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Digital Seminar

Navigating Ethical Challenges in Mental Health Practice: Current Guidelines for Clinicians

Susan Zoline, Ph.D.
6 Hours 17 Minutes
Feb 22, 2019
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


The field of ethics is constantly changing, requiring you to continually update your knowledge and skills in this area. Dr. Susan Zoline will provide you with an overview of contemporary clinical, ethical, and legal dilemmas faced by mental health professionals. You will be provided clear strategies for approaching and resolving ethical dilemmas with particular attention to boundary issues, high risk situations (suicide, violence, and abuse) and risk management. Case examples will be examined and group discussion will be integrated into the presentation to illustrate the grey areas surrounding these complex issues.

Dr. Zoline brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this program, having taught graduate level ethics courses for 25 years and serving as the co-chair of her state psychological association ethics committee, which she has been a member of for many years. She brings enthusiasm and clarity to a topic which is often considered dry and anxiety provoking.



Susan Zoline, Ph.D.'s Profile

Susan Zoline, Ph.D. Related seminars and products

Associate Professor

Argosy University-Chicago

Susan Zoline, Ph.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who has been practicing, teaching and consulting in the Chicago area for over 35 years. Dr. Zoline was Professor of Psychology and University Fellow at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Chicago, where she taught clinical masters and doctoral students for 30 years and received numerous teaching/service awards.   More recently Dr. Zoline is a Clinical Faculty in the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program at Adler University in Chicago. Dr. Zoline’s areas of professional expertise include professional ethics, suicide, violence and abuse prevention/assessment/intervention, supervision and risk management. 

Dr. Zoline is a longstanding member of the Illinois Psychological Association Ethics Committee which she currently co-chairs as well as currently serving as Academic Section Chair. Additionally, she has served as an expert witness for the IL Department of Financial and Professional Regulation regarding clinical psychologist licensure issues. She has worked clinically in a broad variety of settings and regularly consults and provides workshops to mental health and other professionals on topics related to professional ethics.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Susan Zoline has an employment relationship with Adler University. Dr. Zoline is a consultant and receives compensation. She receives an honorarium from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Amita Health/Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health, Shared Vision Psychological Services, Allendale Association, and Lawrence Hall Youth Services. Dr. Zoline receives an honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-Financial: Dr. Susan Zoline is a member of American Psychological Association and Illinois Psychological Association.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  1. Articulate distinct clinical, ethical and legal responsibilities and duties in mental health clinical practice.
  2. Implement clear strategies for approaching and responding to ethical dilemmas using a step-by-step decision making model.
  3. Establish current best practice knowledge and guidelines for assessing and responding to clients who present with risk of suicide, violence and/or possible abuse or neglect.
  4. Incorporate important confidentiality, informed consent and risk management safeguards/procedures into one’s clinical practice.
  5. Communicate common boundary dilemmas which emerge in clinical practice with recommendations to maintain healthy professional boundaries.
  6. Designate multicultural diversity factors which may impact ethical decision making.
  7. Determine common pitfalls in clinical practice which could cause ethical or legal liability.


Common Ethical Dilemmas in Clinical Practice
  • Separation of personal values from professional judgments
  • Contextual and cultural factors in ethical decision making
  • Overlapping or multiple relationships
  • Boundary crossings or violations within counseling relationships
  • Billing, fees and gifts
  • Emergent issues involving technology in clinical practice
Confidentiality: Its Central Importance in Therapeutic Relationships
  • Confidentiality, privacy and privilege: How do they differ?
  • Special considerations with children, teens and adults
  • Groups, crisis, couples or family therapy
  • Exceptions: Therapists’ duties and responsibilities
  • Informed consent
  • Responding to subpoenas and court orders
Boundaries: The Cornerstone of Ethical Practice
  • Clarify and articulate one’s personal and professional boundaries
  • Cultural components of boundary definitions
  • Boundary crossings vs. boundary violations
  • Decision-making regarding boundary shifts
Suicide and Violence Assessment: Current Best Practices
  • Recognition of risk factors and warning signs
  • Thorough assessment and intervention guidelines
  • Current best practices for management of high risk situations
  • Ethical and legal responsibilities to warn and/or protect
Mandated Reporting of Abuse or Neglect: Important Considerations
  • Children, disabled adults, domestic partner, elderly
  • Detection and assessment guidelines
  • Cultural factors in assessment of abuse
  • Mandated reporting requirements
  • Gray area issues in abuse reporting
Risk Management: Preventing Strategies to Minimize Risk and Promote Client Well Being in Your Practice
  • High-risk patient or situation
  • Current ethical guidelines and legal requirements
  • Adherence to practicing within the limits of one’s competence
  • Careful attention to beginning and ending professional relationships
  • Documentation and consultation
  • Recognition of conflicts of interest or situations which are personally activating
  • Maintain clear boundaries and appropriate self-care
Navigating Ethical Challenges in Mental Health Practice
  • Current guidelines for clinicians
  • Best practices in responding to suicide, violence and abuse issues
  • Important risk management strategies for clinical practice
  • Boundary dilemmas and how they can affect you
  • Avoid common hazards in clinical practice related to professional ethics

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Case Managers
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Therapists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

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