Ethics and Risk Management: The Challenge and Dilemma of Technology

A practitioners’ use of digital technology has become enormously complex. Therapists are confronted with what to do about managing their online presence whether or not they are actively using social media. In addition, therapists face challenges in managing confidentiality and privacy issues, personal disclosure, dual relationships, and documentation of electronic contact, as well as multiple issues related to clinicians’ use of the Internet, email, or texting to provide therapy. Our speaker addresses some of the ethical and legal ramifications of these challenges.

This CE course is designated as intermediate.

Target audience:  Psychologists, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, addiction counselors, social workers, physicians, nurses

You can access the audio to this interview via your computer's MP3 player and/or read the text of the interview.

Learning Objectives

Upon completing this program, participants should be able to:

  • Define judicious self-disclosure vs. gratuitous self-disclosure.
  • Explain how “use of self” can help therapists avoid potential ethics violations.
  • Discuss with clients the therapist’s policy about the use of email, google searches, Facebook, and other technology.
  • Print Version / Test Preview
  • Part 1: Interview with Frederic Reamer, PhD
  • Part 2: Ethics Codes
  • Part 3: Bibliography
  • Part 4: Audio Version of Interview
  • CE Test
  • Evaluation

Subject Matter Expert:

Frederic G. Reamer, PhD, is professor in the graduate program of the School of Social Work, Rhode Island College, where he has been on the faculty since 1983. Dr. Reamer has conducted extensive research on professional ethics and has been involved in several national research projects. He has lectured extensively, nationally and internationally, on the subject of professional ethics and professional malpractice and liability. He chaired the national task force that wrote the current Code of Ethics adopted by the National Association of Social Workers.

Dr. Reamer currently chairs an international task force, sponsored by the Association of Social Work Boards, that is developing model regulatory standards governing social workers' use of digital and other technology.

He is the author of many books on professional ethics, including Social Work Values and Ethics; Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships in the Human Services; and Ethical Standards in Social Work. Dr. Reamer has authored chapters on professional ethics in the Encyclopedia of Bioethics, Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics, Encyclopedia of Social Work, Encyclopedia of Primary Prevention and Health Promotion, and the Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics. His newest book is Risk Management in Social Work--Preventing Professional Malpractice, Liability and Disciplinary Action.

In addition, he has been an essayist on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition (This I Believe series) and a commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Since 2007, Dr. Reamer has been the host and producer of the National Public Radio weekly series, This I Believe—Rhode Island, sponsored by NPR and Rhode Island Public Radio.


Barbara Alexander, LCSW, BCD, is a graduate of the Smith College School for Social Work and the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Program of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. After working for 13 years in child psychiatric settings and 30 years in private practice, she is now founder and president of On Good Authority, and an expert interviewer.

APA approved, Yo! At Health is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. At Health maintains responsibility for the program and its content.

At Health is an approved provider of the California Board of Behavior Sciences (PCE 3319). These courses meet the qualifications for continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

At Health is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (CA BRN), Provider # CEP 15512.

California Licensed Vocational Nurses and California Psychiatric Technicians can take online courses by California Board of Registered Nursing (CA BRN) approved providers, such as At Health, to fulfill their CE requirements.

NBCC approved, Yo! At Health, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6719. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified.  At Health, Inc. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Programs are available for continuing education credit for social workers through the co-sponsorship of At Health, Inc., and Amedco, LLC.  Amedco, #1346, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Amedco maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 6/24/2016 to 6/24/2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. The following recognize the ASWB program: AB, AK, AL, AR, AZ, BC, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA (PA requires that courses be at least 2 credits), RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VI, VT, WA, WI, and WY.  Participants must pass a posttest with a score of 80% or higher and complete an attendance/evaluation form in order to receive a certificate of completion/attendance. is an approved provider of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists, provider #908.

These programs meet the criteria of an approved continuing education program for social work in Arkansas.

These programs meet the criteria of an approved continuing education program for social workers, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, master's level psychologists, licensed clinical psychotherapists, and alcohol and other drug abuse counselors in Kansas.

These programs meet the criteria of an approved continuing education program for mental health practice and for social work in Nebraska.

These programs meet the criteria of an approved continuing education program for psychologists, pastoral psychotherapists, clinical social workers, clinical mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and alcohol and drug abuse counselors in New Hampshire.

These programs meet the criteria of an approved continuing education program for social workers, professional counselors, marital and family therapists, and clinical pastoral therapists in Tennessee. is approved as a continuing education provider by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) Provider #148460 (Exp. August 1, 2017).

The above CE sponsorships are honored by many additional state boards of social work, marriage and family therapy, and licensed professional counseling. Some restrictions may apply. Check with your state board or certifying organization to find out if online courses or home study are accepted as part of your continuing education requirement for license renewal or re-certification, or call At Health at 888-284-3258 for information regarding CE approvals.

Page last modified on July 27, 2016

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Type: Text and Audio    Credits: 1 CE    Price: $17   Refund Policy
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