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Risk Management: Towards Ethical Risk Management Practices

6 CE Credit Hours - Online Course - $59.00

Developed by Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

Course fulfills the California and other states' ethics and law requirements. Course may qualify for insurance discount. Check with your insurer.

This course is also offered as part of an Advanced Ethics Certificate Program of 70 CE Credit Hours.

Course materials: text/webpage Articles

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General Course Description

Therapists have been warned by risk management experts, attorneys, and insurance companies to never touch a client, to limit self-disclosure and gifts, to avoid bartering or making home visits or leaving the office with clients and, by all means, to stay away from any form of dual relationship. This course will help therapists differentiate between boundary crossings and boundary violations and also to differentiate between clinical, ethical and risk management issues. While minimizing risk is clearly important, the course is concerned with risk management practices that are carried out at the expense of clients' welfare and of therapeutic effectiveness.

This intermediate-level course is comprised of 12 articles that critically examine the concept of risk management in psychotherapy. It sheds light on the origin of and the forces behind risk management practices and realistically looks at the level of risk that therapists are facing in their line of work. More specifically, it provides basic guidance on issues such as gifts, fees, touch, and therapy outside the office. The course also reviews the ethical and legal considerations regarding risk management and proposes ethical ways to minimize risk to therapists without compromising their clinical integrity. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach the participant to:

1.    Describe the complexities of risk management practices.

2.    Report the origin of and the forces behind risk management.

3.    Explain how to minimize risk to therapists without compromising their clinical integrity.

4.    Cite the relationships between risk management and the standard of care.

5.    Discuss the relationships between risk management practices and the codes of ethics and the law, with emphasis on California law.

6.    Utilize tools to make clinical and ethical decisions with regard to risk management concerns.

Course Syllabus

  • Introduction to Risk Management
  • Reducing Risk in Psychotherapy and Counseling
  • Differentiating Between Clinical, Ethical, Legal and Risk Management Issues
  • Risk Management and Clinical Effectiveness
  • Concerns with Boundaries: Differentiating Between Boundary Crossings and Boundary Violations
  • Standard of Care and Risk Management
  • Reviewing Issues of Gifts, Touch and Therapy Outside the Office as They Relate to Risk Managment
  • Re-Thinking the Slippery Slope Concept
  • Guidelines to Ethical Risk Management
  • Laws and Risk Management with Emphasis on California Law
  • Guidelines for Ethical Risk Management
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