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Recent Updates in Duty to Warn and Protect: What Psychologists Should Know

Total Credits: 1.5

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Topic Areas:
Legal Considerations  |  Professional issues |  psychology practice
Legal Considerations  |  Psychology Practice
Dr. David Shapiro, Ph.D.
Course Levels:
Applicable to All Practitioners
90 minutes
Audio and Video
Never expires.


Overview: The issue about the duty to warn or protect third parties from violence perpetrated by our patients has a lengthy legal history, which is often inconsistent from one jurisdiction to another; the situations under which confidentiality may need to be limited also varies from state to state; in addition, serious ethical issues arise regarding the certainty with which we can make predictions of violent behavior. These controversies and inconsistencies will be explored through an analysis of the changing landscape of these cases from a very liberal to a more restrictive interpretation in recent years.

Course Objectives:   

     1. Participants will be able to delineate the difference between Duty to Warn and Duty to Protect.

     2.  Participants will be able to define the term "special relationship" which underlies obligations to      

          third parties.

     3.  Participants will be able to identify 3 ways the terms Duty to Warn and Duty to Protect have

          narrowed and expanded in recent years.

     4. Participants will be able to identify 3 ways to integrate knowledge of Duty to Warn and Duty to

          Protect into their practice.

Presenter: Dr. David Shapiro is currently Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Nova Southeastern University. He has taught courses in Ethics and Legal Issues, Psychological Assessment, criminal law and forensic assessment, as well as a course that reviews and analyzes a variety of Supreme Court cases dealing with mental health and the law.  Prior to coming to Florida, he taught similar courses at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, University of Baltimore, Drexel University, and Johns Hopkins University.  He is actively engaged in developing a Psy.D. J.D. program with the law school at Nova and has also taught mental health and law at New York Law School.  Dr. Shapiro has been deeply involved in teaching psychology and law courses as well as courses in ethics and legal issues. 

Moderator: Cami Winkelspecht, Ph.D., Child Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Wilmington, DE and Division 42 CE Committee Chair

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Dr. David Shapiro, Ph.D.'s Profile

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Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Nova Southeastern University

David L. Shapiro is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Nova Southeastern  University.  He has  been involved in the field of forensic psychology for over fifty years and was one of the founders of the American Board of Forensic Psychology.  He has been involved in research, teaching, and training in the forensic area, has published twelve books and approximately fifty peer reviewed articles dealing with the psychology law interface.  He has received Distinguished Contribution awards from the American  Academy of Forensic Psychology, The California Psychological Association, and from the Division of Independent Practice of the American Psychological Association.  He has served on the Ethics Committee of the American Psychological Association, and Chaired the Ethics Committee of the American Board of Professional Psychology.