Skip to content

Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Psychotherapy

Presented by Thomas Plante PHD ABPP

Presenter Bio

Thomas G. Plante, Ph.D., ABPP is the Augustin Cardinal Bea, S.J. University Professor, professor of psychology, and by courtesy, religious studies, at Santa Clara University. He is also an adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine and maintains a private clinical practice in Menlo Park, CA. He currently serves as editor-in-chief of the journal, Spirituality in Clinical Practice. He has published 29 books including most recently Living Ethically in an Unethical World. He has published over 250 journal articles and book chapters as well. He has been frequently featured in most major national and international media outlets such as CNN, Time Magazine, the PBS News Hour, and so forth. He received an undergraduate degree in psychology from Brown University, an MA and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas, and completed his clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship in clinical and health psychology at Yale University.

Mental health professionals are continuously faced with ethical, legal, and professional challenges in their psychotherapeutic work where they must thoughtfully discern what path they should take. How do they decide what the right thing to do is and what guidance can help them make informed decisions? The purpose of this workshop is to review the moral philosophy influences on our mental health ethics codes, highlight elements of our ethics codes that can be especially helpful in problem solving typical and current ethical dilemmas, and discuss easy to remember strategies and principles for professional ethical decision-making. Additionally, we will review common legal issues in psychotherapy and review some new trends regarding current practice (e.g., telehealth). Finally, we will discuss several professional issues that impact today’s professional practice as well.

Course Objectives

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

  1. Discuss how moral philosophy has provided the foundation of our professional ethical codes
  2. Explain about 7-9 different approaches to ethical issues using moral philosophy as a guide
  3. Apply a five step problem solving approach to ethical decision making
  4. Discuss ethical problems using an easy to use and remember RRICC virtue ethics approach
  5. Explain about nine legal issues that all mental health professionals must be knowledgeable about
  6. Discuss the criteria of malpractice and ways to avoid troubles in this area
  7. Discuss how informed consent can help solve most legal problems

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