Ethical Principles and the Assessment, Treatment, and Management of Suicide Risks for Pennsylvania Mental Health Professionals

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Many continuing education ethics programs are generic in nature. Often, such programs stress risk management strategies to the detriment of the attendees, ...
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Allan M Tepper
5 Hours 53 Minutes
Audio and Video
May 27, 2020


Many continuing education ethics programs are generic in nature. Often, such programs stress risk management strategies to the detriment of the attendees, especially when the program is presented by an attorney.

This program is different. Rather than avoiding clinical issues, this program explores the manner by which clinical and ethical issues affect the everyday practice of the mental health professional in Pennsylvania. This unique blend of clinical and ethical concerns allows for a more meaningful understanding and interpretation of the rules that govern mental health practice.

These goals are reached through the experience and the interactive style of the presenter, Allan M. Tepper, J.D., Psy.D. Different from other individuals who possess joint degrees in psychology and law, Dr. Tepper actually maintains an active psychology practice and an active law practice. He functions as a clinician, and he represents mental health professionals who experience legal difficulties. In this regard, Dr. Tepper brings an extremely unique perspective to the practical understanding of ethics.

These goals also are reached through an updated manual utilized in the recording. The manual materials are not generic in nature. All of the written materials are state-specific to Pennsylvania.

This program fulfills the one hour of continuing education mandated by Act 74 of 2016 for all Pennsylvania licensed psychologists, licensed social workers, licensed professional counselors, and licensed marriage and family therapists.

When interacting with an attorney, it sometimes is difficult to hear the words, “Trust me.” For this recording, however, we do say, “Trust us!!” We guarantee you won’t walk away disappointed.



Understanding the Legal System
  • Statutes
  • Rules and regulations
  • Case law
  • Finding the law
Legal Exposure
  • Civil liability
  • Licensing board complaints
  • Criminal liability
Establish the Treatment Relationship
  • The professional relationship: beginning and end
  • The legal and ethical principle of informed consent
  • Informed consent as part of the treatment modality
  • Use of and reliance upon written consent forms
Assessment, Treatment and Management of Suicide Risks
  • Statistics and populations at risk
  • Assessment of risk
  • Screening tools and interview techniques
  • Securing of outside records
  • Cognitive interventions
  • Use of concrete and outside management resources
  • Documentation
Record-Keeping Practices
  • Record-keeping regulations
  • Items which constitute the record
  • Access to records via written requests, subpoenas and court orders
The Ethics of Duty to Protect and Warn
  • Duty to protect by warning potential third party victims
  • Review of specific Pennsylvania case law governing danger to others
  • A clinical approach to the duty to protect by warning
Treatment of Minors
  • Age of majority
  • Consent to treatment and access to records
  • Treatment of minors in situations of family separation and divorce
Non-Sexual Boundary Violations
  • Email correspondence, cell phone and texting
  • Treatment vs. advocacy for patients
  • Professional contacts with attorneys and the legal profession
  • In-court expert testimony


Allan M Tepper, J.D., Psy.D. Related seminars and products: 12

Allan M. Tepper, J.D., Psy.D., is engaged in the private practice of both law and psychology in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a psychologist, he specializes in forensic matters and has testified on numerous occasions in cases involving civil, criminal, domestic relations, and death penalty issues. As an attorney, he has extensive trial experience, including the representation of mental health professionals in ethics and licensing board proceedings. He has been an adjunct faculty member at Widener University in the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology, and at the Philadelphia Chapter of Great Lakes Colleges Association, and an adjunct assistant professor at Immaculate College, Graduate School.

Dr. Tepper frequently conducts ethics training for mental health professionals throughout the United States and is well-known for his engaging style and knowledge of each State's laws and regulations. He publishes frequently in the areas of law and psychology. He is co-author of Pennsylvania Law and Psychology - Third Edition, and Pennsylvania Law, Ethics, and Psychology - Fourth Edition. He received his J.D. degree from Albany Law School and received M.S. and Psy.D. degrees in clinical psychology from Hahnemann University in Pennsylvania. Visit his website at

Speaker Disclosure:

Financial: Allan Tepper is in private practice. He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Allan Tepper has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.