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Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 9

Linda Knauss PhD, ABPP; Joe Scroppo, PhD, JD; Dan Taube, JD, 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

Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 9 is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that addresses a variety of ethics and risk management topics in the form of 26 short articles, written by experts in the field. Topics include:

  • Addressing Boundary Issues - Discusses the risks, benefits, and ethics of boundary crossings and multiple relationships in therapy.
  • Consider Risks When Contracting with Commercial Teletherapy Companies - Highlights the risks and provides suggestions for working in e-therapy.
  • Ethical Considerations in Hospital Settings - Discusses the unique ethical challenges professionals in hospital settings face.
  • What is a Disability, Anyway? - Discusses the legal considerations involved in certifying a patient as “disabled” or having a “disability related need.”
  • Pre-Employment Evaluations for Police and Public Safety - Reviews clinical criteria for completing pre-employment psychological evaluations.
  • Exposure Varies in Alternative Practice Models - Discusses potential risks and benefits of alternative practice models.
  • Confidentiality Limited for Service Members - Provides guidance for civilian clinicians that provide mental health services to members of our military.
  • To Terminate or Not to Terminate? - Offers practice tips for clinicians to use when considering terminating therapy with clients.
  • Investigation Notice Not Cause for Panic - Illuminates steps you can take to prepare yourself and your practice, now and ahead of time, for the inevitable complaint.
  • Duty to Warn: Don’t Get Distracted by Legal Cases - Evaluates that laws may change, but the focus of “duty to warn” stays the same.
  • Taking on a Supervisee - An overview of best practice tips practitioners would be wise to consider before beginning a supervisory role of their own.
  • African American Families, Diversity and Ethics - A navigators’ guide to traversing the complexity of African American diversity with integrity and effective professionalism.
  • Protect Yourself from Ransomware - Explores common cyber-security threats and what can be done to mitigate these risks to your practice.
  • The Importance of Informed Consent - An answer to the question, “When and which elements of informed consent are required in the case of court-ordered evaluation?”
  • Laws/Rules Vary for Telepsychology Practice - Discusses the need for researching the ethical and legal guidelines before offering telepsychology services.
  • Working Ethically with LGBTQ Clients - Explores complications that can arise when treating sexual and gender minority clients and offers suggestions to help the clinician.
  • Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Clients Require Special Ethical Consideration - Provides a look at why it is important to offer interpreters to HOH or deaf clients and the ethical concerns associated with it.
  • How to Fine Tune Consultations - Offers advice on how to determine when a consultation may be necessary and who may be best equipped to provide you the necessary information.
  • High Quality, Well Documented Patient Care is Risk Management - Explains how developing habits of good practice and judicious competence underlie risk management protocols.
  • Ethics of Technology and Clinician Responsibility - Differentiates between psychological testing and assessment of patients and highlights the importance of the clinician’s expertise in the process.
  • Unique Peer Consultation Issues in Rural Alaska - Highlights the need for developing connections with trusted peers, who can support the clinician living and working in a rural Alaskan community.
  • Therapists Vulnerable to Sexual Misconduct Accusations - Reminds practitioners of the importance of having effective policies, practices, and education in place to protect oneself against allegations of misconduct.
  • When Being Too Helpful Can Backfire - Discusses the difference between ‘good customer service’ and a therapeutic relationship.
  • How to Handle Conflicts of Ethics and the Law - Provides examples of times when the Ethics Code conflicts with the law and offers strategies to resolve these conflicts.
  • Managing Risks of Telepsychology - A brief overview of the possible risks associated with telepsychology.
  • Supervising in the Age of #MeToo, Trigger Warning and Safe Spaces - A look at the nuances of interactions between supervisors and supervisees in light of the current social and political climate.

Course #31-22 | 2019 | 51 pages | 26 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1. Identify the ethical issues and risks involved in work with commercial teletherapy companies
2. List strategies for ethical practice in pre-employment evaluations and work with service members
3. Name ethical challenges in taking on a supervisee and working with African American families
4. Describe ethical issues in telepsychology practice and working with LGBTQ clients
5. Identify ethical risks and clinician responsibility in using technology in psychotherapy
6. List legal, clinical, and ethical issues in supervision in the age of Me Too

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: 6/12/2022 - 6/12/2025. Social workers completing this course will receive 3 ethics continuing education credits.

Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling (#BAP346); the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers (#SW-0664 - Note: New York social workers will receive 3 continuing education credits for completing this self-study course); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage & Family Therapist Board (#RCST100501 - Note: Ohio social workers completing this course will receive 3 ethics continuing education credits); the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678);  and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635 - all courses are reported within two business days of completion).


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.

Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

About the Author(s)

Linda K. Knauss, PhD, ABPP, is a professor at Widener University’s Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology. In addition, she maintains a private clinical practice where she sees children, adolescents, adults and families. Her email address is: lkknauss@widener.edu.


: No relevant financial relationship exists.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists. 

Joe Scroppo, PhD, JD, risk management consultant with The Trust, is a forensic psychologist and attorney in Woodmere, N.Y. His email address is: scroppo@optonline.net.


: No relevant financial relationship exists.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists. 

Dan Taube, JD, PhD, risk management consultant with The Trust, is a psychologist and professor at the California School of Professional Psychology-San Francisco. His email address is dtaube@alliant.edu.


: No relevant financial relationship exists.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists. 

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