Ethics and Self-Care for Mental Health Professionals



Erica H. Wise, PhD
Thursday, April 29, 2021 12 pm
- 1 pm
CE/CME Credit
Ethics Credit Eligibile

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Principle A of the APA Ethics Code reminds us that “Psychologists strive to be aware of the possible effect of their own physical and mental health on their ability to help those with whom they work.” For psychologists and other mental health professionals there are strong links between self-care, professional competence, and social justice advocacy, especially in the current pandemic context. This participatory workshop will provide a theoretical basis for understanding the impact of current stressors on our competence as mental health professionals and outline evidence-based approaches to caring for ourselves and our colleagues. Workshop participants will be asked to complete and discuss a comprehensive self-assessment designed to identify personal and professional sources of stress and resilience. Participatory discussion of ethical and multicultural vignettes that reflect the current political and pandemic context will provide participants an opportunity to enhance ethical decision-making and creative problem solving. Self-care, self-compassion, positive engagement with colleagues and social justice activities will be promoted to enhance personal resilience and professional competence. Participants will be encouraged to commit to specific self-care and communitarian-care strategies that focus on their intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual selves in the context of positive psychology research findings. Finally, the critical role of professional associations in promoting wellness and in fostering a more just and humane world will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain how maintaining personal well-being as a mental health professional is an ethical responsibility that is directly related to competence in a complex multicultural society.
  2. Describe the role of professional colleagues and social justice engagement in maintaining personal wellness and professional competence.
  3. Identify two occupational vulnerabilities common to mental health professionals and two that are unique to you based on a self-assessment exercise
  4. Develop a clearly articulated plan for implementing two research-supported self-care strategies that are appropriate in the current pandemic context and beyond.
  5. Develop a clearly articulated plan for engaging in a communitarian or social justice activity in your community.

This webinar will be recorded and available on-demand within 24 hours following the live presentation. If you have registered, and cannot view or missed the live webinar, please contact

Presenter(s) Biography

Erica H. Wise, PhD

Erica H. Wise, PhD

Erica H. Wise, Ph.D. is a consultant, educator, and frequent workshop presenter on ethical issues in professional psychology. For 20 years she taught doctoral level courses in the clinical psychology doctoral program at UNC Chapel Hill that focused on clinical theory and practice, ethics and diversity, and clinical supervision. She is a former chair of the APA Ethics Committee and the North Carolina Psychology Board, and she recently completed two terms on the APA Board Educational Affairs (BEA). She is a past-president of NCPA and current co-chair of the NCPA Ethics Committee. She was the recipient of the 2013 Annual APA Ethics Committee Award for Outstanding Contributions to Ethics Education and received a 2014 APA Presidential Citation for her work in social justice advocacy and self-care for psychologists, and she is a Fellow of the Society of Clinical Psychology (Division 12) of APA. Her professional interests include professional education and training, multicultural supervision, continuing education for psychologists, and the integration of ethics, diversity, self-care, and communitarian care into academic and professional practice settings.

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