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Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 10

Ofer Zur, PhD; Robert H. Woody, PhD, ScD, JD; Tim Branaman, PhD, ABPP

CE Credit: 3 Hours

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

Learning Level: Intermediate

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract

Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 10 is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that addresses a variety of ethics and risk management topics, in the form of select articles written by experts in the field for The National Psychologist. Topics include:

  • What Happens Next? Confidentiality after Death - Considers the legal and ethical issues of sharing confidential client records after a patient’s death.
  • Out-of-Office Encounters May Be Beneficial - Discusses the importance and benefits of out-of-office therapy sessions and encounters with clients.
  • Court Cases, Market Forces - An overview of court cases that highlight the ways in which regulatory boards may be at risk for an FTC complaint or federal suit.
  • Closing Practice Not for Faint of Heart - Describes the emotional toll that closing a private practice may have on clinicians and offers practical advice on how to prepare for this transition.
  • Fee Splitting is Unethical, and Sometimes Illegal - Describes the ins and outs of fee splitting and how to remain both ethical and legal in practice.
  • 3 Questions to Ask HIPAA Vendors - Offers three important questions to consider when selecting a HIPPA service.
  • Confronting Dissatisfaction with Professional Services - Provides twelve risk management strategies for practitioners to minimize, and hopefully avoid, consumer dissatisfaction and ethical/legal complaints.
  • Advertising Offers Must be Ethical - Explores how to advertise psychological services both ethically and legally.
  • Choosing Interpreter Requires Considerations - Raises points to consider when choosing an interpreter for use in clinical practice.
  • Mass Shootings Unfairly Stigmatizing Mentally Ill - Highlights the issues surrounding media exposure and violent gun crimes, reminding clinicians of the ethical issues regarding mental health and gun violence.
  • Court Ruling Could Affect Psychologists - The author reflects upon the court rulings in the case of Byrne v Avery Center to highlight the difference between privilege and confidentiality when patient records are under subpoena.
  • Employee vs Independent Contractor - Why it Matters - Outlines criteria for determining if a clinician should be designated as an employee or independent contractor.
  • Self-Care is Essential to Risk Management - Explains the importance of self-care, not only for the clinician’s health, but for the good of the practice.
  • Telepsychology Takes Special Training - An overview of essential elements to consider before launching a telepsychology practice.
  • New Lawsuit Revives Issue of Duty to Warn - Reminds practitioners of the Duty to Warn of potential threatening behavior from patients and recommends keeping up to date with specific state laws.
  • Calling out Microaggressions: An Ethical Obligation - Shares an example of a microaggression and suggests a structured, easy to remember, strategy for intervention.
  • What Kind of Liability Insurance is Best? - Discusses the difference between an Occurrence insurance policy and a Claims-Made policy.
  • Managing Intoxicated Patients - Provides an overview of common situations and factors practitioners should prepare for and to inform their professional decision making when encountering an intoxicated patient.
  • Sexually Kinky Clients Present Ethical Issues - Weighs the ethical issues that accompany treating patients who engage in kinky behaviors.
  • Special Considerations Needed When Working with First Responders - Outlines the difficulties psychologists may encounter in treating first responders and provides suggestions on how to overcome the ethical challenges that may arise during treatment.
  • Touching Not Always a Violation - Examines the need for discrepancy and compassion when supporting clients and lists the Zur Institute’s Risk Management guidelines.
  • Child Porn Poses Ethical Dilemma - Clarifies the conflict that a therapist faces when patients reveal they are watching pornography online.
  • How to Ethically Increase Access to Care During COVID-19 - Considers the importance of thoughtfully navigating the ethics of billing and payment during the pandemic.
  • Therapy in the Time of COVID-19: A Look at One Ethical Issue - Provides a principle-based decision-making model to guide clinicians who are faced with patients who express intent to circumvent public health measures, placing the well-being of others at risk.
  • ‘Please Don’t Tell My Surgeon’: Managing Privacy, Confidentiality in Integrated Healthcare Settings - Discusses the ethical challenges practitioners may face when working in an integrated healthcare setting.
  • Minority IQ Scores Boosted to Enable Execution - Examines the issue of boosting IQ scores for minorities in sentencing and briefly explains the outcomes of relevant court cases.
  • A Guide to Child Custody Evaluations and Expert Testimony - Shares key points to bear in mind before becoming involved with child custody evaluations and expert testimony.
  • Seeing Domestic Violence Through Another Lens - Considers how men, who are victims of domestic violence, are overlooked and underserved.
  • Talk of Risks, Side Effects May Lead to Nocebo Effect - Suggests ways to reduce the frequency and severity of Nocebo Effects.

Course #31-39 | 2022 | 55 pages | 20 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1. Identify three ethical issues and risks involved during the process of closing a practice
2. List two strategies for ethical conduct in advertising one’s professional practice
3. Name three privacy concerns in conducting telepsychology
4. Describe two ethical issues that can occur when managing difficult clients
5. Identify two ethical considerations that arise in therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic
6. List three risk management concerns involved in work with child custody evaluations and domestic violence

Professional Development Resources, #1046, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 6/12/2022 - 6/12/2025. Social workers completing this course 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 credit(s) 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 credit(s); 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)

Ofer Zur, PhD, is a licensed psychologist, consultant, writer, researcher, forensic consultant, and lecturer from Sebastopol, CA. He is a pioneer in the development of the ethical and effective managed-care-free psychotherapy practice. Dr. Zur taught for many years at several Bay Area, CA graduate schools and has trained thousands of psychotherapists in his seminars, lectures, and private consultations on numerous topics including Ethics with Soul, Therapeutic Boundaries, HIPAA, Dual Relationships, Standard of Care, Domestic Violence, Speed and Technology, and Victims. He is the founder of Zur Institute, which offers unique and innovative online continuing education to psychologists, LMFTs, social workers, and counselors. He is one of the most prominent consultants and forensic experts in the area of therapeutic boundaries. Website: https://drzur.com/

Financial: Dr. Zur receives author compensation from Professional Development Resources.
Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

Robert H. Woody, PhD, ScD, JD, is a professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska Omaha, an APA Fellow and member of the Council of Representatives, a Michigan licensed psychologist and a member of the Florida, Michigan and Nebraska Bars. His email is psychlegal@aol.com.

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

Tim F. Branaman, PhD, ABPP (Forensic), a Texas licensed psychologist, has delivered clinical and forensic services in a practice group he established in the mid-eighties. He also serves on the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists to which he was appointed in 2008 and subsequently appointed as chairman in 2010. He may be contacted by email at: drtimbranaman@gmail.com.

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

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