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Convention - Thursday Institutes
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Thursday Institutes - 10 am to 5 pm (6 CE Credits)

Separate registration fee required

Working Ethically and Legally as a Psychologist

Important ethical aspects of our professional work as psychologists are only partially addressed at times. This program will identify several areas of our work that psychologists will want to pay closer attention to and will provide knowledge and skills to address those areas with ethically and culturally sensitive considerations. Using a systematic approach to complex ethical dilemmas often encountered in professional practice, presenters use case examples to identify relevant issues and develop an ethically, clinically, and legally sound plan with risk management considerations. Attendees will have opportunities to practice this model during the program.

Several specific current issues in psychological practice will also be addressed:
1. A legal update on HIPAA and current issues affecting psychologists in California.
2. Engaging ethically with students/trainees who are not meeting competencies. Information presented will also be useful in speaking with impaired colleagues.
3. A first person experience responding to a Board complaint with reflections on lessons learned.
4. Professional Wills: Psychologist’s ethical and practical considerations and how to develop professional wills using a provided template

After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Parse complex ethical dilemmas into relevant component parts: legal, ethical, and clinical, with attention to risk management considerations.
  • Synthesize the relevant issues into an ethically appropriate plan of action.
  • Apply current HIPAA requirements for professional psychology practice in work with clients.
  • Apply knowledge of current issues in California law to professional practice.
  • Identify some factors that might affect the chances of a Board complaint filed against them.
  • Develop a professional will that is personalized for their work in psychology.
  • Describe clinical competencies and how to ethically assess them.
  • Discuss intervention strategies for trainees who fail to meet competencies.

Mary Harb Sheets, PhD is Chair of the CPA Ethics Committee, a psychologist working in independent practice, and teaches Advanced Law and Ethics at Alliant University. She is a Fellow and Past President of the San Diego Psychological Association (SDPA), and chaired the SDPA Ethics Committee. She writes and presents regularly on ethical issues in psychology.


Tamara L. Anderson, PhD is Dean of Administration and Professor of Psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University where she teaches Ethics and Professional Issues as well as Group Psychotherapy. She has served on the Board of Div. II, of the CPA, and currently serves on the CPA Ethics Committee. Dr. Anderson also has a private practice in La Mirada, CA


Steven R.Tess, PhD is in independent practice in San Diego and also works at skilled nursing facilities. He has worked at many community agencies, served on their Boards, and taught in the community college system. He is active in addressing government affairs affecting psychologists, served on the CPA Board, and is a Fellow of the San Diego Psychological Association.


David Leatherberry, JD, owner of Leatherberry Law, specializes in the
counsel and representation of health, and particularly, behavioral health
care providers in business transactions, civil litigation, and all licensing and regulatory related matters. He also represents acute care hospitals, longterm care and behavioral health facilities, adult residential facilities, and individual practitioners. He regularly advises clients with regard to HIPAA, HITECH, CMIA and related privacy rules. He is outside legal counsel for the San Diego Psychological Association.

Sex, Intimacy and Psychotherapy: Across Gender and Sexual Orientation

This  institute will explore the complex interplay of psychological, cultural, environmental, and biological factors on healthy and dysfunctional intimacy and sexuality across gender and orientation. The four presenters will bring their expertise from working with clients across the diversity of sexualities. Issues around sexuality are important for many of the clients that we see as psychotherapists. This institute will help psychologists become more comfortable with asking about, discussing, and treating sexual issues that their clients experience. The presenters will show video examples to bring the material alive, and there will be opportunities for discussion and experiential learning.

After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe psychogenic male sexual dysfunction in clinical treatment of the most common male sexual problems.
  • Identify female sexual dysfunctions (FSD), consider possible etiologies, and become aware of treatments being utilized to work with FSD.
  • Describe the essential elements of healthy sexuality in all of its manifestations.
  • Identify ways to help their clients have culturally responsive sex positive discussions with their partners.

Lisa Firestone, PhD is the Director of Research and Education at The Glendon Association and Senior Editor for the mental health website She is the author of several books including Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice, Creating a Life of Meaning and Compassion and, most recently, The Self under Siege. She is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Santa Barbara and also a blogger on Psychology Today and the Huffington Post.


Michi Fu, PhD is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at Alliant International University where she serves as mentor to DESTINIES (Diversity, Empowerment, Sexuality Training Institute Nurturing Innovative and Emerging Scholars) Research Lab. She also has a private practice with multiple locations, including telehealth, specializing in trauma, women's issues and cross-cultural mental health. She is able to provide therapy in Taiwanese and Mandarin.


Lori A. Futterman RN, PhD is a clinical practitioner and researcher in women’s health and sexual medicine, co-authored book PMS, Perimenopause and You, published research; founded the San Diego PMS Clinic, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD focusing on sexual and transgender medical education, Director for CPA Div1, FAC and spearheads the CPA FAC Student Mentoring Project.


Douglas C. Haldeman, PhD is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Past President of the California Psychological Association. He is an internationally recognized scholar in the areas of sexuality, culture and mental health.


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