Continuing Education for Mental Health Professionals

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Ethics and Risk Management: How to Avoid Pitfalls

Online Course
The materials for this course are available online
Ethics and Risk Management: How to Avoid Pitfalls
Ethics and Risk Management: How to Avoid Pitfalls
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by Kenneth S. Pope, Ph.D. and Melba J.T. Vasquez, Ph.D.
CE Credits: 2 CE Credit Hours
Online Course: $20
The pitfalls are common ones. Be it in one's thinking, language or action, it is all too easy to justify unethical behavior. This course addresses the essentials involved in maintaining ethical standards in your practice. Pope and Vasquez present important steps in the ethical decision-making process. Even the best of practitioners can be vulnerable to ethical fallacies and the cognitive strategies that promote these errors in judgment. The authors provide examples of how critical thinking and language can be distorted in the different types of logical fallacies.

Course materials are used with permission from copyright holders.

(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 has taught courses in psychological and neuropsychological assessment, abnormal psychology, and professional standards of care at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he served as a psychotherapy supervisor. He chaired the Ethics Committees of the American Psychological Association and the American Board of Professional Psychology. Awards include the APA Division 42 Presidential Citation "In Recognition of his Voluntary Contributions, his Generosity of Time, the Sharing of his Caring Spirit [and] his Personal Resources"; the APA Division 44 Citation of Appreciation; the 2007 Award for Mentoring from the APA Division of Independent Practice; and the APA Division 12 Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Clinical Psychology and the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Public Service.

Melba J.T. Vasquez, PhD, is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Austin, Texas. She received her degree in counseling psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. She has served as internship training director and psychologist at the university counseling centers of Colorado State University and at the University of Texas at Austin. She has published more than sixty journal articles and book chapters in the areas of ethics, ethnic minorities, women, supervision and training, counseling and psychotherapy, with special interest in diverse groups. She has served on various APA boards and committees, including the APA Ethics Committee Task Forces for the Revisions of the 1992 and 2002 Code of Ethical Principles of Psychologist and Conduct. She is the recipient of numerous distinguished awards, including the 2002 APA Senior Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in Public Interest, James M. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award, APA 2004, and Award for Extraordinary Contributions in the Professional Practice of Counseling Psychology, Academy of Counseling Psychology of the ABPP, 2000.
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:
  • Ethics for Psychotherapy and Counseling: 7 Essentials
  • Steps in Ethical Decision-Making
  • 21 Ethical Fallacies: Cognitive Strategies to Justify Unethical Behavior
  • Ethics, Critical Thinking and Language: Using Words to Deceive: (8 Bogus Apologies)
  • Logical Fallacies in Psychology: 22 Types
Number of Test Questions:
    20 objective questions
Learning Objectives:
At the completion of this course, the participant will be able to:
  • describe the essentials of an ethical practices, as put forth by Pope and Vasquez.
  • identify the steps in an ethical decision-making process.
  • recognize cognitive strategies used to justify unethical behavior.
  • identify common language patterns that can be used to make bogus apologies.
  • recognize and avoid logical fallacies that would lead to incorrect conclusions.
    This course is appropriate for all levels of experience, including beginning, intermediate and advanced practitioners.
Target Audience:
    Psychologists, Social Workers, Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists in a wide range of settings who want to maintain high ethical standards in their practice.