Ethical and Legal Issues in Psychotherapy

Barbara Alexander, LCSW, BCD, president of On Good Authority, interviews four experts who discuss ethical and legal issues that frequently confront practitioners. Topics include how to reason out clinical and ethical dilemmas using the principle of the best interest of the client, therapeutic self-disclosure, and ethical and legal repercussions of boundary violations.

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

This CE program is designated as intermediate.

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

Learning Objectives

Upon completing this program, participants should be able to

  • Describe how to make ethical decisions in practice.
  • Explain the importance professional ethics codes.
  • Discuss therapeutic self-disclosure.
  • Identify and resolve key issues regarding boundaries.
  • Print Version / Test Preview
  • Part 1: Ethical Reasoning
  • Part 2: Therapeutic Self-Disclosure
  • Part 3: Sexual Involvement between Client and Therapist
  • Part 4: Boundaries in Clinical Practice
  • Part 5: Ethics Codes, Laws, and Regulations
  • Part 6: Audio Version of Interviews
  • CE Test
  • Evaluation

Subject Matter Experts:

Kathleen Murphy, PhD, has served on the NASW Committee on Inquiry in Illinois since 1985 and is a recent Past Chair. She received her PhD in Social Work from the University of Illinois, Jane Addams School of Social Work, in 1988 and is on the faculty of the Institute for Clinical Social Work, as well as being a visiting lecturer for Loyola University School of Social Work. In addition to her private practice and her workshops on ethical issues, she has published on the topics of homecare with families and addictions.

George Stricker, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Washington DC. Prior to that, he was Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology in the Derner Institute, Adelphi University. He has been President of the Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Personality Assessment, the New York State Psychological Association, and the National Council of Schools of Professional Psychology. His principal interests are psychotherapy integration, clinical training, ethics, and research in grandparenting. His resume lists a lifetime of educational research and editorial activities, authorship and co-authorship of twenty-one books, thirty-two chapters, and ninety-two articles, not counting book reviews, and a lifetime, as well, of professional presentations. His book, Self-Disclosure in the Therapeutic Relationship, is the basis of this interview.

Sandra Nye, JD, MSW, is an attorney and former practicing social worker who concentrates on law related to health, mental health, and social service delivery in families. With her special background in mental health, she is one of the first people called whenever clinicians find themselves in any trouble or even have a question about potential trouble. A graduate of the University of Chicago, she received her law degree from De Paul and her MSW from the Loyola University School of Social Work. She has taught at the University of Illinois's Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine in Chicago, Northwestern University Medical School, and the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, as well as being a highly sought after lecturer, writer, and consultant. She has published widely in legal and mental health publications and is author of The Employee Assistance Law Answer Book.

Barbara Herlihy, PhD, is a Professor of Counselor Education at the University of New Orleans. She is a national board certified counselor and a Texas licensed professional counselor. She has experience as a counselor in the public schools and in private practice. Prior to coming to the University of New Orleans, she served on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, the University of Houston, Clear Lake, and Loyola University of New Orleans. She is the author of over 30 articles and co-author of four books on counselor ethics, including Boundary Issues in Counseling: Multiple Roles and Responsibilities, and the American Counseling Association's Ethical Standards Casebook, both with Gerald Corey. She has served on the editorial boards of The Journal of Counseling and DevelopmentThe School Counselor, and Directions in Therapy. She has chaired the ethics committee of the American Counseling Association and is a nationally recognized speaker and presenter of ethics seminars and workshops across the United States.


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: 4 CE    Price: $60   Refund Policy
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