Ethical Decision Making: Boundaries and Dual Relationships in Therapy

Ethical Decision Making: Boundaries and Dual Relationships in Therapy

Presented by Frederic G. Reamer, PhD on 11-03-2017 at 9 a.m. Pacific (noon Eastern) to 12 p.m. Pacific (3 p.m. Eastern)

Is it ever appropriate for therapists to maintain relationships with individuals they have counseled after services are terminated? How should therapists respond to unsolicited invitations to be a Facebook "friend" or when learn they are being followed by a client on Twitter? Should clinicians ever disclose personal information about themselves in therapy or conduct Google searches on individuals from their caseload without their knowledge? How should therapists respond to gifts and social invitations from clients, or handle unexpected encounters with them in the local community?  

In this special three-hour ethics web conference, Dr. Frederic Reamer returns to GoodTherapy.org to answer these questions and more. An expert on ethics in the field of mental health, Dr. Reamer will share case studies in their entirety and provide first-hand accounts of his experiences being an expert witness. He will use extensive case material including:

  • Typology of boundary issues and dual relationships, including themes of intimacy, emotional and dependency needs, personal benefit, altruism, and unavoidable circumstances.
  • Current trends in ethics complaints and malpractice claims. 
  • Risk-management strategies to maintain proper boundaries in psychotherapy.
  • Ethical decision-making strategies (decision-making protocols, codes of ethics, ethics literature, relevant regulations and statutes)

Dr. Reamer will also provide attendees with comprehensive information about more complex boundary issues as well as complicated dual relationship considerations that arise in psychotherapy, especially in the digital age. Participants will learn how to identify unusual ethical dilemmas and respond constructively to protect individuals in therapy, prevent professional malpractice, and avoid liability. 

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

  1. Recognize complex boundary issues and identify unavoidable circumstances. 
  2. Utilize ethical decision-making frameworks and protocols.
  3. Identify specific ethical and boundary issues that pose malpractice and liability risks. 
  4. Apply strategies to protect clients and prevent ethics complaints and lawsuits.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of ethics violation consequences, including licensing board standards and career implications.

GoodTherapy.org members who register for this special three-hour ethics web conference event will be invited to submit their questions about ethics to Dr. Reamer in advance of the live event.

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

512.5CE hours and counting!

All are available to GoodTherapy.org members at no additional cost.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

Three CE contact hours will be provided by GoodTherapy.org for attending this web conference in its entirety. 

GoodTherapy.org is 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 and legal, ethical, and professional development.

GoodTherapy.org is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.

This organization, GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: March 30, 2016 through March 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 two clinical continuing education clock hours.

GoodTherapy.org is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

GoodTherapy.org, 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.

GoodTherapy.org, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

Registration Information

This web conference is available at no cost to GoodTherapy.org members.

This event has already taken place. A recording of this event may be available in the Member's Area.

Meet the Presenter

Frederic G. Reamer, PhD

Frederic G. Reamer, PhD

Frederic G. Reamer, PhD is a professor in the graduate program of the School of Social Work, Rhode Island College, where he has been on the faculty since 1983. His research and teaching have addressed a wide range of human service issues, including mental health, health care, criminal justice, public welfare, and professional ethics. Dr. Reamer received his PhD from the University of Chicago and has served as a social worker and administrator in correctional and mental health settings.

Dr. Reamer has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to the field of social work and received the Excellence in Ethics Award from the National Association of Social Workers in 2015. He has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Tulane University, Simmons College, and Smith College. Dr. Reamer also chaired the national task force that wrote the current Code of Ethics adopted by the National Association of Social Workers. 

Dr. Reamer has conducted extensive research on professional ethics and has been an essayist, host, commentator, and producer on several NPR and PBS programs. He has published 20 books and more than 125 journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Reamer’s most recent books include: 

* This page contains at least one affiliate link for the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which means GoodTherapy.org receives financial compensation if you make a purchase using an Amazon link.

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • ace
    GoodTherapy.org is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content. GoodTherapy.org received APA approval in May 2011. Events after 2011 may meet APA requirements for Continuing Education credits.
  • Logo
    GoodTherapy.org 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. GoodTherapy.org is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo
    This course has been approved by GoodTherapy.org, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. GoodTherapy.org is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  • ace
    GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. GoodTherapy.org 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.
  • GoodTherapy.org, LLC 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 #SW-0395.
  • GoodTherapy.org, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.