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The Ethics & Risk of Risk Management: Towards Ethical Risk Management Practices

6 CE Credit Hours - Online Course - $60.00

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

This intermediate-level course critically examines the concept of risk management in psychotherapy. The Ethics and Risk of Risk Management Therapists have been frightened by risk management experts, attorneys and insurance companies to never touch a client, to limit self-disclosure and gifts, to avoid bartering, making home visits, leaving the office with clients and, by all means, to stay away from any form of dual relationships. The course helps therapists differentiate between boundary crossing and boundary violation, understand the origin of and the forces behind risk management practices and realistically look at the level of risk that therapists are facing in their line of work. While minimizing risk is important, the course is concerned with risk management practices that are carried out at the expense of clients' welfare and of therapeutic effectiveness. Finally, the course reviews the ethical and legal considerations regarding risk management and proposes ethical ways to minimize risk to therapists without compromising their clinical integrity.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach the participant to:

1.    Describe the complexities of risk management practices.

2.    Define and explain boundary crossings and boundary violations in psychotherapy.

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

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

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

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

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

Course Syllabus

  • Introduction to Risk Management
  • The Concept of Risk Management
  • Prevalence of Risk Management
  • Generational Gap
  • Confusing Ethics, Law and Risk Management
  • Risk Management vs. Clinical Effectiveness: Flasher in Alaska
  • The Frightening Power of Fear
  • Culture of (Litigating) Victims
  • Forces Behind Risk Management
  • Concern with Boundaries
  • Out-of-Office Experiences
  • Slippery Slope - Sloppy thinking
  • Transference Abuse
  • The Ethics Codes and Risk Management
  • Standard of Care and Risk Management
  • Tort, Elements of Malpractice
  • Laws and Risk Management with Emphasis on California Law
  • How risky is the risk?
  • If the Risk is Low, Why is the Fear So High?
  • Where are the Risks?
  • Risk Management May Increase Risk of Misconduct
  • Risk Management May be More Costly to Insurance Companies
  • Beyond Risk Management
  • Guidelines to Ethical Risk Management
  • Boundary Violations: Do Some Contended Standards of Care Fail to Encompass Commonplace Procedures of Humanistic, Behavioral and Eclectic Psychotherapies?
  • The Curse of Risk Management
  • Out-of-Office Experience:
  • Telehealth Risk Management
  • Risk Management: Suggestions for Practice
  • Guidelines for ethical risk management
  • Bibliography
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