliver continuing education credit courses to healthcare professionals throughout the United States. He has more than 20 years' experience in private practice with a specialty in child behavior disorders and as an instructor for over 500 live continuing education seminars for healthcare professionals.

: Receives a salary from Professional Development Resources, Inc.

: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist. 

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