"This book should be sitting on the desk of every practicing psychotherapist. It is easy to read and presents a user-friendly approach to the complex ethical problems that are frequently encountered in clinical practice. Dr. Doverspike's ability to blend and balance risk management and ethics is unique and refreshing."
-Jeffrey N. Younggren, PhD, Clinical and Forensic Psychology; Clinical Professor, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine; COL, MS, USAR (Ret.) Washington, DC; Author of Managing Suicidal Risk: A Collaborative Approach
"If there were a formula for successfully avoiding an ethics or licensure complaint, this book would be it. The pitfalls that account for almost all complaints are skillfully and adeptly explained and followed by explicit recommendations on how to solve the dilemmas. Three qualities jump out at the reader that distinctively set this book apart from many others:
The passages are written with the assumption that the clinician is trying to do the right thing. This assumption makes all the difference because it allows the reader to identify with the clinician in experiencing the dilemma, making the decision, and taking action.
There is a quality to the writing style that is a cross between Mark Twain and a legal scholar. The reader gets great ethical advice but in a manner that seems like the author is speaking in a kind, reassuring way directly to the reader. It is a conversation between you, the reader, and the author.
It is a rare perspective that successfully drops managed care, insurance, and business right into the middle of an ethical case but this author does so very effectively. Most ethics material does not integrate these business practices into the ethical dilemma even though these factors are critical for the practitioner.
"This book arms the reader with an invisible shield against complaints. If somehow a clinician breaks the shield and finds a complaint registered, the last section of the book offers an extraordinarily comprehensive listing of steps to take and virtually takes the clinician’s hand and walks through the response process. This section could be a small book in and of itself."
-Linda F. Campbell, PhD, Professor, The University of Georgia; Director, UGA Center for Counseling and Personal Evaluation
Table of Contents
Ethical Risk Management: Some Personal Reflections
Understand Ethical and Legal Standards / Practice Within Your Area of Competence / Obtain Adequate Informed Consent / Maintain Clear Boundaries With Clients / Beware of Child Custody Evaluations / Use Projective Retrospective Thinking / Consult With Colleagues / Document Your Decisions in Writing / Keep Communication Channels Open / Aspire to a Standard of Excellence / Summary of Ethical Risk-Management Considerations / Points to Remember
Informed Consent: Preventing Ethical Problems Before They Arise
An Overview of Informed Consent / Understand the Ethical Principles / Determine Capacity to Consent / Provide Significant Information / Avoid Coercion or Undue Influence / Obtain Written Documentation / Note Exceptions to Informed Consent / Consider Legal Standards / Consider Federal Regulations / Consider Managed Care / Use Informed Consent Forms / Summary of Informed Consent Considerations / Points to Remember
Managing Boundaries: Staying Off the Slippery Slope
Dual Relationships / Risk Factors and Unhealthy Boundaries / Sexual Impropriety / Special Considerations / Bartering Arrangements / Summary of Managing Boundaries / Points to Remember
Ethical Decision Making: Doing the Next Right Thing
An Ethical Decision-Making Model / Integrate Ethical and Legal Standards / Solve Ethical Problems Before They Arise / Summary of Decision-Making Guidelines / Points to Remember
Responding Ethically to Complaints and Investigations
Respond to the Notice of Investigation / There is No Such Thing as a Frivolous Complaint / Be a Colleague, Not an Adversary / Be a Behaviorist When Explaining Details / Explain in Writing What You Did and Why You Did It / Be Sure to Cite the Standards / Learn to Not Blame the Client / Show Concern for Your Client’s Welfare / Learn How To Turn Errors Into Amends / Be Able to Note Any Peer Consultations / Think in Terms of Aspirational Behavior / Be Aware of Procedures and Deadlines / Understand the Committee Findings / Turn a Negative Into a Positive / Summary of Responding to Ethics Complaints / Points to Remember
A supplemental 3-credit, 30 question continuing education program is available for this book. To order the complete program (this book and CE test module or test module alone if you already have access to this book), click here: CE Program (3 Credits): Ethical Risk Management (2nd Edition)
For information about our approved continuing education sponsorships and acceptance by state boards, go to: Continuing Education
About the Author
William F. Doverspike, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). He also holds a Diplomate in Neuropsychology, American Board of Professional Neuropsychology (ABPN). He teaches professional ethics and legal standards as an adjunct faculty member of the doctoral training program in clinical psychology at Emory University. He teaches ethics and law as an adjunct professor at Argosy University, the Atlanta campus of which is known as the Georgia School of Professional Psychology. He also teaches ethics in the Christian counseling graduate program at Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta. Dr. Doverspike is a former President of the Georgia Psychological Association (GPA) and a former member of the GPA Ethics Committee. Since 2008, he has served as a member of the Georgia Board of Examiners of Psychologists. He is Editor Emeritus of the Georgia Psychologist magazine and has published over 100 articles and chapters on a variety of topics ranging from neuropsychology and psychotherapy to professional ethics and spirituality. He is the author of the Multiaxial Diagnostic Inventory - Revised (MDI-R), and Risk Management: Clinical, Ethical, & Legal Guidelines for Successful Practice. Dr. Doverspike conducts continuing education seminars on professional ethics, risk management, and diagnostic consultation. He maintains a private practice in individual psychotherapy at the Atlanta Counseling Center.