Adventures on the Electronic Frontier

Ethics and Risk Management in the Digital Era

About the Workshop
Most of us have heard about the dual meanings of the Chinese ideograph for crisis: danger and opportunity. This is a great descriptor of the situation psychology finds itself in with regard to the rapid development of new electronic technologies that could revolutionize the way we provide psychological services. The provision of remote (i.e., internet or telephone based) psychological services is developing rapidly and has been identified as a priority by a number of federal agencies. The Department of Defense currently uses these technologies to evaluate and/or treat its personnel in both combat and noncombat settings. In addition, insurance companies and Medicare are already reimbursing these services in limited circumstances. Psychologists are already involved in this process. The current regulatory system, however, was designed for an environment in which services are provided in person with treatment provided face-to-face. Currently, this dated system has no provisions for treatment to be provided otherwise and is struggling with how to deal with and regulate telepsychology. Consequently, how the regulatory environment will respond to all of this is quite gray at this point. On the one hand, the system is conservative, based on state regulation and geared to protecting consumers within states. On the other hand, everyone realizes that this technology is both revolutionary and has enormous potential to create progressive advancements which cross regulatory borders, raising questions about statutory authority and its applicability.

With the expansion of the digital age even psychologists who have no interest in providing some or all their services remotely are being confronted by issues having to do with the new internet and computer-based technologies. Facebook, Google, cyberreviews and attacks, email, texting, Twitter, Skype, real time audio and visual technology, encryption and computer security are impacting almost all psychologists. Many questions regarding the internet and digital communication have arisen for psychologists and include: Can I have a Facebook page? What can I put on it? How do I secure my electronic communications?

How much of my private, non-professional life and activities is appropriate to reveal to the public? How do I control access to my private and personal information?

The Trust’s experience in giving workshops and taking risk management calls indicates that psychologists are not fully prepared to deal with these developments, particularly those who were not raised in the digital world. Regardless, even psychologists unfamiliar or uninvolved with these new technologies know that they are revolutionizing communication and creating a variety of new professional challenges from which no psychologist can escape.

This workshop will address the above issues starting with a point in time review of the current status of digital psychology and make predictions based on the current state of affairs as well as review the potential professional and economic advantages of using telepsychology. It will provide guidance to psychologists who wish to take full advantage of this technology before the rules are established, a circumstance that will likely expose them to some risk. Additionally, the workshop will review the current ethical rules, standards and underlying principles dealing with telepsychology and online services. It will then look at relevant laws, both current and in development and will address relevant court decisions, government policies, jurisdictional issues and licensing board responses. In summary, this workshop will provide those who attend with an overview of the beginnings of the evolution of regulatory policy for both psychologists interested in using telepsychology and those who are less prone to embrace this new technology. Finally, and most importantly, this cutting edge workshop will provide practitioners with a method of identifying risks and with a process for developing a risk management strategy based on the approach presented in past workshops and in the Trust publication “Assessing andManaging Risk in Psychological Practice: An Individualized Approach.”

Learning Objectives
• Participants will be able to apply basic ethical principles to evaluate risks, benefits, and appropriateness of using various electronic communication and social networking mediums in their professional practice in a variety of situations.

• Participants will be able to identify ethical, legal, and disciplinary trends concerning electronic communication that will allow them to anticipate, plan, and adjust their practices accordingly.

• Participants will be able to evaluate when and how to provide remote professional services, therapeutic, and otherwise to clients in a way that minimizes disciplinary risk.

• Participants will be able to understand, apply, and integrate the laws and legal principles governing remote practice within and between states.

• Participants will be able to identify various kinds of professional credentials that will enable them to increase their professional mobility.

• Participants will be able to develop amendments to their informed consent and documentation and professional consultation policies to accommodate remote practice and electronic communication.

• Participants will be able to identify important issues regarding privacy and confidentiality created by electronic communication mediums and technologies that present risks to clients so they can clearly discuss these risks with clients who wish to utilize these technologies.

• Participants will be able to evaluate and improve their competency to utilize electronic technology and provide remote services to their clients

• Participants will be able to discuss and apply specific positive, ethically based strategies to manage the disciplinary risks presented by remote electronic communication and professional service delivery based on documentation, consultation, informed consent and demonstration of competency

Eliigibility for Insurance Premium Discounts
Workshop completion earns 6 CE credits and eligibility to receive a 15% premium discount on your Trust Sponsored Professional Liability Insurance for your next 2 consecutive policy periods. To obtain CE discounts, submit CE certification from an organization approved by APA to offer CE credit (must have been completed within the previous 15 months) with the insurance application. Discounts cannot be combined and are not applicable to Researcher/Academician or Student policies. Group policies become eligible for the CE discount when at least 50% of those insured under the group policy submit CE certification. All applications are individually underwritten and submission of CE certification will not guarantee insurance policy issuance or renewal.

Workshop Schedule
9 – 10:30 AM: Workshop

10:30 – 10:45AM: Break

10:45 – Noon: Workshop

Noon – 1PM: Lunch on your own

1 – 2:30 PM: Workshop

2:30 – 2:45PM: Break

2:45 – 4:30-PM: Workshop

Adventures on the Electronic Frontier: Ethics and Risk Management
Adventures on the Electronic Frontier: Ethics and Risk Management in the Digital Era is spon- sored by the Illinois Psychological Association. The Illinois Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Illinois Psychological Association maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Six continuing education credits for psychologists will be awarded.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Those who attend the workshop and complete the Trust evaluation form will receive six continuing education credits. Please note that APA CE rules require that we only give credit to those who attend the entire workshop.Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the scheduled start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credits and will not be eligible for the 15% premium discount described in this brochure.

No refunds will be offered for this workshop.
Grievances about the workshop may be addressed to the Illinois Psychological Association in writing.

Illinois Psychological Association
67 East Madison Street Suite 1817
Chicago, Illinois 60603

The Standard Club-Chicago
Ethics and Risk Management in the Age of The Affordable Care Act: will be held on Friday, June 3, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Standard Club, 320 South Plymouth Court in Chicago, Illinois. There are several self-park garages in the area. The Standard Club is very close to the Red, Blue, Green and Purple lines of the elevated. The Standard Club is in walking distance east of the train stations.

The Illinois Psychological Association is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in continuing education activities. Presenters and attendees are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality during and after the program. Additionally, if a participant has special needs, she/he should contact Marsha Karey by May 3, 2016 to discuss what accommodations can be provided. All questions, concerns, or complaints should be directed to Ms. Karey (312- 372-7610 x201 or

There is no commercial support for this program, nor are there any relationships between the CE sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants, or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest.

Letter to IPA Members Regarding the Hoffman Report

Dear Colleagues,

We, like you, are saddened and sickened by the findings of the Hoffman Report: an ongoing pattern of collusion between a select group of APA top leaders and the Department of Defense (please see more details below). The 500+ page report is extraordinarily detailed and thorough and is available in its entirety at Our initial response is based on this profoundly important report. Given the gravity of the findings, the density of the document, and the importance of being thorough, you may be receiving further communications from us as we continue to digest the material.

While the report does not conclude that APA or anyone within it promoted torture, it did find there was an effort to "curry favor" with the Department of Defense and that APA lent support to the Department’s interrogation program and thereby contributed to abuse by DoD and the CIA. We, the IPA leadership, do not approve of and cannot defend what this group of APA representatives did.

Bruce Bonecutter, our IPA representative to APA Council in 2006, should be commended for co-sponsoring a resolution to be inserted into the APA Ethics Code points 1.02 and 1.03: "Under no circumstances may this standard be used to justify or defend violating human rights." APA immediately published its intention to include this sentence in our Ethics Code and the 2010 APA Ethics Code does include this sentence in both of these sections.

Furthermore, we believe that, as psychologists, we have a primary commitment to always do what is in the best interest of our patients, first and foremost, our clients and to our colleagues. We recognize that the profession of Psychology is going through a very difficult time because of the actions of a select group of psychologists in leadership within the APA, but this crisis gives us all, and in particular the leadership at IPA, an opportunity to come together as a cohesive community to support each other, to support social justice initiatives, to demonstrate transparency, and to represent ourselves, in all of our outreach with our larger community as committed, compassionate professionals who seek to build alliances that will promote human understanding, and to reduce interpersonal violence in all sectors of our society.

As per Joe Scroppo Ph.D. JD wrote on D42 [with permission from the author]: "The lesson is to avoid repetitions of the fiasco…we must actively support legitimate dissent…by building into these systems a role for persons whose primary job is to challenge the consensus…painful though it is to have onlookers when difficult, complicated and morally fraught decisions have to be made, the exposure brings our moral conscience to the fore and helps us to resist our baser impulses.”

We welcome any and all initiatives for social justice and organizational ethics programming and their implementation for IPA. Please contact any one of us in IPA leadership (see our names below).

There are many media reports about the Hoffman Report. Please read the full document at your earliest convenience to understand the entire context. Here is the link: We very much appreciate the thoughtful approach that our IPA community is taking in beginning to process information that can be overwhelming. We appreciate you.

If you have specific thoughts or questions that you would like to have addressed at the APA Council meeting at the Toronto Convention, our IPA representative to APA Council, Cliff Saper, would very much like to hear them. He can be reached at: We are also planning to have a dinner at Convention on Saturday night, August 8th, at 7 p.m. at a venue to be determined. At that dinner, we will be discussing the APA plight. If you’d like to join us, please let Cliff know!

On the APA website related to the Report of the Independent Reviewer (, a public comment section has been added where anyone can add comments and those comments can be viewed by governance, members and the public.

Most sincerely,

Karla Steingraber, Psy.D., IPA President
Joe Troiani, Ph.D., IPA President-elect
Blaine Lesnik, Psy.D., IPA Immediate Past President
Laura Faynor-Ciha, Ph.D., IPA Secretary
Beth N. Rom-Rymer, Ph.D., IPA Treasurer
Cliff Saper, Ph.D., IPA representative to APA Council

Nancy Molitor, Ph.D., APA Public Education Campaign
Susan Zoline, Ph.D., Co-Chair, IPA Ethics Committee
Abigail B Sivan, Ph.D., Co-Chair, IPA Ethics Committee
Bruce Bonecutter, Ph.D., Past IPA President (1989-1990), IPA Fellow
Alexander J. Paret, Ph.D., Membership Chair
Gregory Sarlo, Ph.D., Past-President, Consortium Chair
Abby Damsky Brown, M.A., Parliamentarian
Amy L. Robinson, Psy.D., Metro-Area Representative
Daniel Brewer, Psy.D., SOGI Chair
Ellen M. Stone, Psy.D., Co-Chair of the Employee Assistance Program
Lisa Lombard, Ph.D., Clinical Issues Section Chair
Carsi Hughes, Ph.D., Placement Chair
Michele Womontree, Psy.D. South Central Region
Chris Bibby, Psy.D., Social Responsibility Chair
Patricia Pimental, Psy.D., Legislative Chair
Patricia Farrell, Ph.D. Past President, Healthcare Reimbursement Reform Sub-Committee Chair
Terri Schultz, Ph.D., Healthcare Reimbursement Reform Sub-Committee Chair
TMS Psychological Services, PC

Here is APA’s press release:

Here is the full report:

Please see this letter, below, from APA Immediate Past President, Nadine Kaslow and APA President-elect, Susan McDaniel:

"Dear Members,

The APA Board of Directors commissioned Mr. David Hoffman of Sidley Austin to do a thorough and independent review related to allegations of a relationship the APA and Bush Administration related to the use of abusive interrogation techniques during the War on Terror. The report was recently received confidentially by Council who were in the process of providing recommendations to the Board when it was leaked to the New York Times. We had planned on a public release this coming week after Council’s input, but we have now posted the complete report on the APA website along with a press release that includes the Board’s initial recommendations. The supporting documents will be made available on our website this weekend.

The conclusions of the Independent Review report are deeply disturbing. Mr. Hoffman found evidence of an ongoing pattern of collusion between a small group of APA representatives and the Department of Defense. The Hoffman report states that the intent of the individuals who participated in the collusion was to "curry favor" with the Defense Department, and that may have enabled the government’s use of abusive interrogation techniques. As a result, the 2005 PENS report became a document based at least as much on the desires of the DoD as on the needs of the psychology profession and the APA’s commitment to human rights. Mr. Hoffman did not find evidence of collusion with the CIA or in the 2002 change to our Code of Ethics.

The Hoffman report clearly writes a difficult chapter in our organization’s history. We sincerely apologize for the actions, policies and lack of independence from governmental influence detailed in the report. Our members, our organization, our profession, and the public expected and deserved better. We have announced a series of corrective actions related to policies and procedures to strengthen our organization and demonstrate our commitment to ethics and human rights.

We realize it is a lengthy document, but encourage you to read the full report. Although the Executive Summary thoroughly overviews the findings, the specific details that provide the background (emails and interview data) are in the actual document. Reading the full document will help you to better understand how Mr. Hoffman came to his conclusions.

As troubling as the findings are, it is important that they have come to light so we can address them in a systematic and thoughtful way. As a result of the report, there will be significant changes in the organization, in terms of both policies and procedures. Dr. Stephen Behnke is no longer an employee of APA as a result of the findings in the Hoffman report, and other personnel actions are under consideration.

APA as an organization is a tremendous force for good in the world. Our members and our staff include so many talented, committed, and ethical psychologists. Our task now is to use what we have learned to ensure that something like this can never happen again, to return to a focus on our core values in everything we do, and to work to regain the trust of both our members and the public.

The months ahead will be very challenging for the association. We have much work ahead of us to address the findings of the report and to move toward healing. Nothing will ever undo what was done in the past, and we cannot deny that it is a stain on the honor of “Psychology,” but we must and we will return to our roots to rebuild a new organization of which all of us can be proud. With your patience, support and engagement, we truly believe that we can come through this painful time an even stronger organization.


Drs. Nadine Kaslow and Susan McDaniel

Brooke Whitted

BROOKE R. WHITTED is a partner in the law firm of Whitted, Takiff & Hansen, LLC. His practice focuses on areas of mental health (confidentiality, procedures, and representation of mental health providers and institutions), education, and select criminal and juvenile matters, usually when disability is involved. Prior to forming his firm, Brooke was an equity partner at the Chicago litigation firm of Foran & Schultz for six years and, from 1980 to 1995, majority partner in his own firm. Prior to entering private law practice in 1978, he was a Field Probation Officer for the Cook County Juvenile Court.

Brooke is currently the President of the Leslie Shankman School Corporation, which operates two well-known private schools for disabled students at the University of Chicago, and will finish construction of a new home for the schools in March 2014. He also chairs, and is a cofounder of, the Board of Directors for the Harold and Rose Marie Marx Memorial Fund, Inc., which has been helping Cook County Juvenile Court wards for almost 25 years. Brooke is a former member of the board of directors of the National Runaway Switchboard, Heartspring/Wichita, Glenview Youth Services and a founding board member of Shelter, Inc. He is a current faculty member of the UIC Medical School Department of Psychiatry (teaching "Law and Psychiatry" to child fellow candidates from UIC and Rush for over 20 years) and a member of the Illinois Association of Private Schools for Exceptional Children. He is the Private Provider gubernatorial appointee to the Illinois Community and Residential Services Authority, a unique small state agency helping Illinois children with complex emotional challenges locate the services they need. There is no other state agency like the CRSA in the country.

Brooke was also appointed by the State Superintendent of Education to serve on an Anti-Bullying/Harassment Task Force, which presented its comprehensive report to the Illinois Legislature on March 1, 2011. He was also appointed by the Speaker of the Illinois House to membership on the Task Force on Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children, which has also presented its report to the legislature.

Brooke has represented child, family, mental health and educational agencies in the Chicago metropolitan area, such as the National Runaway Switchboard and Jewish Child and Family Services, also including scores of fine nonpublic schools for disabled children. He has also represented many out of state schools serving Illinois students. Brooke also represents related professional associations including the Illinois Psychological Association. Sample clients include the Francis Parker School, the Chicago City Day School, the Science and Arts Academy, and other fine private regular education schools.

Brooke has been published or interviewed on a variety of topics related to education, child welfare, juvenile law, and mental health. Most recently, Brooke appeared on WBEZ on two occasions on December 13 and 16, 2013 to discuss the serious and shocking shortage of services in Illinois for mentally ill children. His firm website has many memos and alerts for related and developing areas of law: Many of these are intentionally not copyrighted so those who are interested can freely use them. Attribution is appreciated, but not required.

Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code Of Conduct 2002

The American Psychological Association’s (APA’s) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (hereinafter referred to as the Ethics Code) consists of an Introduction, a Preamble, five General Principles (A – E), and specific Ethical Standards. The Introduction discusses the intent, organization, procedural considerations, and scope of application of the Ethics Code. The Preamble and General Principles are aspirational goals to guide psychologists toward the highest ideals of psychology. Although the Preamble and General Principles are not themselves enforceable rules, they should be considered by psychologists in arriving at an ethical course of action. The Ethical Standards set forth enforceable rules for conduct as psychologists. Most of the Ethical Standards are written broadly, in order to apply to psychologists in varied roles, although the application of an Ethical Standard may vary depending on the context. The Ethical Standards are not exhaustive. The fact that a given conduct is not specifically addressed by an Ethical Standard does not mean that it is necessarily either ethical or unethical.

Get the full version of the code of ethics by downloading the PDF below: