Ethical Considerations: Managing Risks of Inadvertent Negative Consequences in the Practice of Psychotherapy

Presented by Bruce Eimer, PhD on 03-20-2015 at 9 a.m. Pacific

Psychotherapy, like any treatment, involves some risks. Eliminating risk altogether is impossible, of course, but we can limit the risk of any inadvertent adverse consequences. The issues to be covered in this conference are pertinent to all psychotherapists, regardless of their orientation or model of psychotherapy practice, and will be immediately useful and relevant to participants after taking this webinar.

The basics of clinical risk management will be introduced for beginning practitioners and provided as a refresher for advanced practitioners, and we will discuss a variety of straightforward safeguards that all practitioners should employ. The material covered in this webinar is based on the instructor's 30 years of clinical experience as a therapist, clinical supervisor, and consultant as well as a review of the relevant published literature.

Given that effective psychotherapy involves an empathetic involvement with the client, all psychotherapists must pay careful attention to how that relationship is managed. This conference will help participants better manage their relationships with their clients through "conscious use of self" and knowledge of traps to avoid in the course of conducting psychotherapy.

This web conference is intermediate instructional level and designed to help clinicians:

  1. Analyze at least four inadvertent negative consequences that can occur during the course of psychotherapy.
  2. Demonstrate at least two ways to avoid the emergence of each of the four negative consequences listed.
  3. Categorize at least three psychotherapy techniques or interventions that have a higher probability of leading to inadvertent negative outcomes.
  4. Describe a least three variables for each of these three psychotherapy interventions to consider before employing the intervention;
  5. Explain the meaning of "conscious use of self".
  6. Discuss at least two examples of "conscious use of self" in one's psychotherapy practice.

If you have any questions about this web conference, or would like more information, please contact us here.

How the Web Conference Works

Attendees who register for this event will log in to the web conference center by using a computer and calling in to the teleconference line. Attendees will be able to ask live audio questions via phone and/or submit text chat questions via computer. Live streaming video and/or document sharing will also be available to participants. Alternatively, attendees may dial in to the teleconference line only, though attendees dialing in by phone only will be unable to ask questions.

Before the scheduled event, all registered attendees will be sent a reminder email with specific instructions on how to log in to the web conference center, as well as links to optional handout materials if applicable.

This event will include lecture and question-and-answer periods. A recording of the web conference will be available to members in's Continuing Education Archives within two weeks. Members of can receive continuing education credits for attending this event by logging in to the Member's Area.

396CE hours and counting!

All are available to members at no additional cost.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

Two CE credits will be provided by for attending this web conference in its entirety. is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

Registration Information

This web conference is available at no cost to members.

This event has already taken place. An audio recording for this event may be available in the Member's Area.

Event Reviews from Members

It was all very helpful. Probably the most helpful for me was simply talking about the risks in this way. Dr. Elmer simply sharing his information was a way to reduce my vulnerability and exposure to risk and normalize this necessary active awareness that I need to have as a therapist. -Lucrezia Mangione, MA, NCC, LCPC, CMT, CHTP/I

Meet the Presenter

Bruce Eimer, PhD

Bruce Eimer, PhD

Bruce Eimer, PhD, ABPP is a licensed psychologist who practices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. His unique personal background and his passion for helping people inform his career. Growing up in a Jewish family, the son of a Nazi Holocaust survivor, Bruce recognizes the importance of remembering one's roots, processing personal trauma, and embracing the intrinsic value of all human beings. He also understands how tenuous freedom can be and the costs associated with exercising complacency and failing to promote diversity.

Dr. Eimer completed his PhD in Educational Psychology at the State University of New York at Albany in 1981 and his APA-approved internships in clinical psychology and a post-doctoral re-specialization program at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia in 1986. He is a lifetime member of the American Psychological Association and a Fellow and Approved Consultant with the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.

Dr. Eimer’s clinical specialties include both hypnosis and pain psychology. He is a Fellow with the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and an editorial board member of the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. He directs the Pain Psychology and Behavioral Health at the Comprehensive Pain Center in Upland, Pennsylvania, and he has authored two books on pain management, Hypnotize Yourself Out of Pain Now! and Pain Management Psychotherapy: A Practical Guide.

Dr. Eimer has also created many self-help hypnosis audio-CDs, including The Best Stop Smoking With Hypnosis Program, and Weight Loss Hypnosis. For additional information on Dr. Eimer, please visit his websites: and

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • ace is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content. APA approval applies to all events listed after May 2011.
  • Logo has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo
    This course has been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  • ace, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 03/30/2016 – 03/30/2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 clinical continuing education clock hours.
  •, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.