Psychology: Doing the Right Thing: Essential Ethics in Practice, Revised 1st Edition

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About Course

Social workers and mental health professionals need to be aware of ethical issues and dilemmas in their practice and follow a well-reasoned process that results in informed and insightful ethical resolutions to contemporary dilemmas. Practitioners must grapple with issues related to client autonomy, confidentiality, informed consent, and scarce resources. Careful ethical deliberation and professional competence in initiating discussions with clients about these issues are essential and required skills of helping professionals. This basic-level course is designed to address the ethical challenges encountered by the beginning practitioner as well as by professionals with advanced skills. The overarching theme of this course is that good professional practice requires an awareness of ethical issues that may arise in practice, and demands a reasoned approach toward ethical analysis, decision making, and action.

This beginning level course focuses on professional values and identity and the responsibilities of social workers and other professionals in providing ethically sound care to clients. The course provides information about a practitioner's identification and resolutions of ethical dilemmas, including ethical decision making models, the influence of competing professional values on the decision making process, and required professional competencies. The codes of ethics and professional standards from the professions of social work (NASW, 2017), psychology (APA, 2017), and counseling (ACA, 2014 and AMHCA, 2015) are presented.

Social Workers completing this course receive 3 ethics continuing education credits.. 

New Jersey Social Workers - Doing the Right Thing: Essential Ethics in Practice, Revised 1st Edition, Course # 1614, is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program to be offered by Elite Professional Education, LLC as an individual course. Individual courses, not providers, are approved at the course level. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ACE course approval period: 12/5/2017 to 12/5/2019. Social Workers participating in this course will receive 3 ethics continuing education credits.

New York Social Workers - This course does NOT meet the NY Social Work Board's criteria for acceptable continuing education.

Psychologists will receive 3 CE credits upon successfully completing this course. 

Course Objectives

  • Describe the significance of identifying and analyzing ethical dilemmas.
  • Identify the influences of professional values and identity on ethical practice.
  • Describe the historical evolution of social work ethics and the code of ethics.
  • Apply ethical decision-making models to guide resolution of ethical dilemmas.
  • Recognize ethical and legal issues in the therapeutic relationship that give rise to ethical dilemmas.
  • Identify ethical responsibilities in service delivery necessary to ensure sound ethical practice.


Kathleen Boland, ACSW, LCSW, PhD, holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania; an MSW from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York; and a PhD in human development/social work from University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Dr. Boland is a professor of social work at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where she has been on the social work faculty since the year 2000 and served as associate provost from 2007 to 2010. She previously served as a social worker in a number of community hospitals in Pennsylvania and New York, where she directed and coordinated social work activities for patients and performed quality assurance activities.

Course Disclosures

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Elite Healthcare ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Elite Healthcare's policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.

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