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

What Are We Not Talking About?

Raising the Ethical Issues We Avoid

Some ethical issues are difficult to address, so we clinicians tend not to raise them in supervision, consultation, peer conversation, or workshops. Dr. Fisher will dare to put some of those on the table, using clinical case vignettes. Participants are invited to share any “hypothetical” case situations they choose, but no one will be “put on the spot” or required to raise personal examples of the issues she will present.


INTRODUCTION: Asking Uncomfortable Questions

I. Life Stressors & Lack of Self-Care

Personal Stresses

Professional Stresses

II. Ethical Mistakes & Fear of Discovery

Mistakes We Know We Made

Mistakes We Didn’t Know We Were Making

III. Chance Encounters, Boundaries, Sex & Romance

Chance Encounters That Create Dual Relationships

Breach (or Perceived Breach) Of Boundaries

Clients’ Sexual and Romantic Feelings; Clients’ Sexual Behavior

Therapists’ Sexual and Romantic Feelings; Therapist Behavior

IV. Lies That Might Catch Up With Us

Lies to Consultant or Supervisor

Lies to Peers

Lies to Ourselves

V. Failing to Seek Consultation

Consultation About the Ethical “What Should I Do If . . .” Questions

Ongoing Consultation for Maintaining Clinical Competence

Consultation or Therapy for Self-Care}

Crisis Consultation

VI. Allowing Money Considerations to Drive Our Decisions

Clinical Decisions

Reimbursement Decisions

VII. Dealing With Unethical Colleagues, Professors, or Supervisors

Responding to Bad Advice

Confronting Unethical Behavior

VIII. Technological “Glitches” – – – – – – – and More

Educational Goals:
(a) List four categories of issues that clinicians tend to avoid discussing;
(b) Explain (using hypothetical vignettes) why such issues might be difficult for clinicians to discuss;
(c) Describe (not necessarily aloud to this group) one professional issue you wish you could discuss more freely;
(d) Suggest some ways these difficult issues might be more safely raised in supervision or in peer consultation.