Brave New Worlds: Professional Ethics in an Era of Rapid Change

Friday, April 02, 2021, 9:00 AM—4:00 PM          
Brave New Worlds:  Professional Ethics in an Era of Rapid Change
Robert Kinscherff, Ph.D., J.D.

This training will address a variety of contemporary issues in ethics and professional practice for behavioral health professionals.  These include implications for professional practice of emerging:

  • Clinical research (evidence-based assessment and intervention; the biological and genetic bases of addictions and mental health disorders; advances in medication assisted treatment);
  • Practices (integrated behavioral health care; culturally responsive care); and,
  • Technologies (Artificial Intelligence--AI, adaptation of biometric and other electronic devices into behavioral health care, electronic medical records). 
This program will enhance your practice by supporting professional decision-making in four critical domains: clinical, legal, ethical, and risk management.  While fundamental ethical principles (e.g., competence, informed consent, privacy) remain the same, their application has changed with advances in applied clinical research, introduction of technologies into clinical practice, increased integration of mental health care into large care systems, increasingly diverse populations, and research demonstrating wide disparities in access to—and quality of—mental health services.  Theories and concepts of human behavior and clinical practice are also impacted by advances in neurodevelopment, technology, applied clinical research, and integration into large care systems.

Following this training the participants will be able to:
  • Identify two areas of emerging clinical research with ethical implications   
  • Identify two areas of emerging practices with ethical implications  
  • Identify two areas of emerging technology with ethical implications           
  • Articulate ethical challenges in informed consent, competence, or boundaries       
  • Describe a model for ethical decision-making

Robert Kinscherff, PhD, JD is a clinical/forensic psychologist and attorney.  He currently serves as an Associate Vice President and Professor (Doctoral Clinical Psychology Program) at William James College, and as Associate Program Director at the Center for Law, Brain & Behavior at Massachusetts General Hospital.  For the American Psychological Association he has served as a past two-term Chair of the Ethics Committee, Chair of the Committee on Legal Issues, Member of the Committee on Professional Standards and Practices, and Member of the Board of Professional Affairs.  He is a co-author of a book on ethics in professional practice published by APA, has published 65+ articles on law, ethics, and professional practice in clinical and forensic psychology, and teaches and consults nationally and internationally to multi-disciplinary audiences.


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