Skip to content

Ethical Considerations and Dilemmas for Therapists

Presented by Jacob Appel, MD, JD, MPH

Presenter Bio

Jacob M. Appel MD JD MPH is Director of Ethics Education in Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine and an emergency room psychiatrist in the Mount Sinai Health System. Jacob is the author of twenty books of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, including a compendium of ethical conundrums drawn from medicine and healthcare (Who Says You’re Dead?) His commentary on bioethics appears frequently in newspapers including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle. He is co-chair of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry’s Committee on Law & Psychiatry, an elected councilor of the New York County Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, and a judge for the National Book Critics Circle Awards. More at:

This course will introduce participants to fundamental ethics principles relevant to mental health providers including confidentiality, mandatory reporting, duties to third parties including Tarasoff duties, boundary crossings, third party decision-making, the right to refuse care and the basics of resource allocation. Case law, federal and state statutes, professional guidelines, and major ethical theories will be reviewed when relevant. The goals of this session are for participants to develop hands-on skills in issue spotting, an understanding of how to address common ethical challenges, and guidance on where to turn for guidance in various circumstances.

Course Objectives

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

  1. Explain the fundamental principles of medical ethics and apply them to cases that frequently arise in mental healthcare
  2. Explain ethical issues as they arise and understand which approaches and consultations are most appropriate for different situations
  3. Analyze cases that arise in clinical practice through the framework of medical ethics
  4. Apply the rules and principles of major legal cases in mental health ethics including Tarasoff, Redmond v. Jaffee and Roy v. Hartogs
  5. Explain the interests of various parties including patients, family members, and the public in the application of duties related to confidentiality, disclosure and reporting

Instructional Level


Licensed mental health professionals employed through Kaiser Permanente and psychological assistants performing under supervision of a licensed psychologist.

This CE program is free to Kaiser Permanente employees.
Instructional Methodology
On-line Presentation

Continuing Education Information

Kaiser Permanente Northern California Mental Health Training Program is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing professional education for psychologists. The Kaiser Permanente Northern California Mental Health Training Program maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Refund and Attendance Policy

All programs offered on KP Learn for CE credit through the KP Northern California Mental Health Training website are free of charge to Kaiser Permanente Staff and trainees. Once a course is selected in the KP NCAL MH Training Website, the registration process begins, and it will appear in the individuals KP Learn profile for completion within 90 days.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Those who attend the program in full and complete the appropriate evaluation form will receive CE credits. Please note that credit will only be granted to those who attend the entire program. An attestation of attendance will be given once the individual has completed viewing the program, which will then initiate the final steps of completing the evaluation forms to receive a certificate of completion.

Back To Top