SUMMER 2006

Instructor:    Otto Wahl  Phone: 860-520-1153  Office hours: Wed. 11-11:30
E-mail: owahl@hartford.edu  Fax: 860-520-1156  others by appointment

I. Goals of the course

 This course will focus on the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.  The primary goal of the course will be to familiarize students with the ethical principles of the profession.  It will provide a working knowledge of ethical guidelines, information as to how to identify and resolve ethical issues, and a preliminary understanding of the legal and regulatory processes that relate to clinical practice.  The course will also include a special focus on ethical issues as they relate to work with children and adolescents.  Finally, there will be introduction of emerging ethical issues not explicitly covered in the APA Code.

II. Instructional philosophy

 The instructor for this course will strive to insure inclusion of curriculum material consistent with the Program’s mission of affirmative diversity.  The aim of such inclusion is to help foster social and political awareness of, interest in, respect for, and competence in understanding all groups, and skills in providing services to people of diverse backgrounds.

The instructor for this course will also include curriculum material that addresses the importance of empirically supported evidence, multiple critical viewpoints, and the current literature concerning relevant interventions, assessments, diagnoses, theoretical constructs, and other clinical issues and/or techniques relevant to the topic area. An empirically supported approach is consistent with the Program’s mission statement of providing training where scientific knowledge is integrated with clinical practice (practitioner/scholar model), as well as the American Psychological Association (APA) Ethics Code concerning ethical teaching approaches and service delivery.

Every student with a documented physical, psychiatric, or learning disability has the Program’s commitment and support in obtaining accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids. When seeking accommodations, students with a disability must identify themselves as an individual with a disability in a timely manner to the Coordinator of Services for Students with Medical, Physical, and Psychological Disability within the Student Affairs office at the University (http://www.hartford.edu/support/desc.asp?id=9), and to the Associate Director/Coordinator of Student Affairs of the GIPP. The student should also consult with the instructor at the beginning of the course for specific needed accommodations.

III. Textbooks/readings

 A.  Textbooks

 Ford, G. G. (2006). Ethical reasoning for mental health professionals. Thousand Oaks,
  CA: Sage Publications.

 Kalichman, S. C. (1999). Mandated reporting of suspected child abuse: Ethics, law, and
  policy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

 B.  Readings: Selected articles, as listed below (V).  These articles can be found on electronic reserve.  Those listed with an M in parentheses can be found through Dr. McCloskey’s section.  Those listed with W are under my name and section.

IV. Requirements and Grading

 A.  Regular attendance, promptness, preparedness, and active class participation are expected.   This will count 10 points toward the final grade.

 B.  Class presentation:  Each student will pick an ethical issue and lead a discussion in class on that issue.  Topics are those listed in the syllabus below or one proposed by the student and approved by the instructor.  The presentation will include provision of a vignette example where the ethical issue is raised for the group to discuss.  The vignette may be created by the student or borrowed from other sources.  Although the task of the student is to facilitate a discussion rather than give a presentation, the student should be prepared to articulate precisely the ethical principles that apply to the vignette as part of the discussion.  Presenters should also prepare for the class a list of 10 recommended readings related to the ethical issue or issues being illustrated. Readings should be referenced in APA format.  The presentation/discussion will count 20 points toward the final grade.

 C.  Paper:  The student should accompany the above presentation with a paper discussing the topic and the 10 recommended readings that apply to it.  The paper should be typed, double-spaced, 5-6 pages in length, and follow APA guidelines for papers and publications.  The paper must be turned in at the time of the presentation.  The paper will count 30 points toward the final grade.
 D.  There will be a final (take-home) exam which will present a vignette and ask for discussion of the ethical issues that apply and of strategies for handling the situation described.  The exam will count 40 points toward the final grade.

E.  Letter grades:  Final, letter grades will be determined by points accumulated through the assignments above, as follows:

 95-100 = A  83-85 = B  73-75 = C
 90-94 = A-  80-82 = B-  Below 73 = F
 86-89 = B+  76-79 = C+

V. Tentative Schedule of Class Topics/ Assigned Readings

 5/22 Introduction: Ethics, law, and morality

  Chap. 1: Introduction, pp. 1-14.
 Chap 2:  Ethical principles of psychologists, pp. 15-36.
 APA Code: Preamble, pp. 311-316.

 5/24 Ethical decision-making

   Chap. 4: Models of ethical reasoning, pp. 55-80.
   Chap. 5:  Ethical decision-making, pp. 81-98.


 5/31 Confidentiality and informed consent

   APA Code: Privacy and Confidentiality, pp. 321-323.
   Chap. 6: Ethical issues in therapy, pp. 99-116.

  HIPAA Regulations Primer (M)

   Chap 1: Mandated child abuse reporting laws: Origins and evolution, pp.
 Chap 2: Mandated reporting as an ethical dilemma, pp. 43-63.
 Chap. 4: Therapeutic jurisprudence and mandated reporting, pp. 93-103.
 Chap. 7: Guidelines for reporting suspected child abuse, pp. 137-160.

Connecticut General Statutes—Chapter 319a: Child Welfare (W)*

Connecticut General Statues—Chapter 899: Privileged communication. (W)*

 6/5   Standards on therapy

   APA Code: Competence, pp.  317-319.
   APA Code:  Human relations, pp. 319-321.
   APA Code:  Therapy, pp. 333-335.
   Chap. 6:  Ethical issues in therapy, pp. 116-128.
  Connecticut General Statutes—Chapter 368a, Sec. 19a-14c: Provision of
  outpatient mental health treatment to minors without parental consent.  (W)*

  Connecticut General Statutes—Chapter 319dd: Protective services for the elderly.

 6/7 Standards on assessment

   APA Code: Assessment, pp. 331-333.
   Chap. 12: Ethical Issues in Assessment and Testing, pp. 155-172.

  Statement on the disclosure of test data (M)

 6/12 Advertising, record keeping, and business practices

   APA Code: Advertising and other public statements, pp. 323-324.
   Chap. 10: Organizational and Business Setting, pp. 189-202.
   APA Code: Record keeping and fees, pp. 324-326.

  APA (1993).  Record keeping guidelines.  American Psychologist, 48, 984-986.

  Connecticut General Statutes—Chapter 369: Healing arts, records. (W)*

  Connecticut General Statutes—Chapter 383: Psychologists. (W)*
6/14 Standards on education, training and research

   APA Code: Education and training, pp. 326-327.
   Chap. 11:  Teaching and Supervision, pp. 203-220.
   APA Code: Research and publication, pp. 327-330.
   Chap. 12:  Ethical Issues in Research, pp. 221-250.

  Children’s understanding of their research rights before and after debriefing,
   informed assent, confidentiality, and stopping participation. (W)

6/19 Resolution of ethical concerns; ethical decision-making

   Chap. 14: State Boards & Ethics Committees, pp. 279-290.
   APA Code: Resolving ethical issues, pp. 316-317.

  Pipes, R. B., Holstein, J. E., & Aguirre, M. G. (2005). Examining the personal—
  professional distinction: Ethics codes and the difficulty of drawing a boundary.
  American Psychologist, 60, 325-333.
  APA rules and procedures (M)

  APA (2005). Report of the Ethics Committee, 2004.  American Psychologist, 60,
  523-528. (W)

 6/21 Legal issues 1: Practice and malpractice

   Chap. 13:  Mental Health Professions and the Law, pp. 253-278.
  Connecticut General Statutes—Chapter 368a (W)*

  The law of psychiatric malpractice. (W)

  Strategies for private practitioners coping with subpoenas or compelled testimony

Moral justification for Tarasoff-type warnings and breach of confidentiality: A clinician’s perspective.  (W)

 6/26  Legal issues II: Forensic and child issues

  APA guidelines for child custody evaluations in divorce proceedings (M)

  Law and mental health issues affecting minors: Research directions.  (W)

  The treatment of forensic patients: Major issues.  (W)

  Professional, ethical, and legal issues concerning interpersonal violence (M)

 6/28 Diversity

  APA guidelines for providers of psychological services to ethnic, linguistic, and
  culturally diverse populations (M)

  Cultural malpractice (M)

  Ethical issues involving the assessment of linguistically different populations (M)

 7/3 Emerging issues: Media psychology, assisted suicide; HIV and AIDS

   Chap. 9: Use of computer technology, pp. 173-188.

  Ethical standards for internet on-line counseling (M)

  Services by telephone, teleconferencing, and internet (M)

  Physician-assisted suicide: The role of mental health professionals (W)

  To tell or not to tell: Breaching confidentiality with clients with HIV and AIDS.

*Connecticut Statutes are also available online at http://www.ct-clic.com/detail.asp?code=1765