Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to...

  • 1. Describe the steps in ethical decision making

  • 2. Recognize inconsistencies between ethical and legal responsibilities

  • 3. Summarize limits of confidentiality

  • 4. Create a professional will

  • 5. Discuss cultural considerations for ethical practice

Course Reviews

See what others are saying about this course...

5 star rating

Essential Ethics

Katherine Rufle

This course was very detailed, covered aspects I’d not thought of previously! I plan to keep and share with my supervisee.

This course was very detailed, covered aspects I’d not thought of previously! I plan to keep and share with my supervisee.

Read Less
5 star rating

Essential Ethics

Rebecca Dougherty

5 star rating


laura montgomery

Appreciate the insights on cultural interviewing, confidentiality and wills! (Course: Essential Ethics)

Appreciate the insights on cultural interviewing, confidentiality and wills! (Course: Essential Ethics)

Read Less

Course Outline

  • 1


    • Welcome Message from Dr. Brewer

    • Course Instruction Video

    • Course Description and Objectives

    • Presentation Handout

  • 2


    • Course Resources

    • Steps in Ethical Decision Making (Handout)

    • Practitioner's Guide To Ethical Decision Making (American Counseling Association)

    • DSM-5 Cultural-Formulation-Interview (Informant Version)

    • Multicultural Guidelines (American Psychological Association, 2017)

  • 3

    Course Video & Materials

    • Required Videos & Materials

    • Intro & Steps in Ethical Decision Making - Narrated Presentation (Video)

    • Ethical vs Legal Responsibilities - Narrated Presentation (Video)

    • Considerations for Confidentiality - Narrated Presentation (Video)

    • Professional Wills - Narrated Presentation (Video)

    • Reflection Questions | Cultural Considerations

    • Cultural Considerations - Narrated Presentation (Video)

    • DSM-5 Cultural-Formulation-Interview

    • DSM-5 Cultural-Formulation-Interview (Supplementary Modules)

    • Course References

  • 4


    • Congratulations!

    • Evaluation

    • Post-Test

Course Description

Professional ethics for mental health clinicians is an essential part of all aspects of our work. Managing ethical situations is common and complex. Because there is often not one single correct response, many professional codes of ethics require use of an ethical decision making model.  In this course, we will review the steps to help you define the problem, collect the facts, conduct an ethical analysis, consider legal responsibilities, make a decision, and follow through with your decision. We will also explore confidentiality as it is often one of the most persistent ethical challenges for clinicians.  This course will also help you be proactive in planning for temporary or permanent catastrophes by creating a professional will.  Lastly, we will explore cultural considerations related to practicing ethically.  Note - This course is not a review of specific codes but instead a discussion of ethical considerations and guidance that apply to mental health clinicians.

Facilitator:  Kathryn Brewer, PhD, LPC, LCPC

Dr. Brewer is a licensed professional counselor in Missouri and a licensed clinical professional counselor in Kansas.  She has earned a PhD in psychology, a Master's degree in professional mental health counseling, and a Master's certificate in healthcare leadership and management. Dr. Brewer is also a national certified counselor, certified clinical trauma professional, licensure supervisor for professional counselors in Missouri, and a board approved clinical supervisor for professional counselors in Kansas.

Learning Level: Basic to Intermediate

Target Audience: This course is designed for professional counselors, school counselors, social workers, marital and family therapists, psychologists, addiction counselors, case managers, nurses, and other health care professionals.

Continuing Education:  To obtain the certificate of completion for the 3.5 hours associated with this course, the participant will need to complete the online course and earn a passing score on the post-test.

Each course offered designates the number of clock/contact hours.  Be sure to check with your professional board as they will specify how many CE/CEU hours are equal to one clock hour (e.g., 1 CEU = 50 minutes). 

This course is approved by the Missouri State Committee for Social Workers for 3.5 hours of continuing education.

Institute for Psychological Advancement has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider™, ACEP No. 7124. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Institute for Psychological Advancement is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. This course qualifies for 3.5 NBCC hours. 

The content of this course may meet requirements for continuing education for most national, state, and local licensing boards and professional organizations.  Many boards and professional organizations will accept continuing education that is relevant to each profession (i.e., for professional counselors content must be primarily related to counseling, for psychologists content must be mostly psychological, and so on) and/or that has been approved by another professional association in the human services field.  Be sure to print the course description and submit with your certificate of attendance to your professional board for consideration.  For rules governing continuing education and to confirm whether this course qualifies for continuing education, participants should contact their respective regulatory boards.  Participants may also contact IPA and we will do our best to answer your questions.

Registration:  Registration for online courses is available on our website.  For manual registration or payment by check, please contact IPA.