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The Ethics Curriculum

Money and the Therapeutic Relationship (Ethics 3)

Ethical behavior requires good character and knowledge, especially regarding money and the therapeutic relationship.

Program Description

As bookkeeping requirements for payment increase and the current reimbursement system becomes ever more parsimonious, unfair and frequently cold-hearted ethical behavior becomes more complicated. Dueling interests can put our principles to the test, especially when it’s so easy to rationalize business judgments which compromise moral standards. Our ethical positions may have financial costs to us, and we must be willing to incur them. In this program, we’ll learn how to identify and resolve the key issues regarding money and the therapeutic relationship.

Learning Objectives

This program provides clinicians with the opportunity to:

Be able to reason out ethical choices regarding fees.

Identify one’s own monetary views and practices.

Appreciate the importance of referring to the ethical codes of one’s profession.

Recognize the implications of accepting gifts, billing for missed sessions, and ethical complaints.


Ethical/Clinical Decisions - Kathleen Murphy, Ph.D.

Dr. Kathleen Murphy, PhD presents the principles of ethical decisions. It's important to have these concepts in mind. Otherwise, we're just memorizing a cookbook of instructions.

Fees, Billing, Collections - Barton Bernstein, JD, LMSW

Barton Bernstein, a lawyer and social worker who has written two books on legal/ethical issues for mental health professionals, shares his positions on fees, billing, and collections.

Gifts and Adjudication/Sanctions - Ted Remley, Ph.D., LCC

Dr. Ted Remley, an attorney and licensed professional counselor, discusses two different topics. First, on the subject of gifts and tips, Dr. Remley discusses how to graciously decline them. Then, he presents the consequences of unethical behavior, adjudication and sanctions. This occurs when a therapist gets called before the ethics panel of his or her professional association or licensure board.

The Meaning of Money - Robert Galatzer-Levy, M.D.

Talking about money with our clients or patients is difficult and often avoided. This can lead to misdiagnosis, premature termination, unresolved transference and countertransference, inconsistencies in payment practices, and undue anxiety. In this interview, Dr. Galatzer-Levy discusses the psychological meaning of money in the therapeutic relationship.

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Client Testimonials

“I really like this process, as it gives time to think about and reflect on these subject matters. I wouldn’t mind doing more of these to earn CEUs”

... Rami H.

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