Continuing Education for Mental Health Professionals

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Ethical Decision-Making: Dual Relationships and Boundary Issues

Online Course
The materials for this course are available online
Ethical Decision-Making: Dual Relationships and Boundary Issues
Ethical Decision-Making: Dual Relationships and Boundary Issues
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by Kenneth Pope, Ph.D., Jeffrey N. Younggren, Ph.D., ABPP, Janet L.Sonne, Ph.D., Thomas G. Gutheil, M.D. and Glen O. Gabbard, M.D.
CE Credits: 4 CE Credit Hours
Online Course: $40
What constitutes a boundary violation? How does the mental health professional assess what might be harmful to the client? This online course looks at the healthy controversy in regard to boundary issues and dual relationships. Written by leading experts, the text material includes articles which will help the professional remain alert to key considerations when facing such ethical dilemmas. Two decision-making models are presented to facilitate your thoughtful response to difficult situations involving boundaries and dual/multiple relationships (online materials)
Kenneth Pope, PhD, is a licensed psychologist, in independent practice. He received graduate degrees from Harvard and Yale. Pope's lifelong focus has been to use the tools of scientific psychology to help the underserved and neglected populations, conducting research to understand their needs and developing interventions to improve their welfare. His publications include over 100 articles and 10 books. He chaired the Ethics Committees of the American Psychological Association and the American Board of Professional Psychology and is the recipient of numerous distinguished awards form APA
Ken Pope has generously provided support for no charge in the process of developing this ethics course. He and the authors granted permission to Affect Plus to link to his web site for use of the articles he has posted. The authors of the articles, Jeffrey N. Younggren, PhD, ABPP, Janet L. Sonne, PhD, Thomas G. Gutheil, MD and Glen O. Gabbard, MD, are all leading experts in the field of ethics.
The organizations/persons have given Affect Plus permission to link to their web sites or post their material on our web site and are not receiving any commercial support from Affect Plus. In addition, no conflict of interest is present.

Contents Include:
  • Controversies and landmark articles
  • Types of boundary issues: role, time, place and space, money, gifts, services, clothing, language, self-disclosure, physical contact
  • Misuses and misunderstandings of boundary issues in regulatory settings and clinical situations
  • The importance of context
  • Questions to ask when making ethical decisions regarding boundary issues
  • Therapist factors
  • Client factors
  • Therapy relationship and other relationship factors
  • Excerpts addressing dual relationships and multiple relationships from standards and guidelines of professional associations
Number of Test Questions:
    35 objective, 1 discussion question
Learning Objectives:
At the completion of this course, the participant will be able to:
  • identify ethical codes relevant to dual relationships and boundary issues.
  • describe various types of boundary issues.
  • distinguish between boundary crossings and boundary violations.
  • recognize therapist and client factors, along with the importance of context.
  • implement a thoughtful decision-making model, focusing on the welfare of the client as well as risk-management for the professional.
    This course is appropriate for all levels of experience, including beginning, intermediate and advanced practitioners.
Target Audience:
    Psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors, social workers, and marriage and family therapists who are new to the field as well as those who have been in practice for many years.