Legal and Ethical Considerations in Clinical Practice



Presented by:  Pamela Harmell, Ph.D.

Friday, October 21, 2016
9:00am to 4:00pm
(six contact hours)

The Guidance Center, 2nd Floor Training Room
1301 Pine Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90813


Cost: $120

TGC Staff, trainees and Interns: Free, please email to register with your name, discipline, and license number (if applicable).


This workshop focuses upon client-therapist situations that exemplify various complex ethical dilemmas. Participants will learn to deal with ethical dilemmas such as (1) dealing with dangerous clients (suicide, Tarasoff), (2) updates to working with minors and family law, (3) updates to Tarasoff/Ewing, (4) contemporary issues related to personal and professional value conflicts, and (5) social networking and internet issues.  Literature updates, along with relevant Codes of Ethics and current expert opinion on standard of care will be included in all areas of discussion. This program overviews the current research findings and practice knowledge that informs the practice of ethical and legal clinical work. Emphasis will be place upon prevention of ethical violations.


  1. Participants will be able to apply the ethics code of their license in decision making in difficult ethical dilemmas such as applying “confidentiality versus privilege”
  2. Participants will learn updates the SAD PERSONS method of assessing suicidal behavior.
  3. Participants will Identify and increase awareness of handling personal and professional value conflicts.
  4. Participants will understand and appreciate the 2004 Ewing update to
  5. Participants will learn ethical and appropriate  use of cyber therapy and social media
  6. Participants will learn updates under SB 543 about treating minors without parental


Licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and clinical social workers who want to update their knowledge and competency in the law and ethics as they related to mental health professionals. Unlicensed and trainees are also welcome to attend though program content will be at the postdoctoral/post-licensure level. 


Dr. Pamela Harmell is a nationally recognized lecturer specializing in legal and ethical issues in clinical practice.  She is a full-time Lecturer at the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology and has written extensively in professional publications on ethical practice.  Dr. Harmell is a past Chair of the California Psychological Association Ethics Committee, serves as Co-Chair of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association Ethics Committee, and is the former President of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association (2009). Dr. Harmell received a Gubernatorial appointment to the California Board of Psychology where she served her final year as President. 


Contact Dawn Vo-Jutabha, PhD at for further information regarding objectives, target audience, conflicts, or the refund/cancellation policy.

The Guidance Center is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Guidance Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) accepts programs offered by approved APA sponsors of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists and licensed clinical social workers. The Guidance Center is approved by the Association for Play Therapy (APT) to sponsor continuing education for registered play therapists. APT Approved Provider # 14-393.