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Ethical & Risk Management Issues for Therapists in Small Towns

Donald N. Bersoff, JD, PH.D.

6.0 CE Hours Available

All orders include the entire presentation with handouts and a CE test.
Streaming videos and audio downloads will be available immediately after checkout
Mailed CD and DVD formats include the printed handouts and CE test in an attractive portfolio

Format Price Quantity input field
Audio Download
CD Audio w/ Audio Download
DVD Video w/ Streaming Video
Streaming Video
Extra CE Test


This 6-hour seminar will focus on the ethical challenges facing mental health practitioners in rural and in small (e.g., military, college, GLBT) communities through the use of didactic presentations and discussions of realistic vignettes .


Participants will learn:

  • The problems and pitfalls of ethical codes
  • Alternatives to resolving ethical dilemmas
  • Special issues for rural/small community professionals regarding multiple relationships (sexual and nonsexual)
  • How burnout problems can affect practice
  • How to practice competently in rural/small communities
  • How confidentiality may be compromised


Ethical Codes and Their Limitations

  • Problems & pitfalls of ethic codes
  • Alternative framework for resolving ethical dilemmas
  • Consequences of violating ethics code
Ethical & Unethical Multiple Relationship
  • Multiple relationships defined
  • Unethical multiple relationships
Special Issues in Multiple Relationships
  • Business relationships, Bartering, Gifts, Attendance at celebrations (e.g., weddings)
  • Danger of nonsexual multiple relationships
Burnout, Competence & Confidentiality
  • Work Overload
  • Isolation
  • Lack of Resources
  • Visibility
  • Limited Resources
  • Accepting clients vs turning them away
  • Limited educational opportunities
Ethical Violations & Malpractice Distinguished
  • The 4 criteria for proving malpractice
  • The relevance of harm to the client
  • The differing consequences of ethics violations & malpractice
  • Introduction to Tarasoff and its Progeny
Managing Risk with Violent Clients
  • The facts & decisions in Tarasoff and Emerich
  • How violence is defined
  • The importance of risk assessment
  • Protecting confidentiality while protecting 3rd parties
  • The importance of consultation
  • How record keeping can reduce liability
Confidentiality in Small Towns
  • Mistrust in rural communities
  • Practice in small colleges
  • HIPPA, protected health information & psychotherapy notes