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Virtual Live – Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships in Behavioral Health – Ethical and Risk Management Challenges

Wednesday, September 11 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Behavioral health professionals frequently encounter complex ethical challenges involving boundaries and dual relationships. Examples include proper management of confidential and private information when practitioners live and work in small or rural communities; navigating practitioner self-disclosure; managing friendships and social contact with current and former clients; managing favors, gifts, and invitations; hiring of former clients; and managing online and social networking relationships and communications, among others.

Using extensive case material, Dr. Frederic Reamer will acquaint participants with a typology of boundary issues and dual relationships. Participants will learn how to identify and respond constructively to complex boundary issues, protect clients, prevent professional malpractice, and avoid licensing board complaints.

Key topics will include the nature of boundary issues, types of dual relationships, and practical risk-management strategies. Dr. Reamer will review and apply key ethics standards, statutes, and regulations.

At the conclusion of this training, participants will be able to:

Objective 1: * Identify ethics and risk management issues related to professional boundaries and dual relationships in behavioral health.

Objective 2: * Apply relevant ethics standards to manage boundary issues and dual relationships that arise in behavioral health.

Objective 3: * Use protocols designed to protect clients and help prevent litigation and ethics complaints.


9:00 -10:00 Identify ethics and risk management issues related to professional boundaries and dual relationships in behavioral health.

10:00-11:00 Apply ethic standards to manage boundary issues

11:00-11:15 BREAK

11:15-1:00 Learn protocols to protect clients and help prevent litigation and ethic complaints

About the Speaker:

Frederic Reamer has been on the faculty of the School of Social Work, Rhode Island College since 1983.  His teaching and research focus on professional ethics, criminal justice, mental health, health care, and public policy.  Dr. Reamer received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has served as a social worker in correctional and mental health settings. He chaired the national task force that wrote the Code of Ethics adopted by the National Association of Social Workers and served on the code revision task force.

Dr. Reamer also chaired the national task force sponsored by NASW, the Association of Social Work Boards, Council on Social Work Education, and Clinical Social Work Association that developed standards governing social workers’ use of technology in professional practice. He has lectured nationally and internationally on social work and professional ethics, including in India, China, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and in various European nations.

His books include Risk Management in the Behavioral Health Professions: A Practical Guide to Preventing Malpractice and Licensing-Board Complaints; The Philosophical Foundations of Social Work; Social Work Values and EthicsRisk Management in Social Work; The Social Work Ethics CasebookEthical Standards in Social Work; Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships in the Human ServicesEthics and Risk Management in Online and Distance Social Work; Moral Distress and Injury in Human Services; Heinous Crime: Cases, Causes, and Consequences; On the Parole Board: Reflections on Crime, Punishment, Redemption, and Justice: and The Social Work Ethics Audit, among others.

Dr. Reamer has served as an expert witness in many court and licensing board cases throughout the United States.  In 2016 Dr. Reamer was named a Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers for his “commitment and dedication to the social work profession and to the improvement of social and human conditions at the local, state, national, and international levels.”


Wednesday, September 11
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Center for Professional Development
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