- Center for Ethical Practice - https://centerforethicalpractice.org -

Planned and Unplanned Terminations

Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls in Clinical Endings

This workshop addresses questions such as these:
What ethical and legal issues can arise around clinical endings?
What should we consider when planning terminations?
With forethought, can we avoid the ethical pitfalls that arise from unplanned terminations?
What is the difference between “therapist-initiated termination” and “abandonment” ?
What provisions should therapists make for their own unexpected absences?


    I. Beginnings: How Do They Affect Endings?

A. Understandings From the Initial Interview

B. Understandings From the Informed Consent Documents

  II. Ethical Standards About Termination

A. When May We End A Therapy Relationship?

B. When Must We End A Therapy Relationship?

C. What Is The Difference Between “Therapist-Initiated Termination” and “Abandonment” ?

III. Legal Regulations About Termination

 IV. Post-Termination Contacts & Relationships: Ethical & Legal Standards

   V. Preparing For Endings: Forethought and Planning

A. Planned Terminations

B. Premature or Unexpected Terminations

1. Patient-Initiated

2. Therapist-Initiated

C. Therapist Absences

D. Importance of Pre-Planning

1. Choosing a Professional Executor

2. Preparing a Professional “Will”

Educational Goals:

(a) Describe how clinical beginnings can affect clinical endings.
(b) List some of the ethical and legal implications of how terminations are handled.
(c) Describe how forethought and planning can help avoid ethical pitfalls with endings.