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REG. $14

Ten Reasons Not to Worry (Too Much) About Malpractice Claims

Edward Zuckerman, PhD

CE Credit: 1 Hour

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

Learning Level: Introductory

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract

Ten Reasons Not to Worry (Too Much) About Malpractice Claims is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE) course that will enable therapists to become clear about the legal definition of malpractice and what it means for them. Using the data available and the opinions of experts – researchers, clinicians, and especially plaintiffs’ attorneys – the author presents ten reasons why the risk of a malpractice claim and its consequences are really not very high. Interspersed throughout are ethical points and risk management tips that enable therapists to adhere to very high standards of care, which add up to the best defense against malpractice worries.

This course also addresses some cognitive sets that can cause unwarranted worry and attempts to offer more realistic perceptions on the motivations of clients who sue and those who tend to be litigious. Although suits are improbable, they can happen and are exceptionally distressing and disrupting to professionals. The final section summarizes ways therapists can employ the best ethical practices to prevent lawsuits and use therapeutic skills to manage them when they happen.

Closeout course #10-64 | 2013 | 22 pages | 10 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1.List ways therapists can improve client satisfaction and avoid the four bases for a malpractice suit
2.List ten reasons why the risk of a malpractice claim is actually not very high
3.Name three ethical points therapists can practice in order to increase positive client outcomes
4.Identify cognitive sets that can cause unwarranted worry
5.Detail therapeutic skills therapists can use in the event of a lawsuit

Professional Development Resources, #1046, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 6/12/2019 - 6/12/2022. Social workers completing this course receive 1 clinical continuing education credits.

Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling (Provider #BAP346); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage & Family Therapist Board (Provider #RCST100501); and the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).


This online course 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.

About the Author(s)

Edward Zuckerman, PhD, has worked in community mental health, taught at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon and was in independent practice for almost 20 years. He earned his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Zuckerman is the author of the best-selling The Paper Office, which contains all the forms and guidance one needs to operate a private practice legally, ethically, and profitably (see www.theclinicianstoolbox.com). Dr. Zuckerman also edits the series of books called The Clinician's Toolbox for Guilford Press.

Financial: Dr. Zuckerman is an author for Professional Development Resources and receives royalties on sales of his courses.

Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

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