Ethical Issues in Behavioral Health
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Gain a better understanding of ethical challenges and standards in behavioral health.Behavioral health practitioners, including social workers, psychologists, mental health and substance use counselors, psychiatric nurses, and psychiatrists, face a wide range of complex ethical challenges. What are the limits of clients' confidentiality rights? How do I manage boundaries and dual relationships in a small community? How should I respond to clients' Facebook friend requests? When is it appropriate to share personal information with clients? Is it ethical to provide services to clients remotely without ever meeting them in person? Inevitably, practitioners encounter challenging ethical dilemmas that require sound judgment in order to protect clients and service providers. Common ethical issues involve managing sensitive confidential information, informed consent, conflicts of interest, boundary issues, termination of services, practitioners use of social media and other technology, and documentation, among others. Behavioral health practitioners, clinical supervisors, and administrators must be proactive in their efforts to comply with ethical standards, protect clients, and prevent litigation and licensing board complaints. This information will provide an in-depth discussion of ethical challenges and share practical risk management advice.
Frederic G. Reamer, Ph.D., Rhode Island College
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