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

Retiring, Relocating, or Closing a Practice: Ethical & Practical Considerations

Whether you intend to move your practice or retire and end practicing, one big consideration involves terminations with existing clinical patients, or notifications to recent patients. Our professions have some Ethical Standards that apply to this circumstance, Virginia has some laws that apply to relocating a practice, and malpractice agencies have some risk-management recommendations. This workshop will cover those and will also focus on some of the practical ideas in professional recommendations and in articles such as those listed below.

I. Ethical Standards About Termination

II. Legal Regulations About Termination

III. Practical Ethical & Clinical Considerations

IV.  Professional Recommendations

A. APA Practice Organization

“Checklist for Closing a Practice”
“Retirement:  Making a Successful Transition”

B. American Professional Agency (Malpractice Insurer)

Risk Management Survey:  “Is it Ever Over?”

C. Articles

Holloway (2003) – “Shutting Down a Practice”
Koocher (2003 ) – “Ethical & Legal Issues in Professional Practice Transitions”
Manosevitz & Hays (2003) – “Relocating Your Psychotherapy Practice”
McGee (2003) – “Observations on the Retirement of Professional Psychologists
Thomas (2015) – “Closing a Practice: Practical, Ethical, & Clinical Considerations”

D. Sample Documents: Wiley & Spayd (2014)

“Sample Closing Letter” (Moving & Closing Practice)
“Professional Will Planning Worksheet”
“Professional Will”


1. List some of the ethical issues that might arise when retiring, relocating, or closing a practice.
2. Name some of the practical ethical and clinical considerations that reflect the importance of careful planning in advance of retiring, relocating, or closing a clinical practice.