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The Ethics Curriculum

Repercussions of Sexual Misconduct (Ethics 8)

Learn why an ounce of prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure.

Program Description

In “Sexual Misconduct,” the partner program to this one, we explored the psychological and psychodynamic underpinnings of therapists who commit severe boundary violations. Now, in this program, we take a look at the repercussions.

Learning Objectives

This program provides clinicians with the opportunity to:

Gain an understanding from a person who committed boundary violations of how one can make devastating errors under the right and wrong circumstances.

Understand the difference between ethical issues, legal concerns, and boundary violations.

Become aware of how ethics and licensing panels work.

Be able to recognize categories of offenders and varying approaches to their rehabilitation.


Ms. X Confesses - Mark Smaller, PhD WEBSITE

First, we hear from a mental health professional, who married her patient following a long series of boundary violations. Imagine that in one year, you have lost everything in your life. Your marriage ends in divorce, your children leave the nest, you have declared bankruptcy, your work situation ends, your closest colleague rejects you, and a sibling and a parent die. However, you keep trying to work and hold on to some of the aspects of yourself which make you “you.” Isn’t it possible that you could be vulnerable under stress like this and make some pretty big mistakes?

Rehabilitation - Gary R. Schoener, M.Eq (hon. Psy.D)

There is a tendency to want to distance ourselves from the “bad apples” who have sexual contact with clients and to view them as the most marginal members of the profession. However, it goes against the history of our own profession to unilaterally separate those who have had romantic or sexual involvement with a client as uniquely dangerous, untreatable, and never worthy of return.

The Inner Workings of Ethics and Licensing - Sandra Nye, J.D., M.S.W.

This interview comprises a panel discussion with a defense attorney who defends therapists before licensing board hearings, a former prosecuting attorney who brought these cases to the licensing board of his state, and a social worker who has chaired ethics hearings for his state professional association. They will share with us how these hearings proceed and what they think about during these hearings.

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