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  • Social Work
  • Psychologists

3 Contact Hours

Author(s): Philip J. Osteen, MSW, PhD
Peer Reviewer(s): Nancy L. Sidell, PhD
Item#: B4130
Contents: 1 Course Book (66 pages)

Ethics in Mental Health Treatment

Reg. Price $29.95
Sale $23.95
Item # B4130
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Expiration Date: December 31, 2018
Mental health professionals are charged with providing services in an ethical manner, where ethical means in accordance with professional principles and standards of behavior. Ethics are profession-centric and differ from values, which are person-centric, or morals, which are society-centric. Ethics define what is important to a profession or organization in how it conducts its business. Professional practices related to the delivery of mental health care are governed by various professional organizations, most of which are organized by practice discipline, academic degree, and/or license type. Each organization has developed a professional code of ethics and conduct by which its members are required to abide. Ethical codes include aspirational principles that describe the ethical ideals central to the organization’s mission, as well as mandatory ethics that set minimum requirements for acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Given the complexities of the human condition, it is not surprising that situations arise in providing mental health services that require the professional to make decisions based on competing ideals and principles. When a decision involves compromising one or more ethical standards, practitioners are faced with an ethical dilemma.

The information presented in this basic-level course applies to the ethical provision of mental health services to adults across a variety of practice settings such as outpatient community mental health clinics, private practice settings, and inpatient psychiatric care. The course is intended for social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists. This course contains information about the most recent codes of ethics for these professions.

  • Social Workers participating in this course will receive 3 (ethics) continuing education clock hours upon successful course completion. Accreditations
  • Psychologists will receive 2 CE credits upon successfully completing this course. APA Approval

New Jersey Social Workers - This course is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards - ASWB NJ CE Course Approval Program Provider #52 Course #1353 from 3/21/2017 to 3/21/2019. Social workers will receive the following type and number of credit(s): Ethics, 3.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the core ethical principles of professional mental health practice.
  • Identify effective strategies for ethical decision making.
  • Explain standards for professional conduct.
  • Differentiate between ethical and unethical behavior.
  • Describe ethical issues related to mental health treatment and service delivery.


Philip J. Osteen, MSW, PhD, is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work, where he has taught master’s- and doctoral-level courses since 2008. He has more than 20 years of experience in community mental health and public health. He received his graduate-level education at the University of Denver, earning an MSW in 1998 and dual doctoral degrees in social work and quantitative research methods in 2009. Dr. Osteen received the Dean’s Teaching Award from the University of Maryland School of Social Work for five consecutive years and was recognized by the Spina Bifida Association, which granted him an award for best original new research. He was also the recipient of the Council on Social Work Education 2012 best empirical article for his work on personal and professional values. Dr. Osteen has been the principal investigator for research projects examining multicultural social work education and suicide prevention training. His extensive research activity and publications have focused on the intersection of social work and healthcare, suicide risk, and research methodologies.

Nancy L. Sidell, PhD, is a professor and program director of the social work program at Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA, where she has served on the faculty since 1998. She is also an adjunct instructor in the MSW program at Temple University’s Mansfield Program in Harrisburg, PA. Dr. Sidell received her MSW in 1990 from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, and her doctorate in social work in 1998 from The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. She is an item development consultant for the Association of Social Work Boards, where she helps develop practice content on licensing examinations, including ethical issues. The author of books on social work documentation and professional communication skills, Dr. Sidell has had numerous articles on social work education and practice published in peer-reviewed journals. She has written on a broad range of topics including rural social work, gerontology, and teaching methodology and has taught ethical issues in social work practice to students and practitioners.

  • You must pass the final exam with a grade of 75% or higher and complete the course evaluation to earn contact hours and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this activity have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to this activity.