Why you'll love this course

This course gets to the heart of the matter: Therapists worry about safety, often rightfully. And we may struggle to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves. This course openly addresses that struggle, and offers the specific solutions many of us wish we had learned earlier.

Course Description

While instances of clients physically attacking therapists are rare, they do happen. Therapists express concern when clients become dangerous or threatening, often because the therapist hasn't done much planning around the possibility. Can a therapist contact law enforcement for help, or does that violate confidentiality? Can a therapist terminate a client over making a threat? This course answers these questions and many more. If you have ever felt in danger at your office, this course will help minimize risk.

1.5 Hours CE. Video Format.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe how therapists can address at least two ethical concerns when working with potentially dangerous clients

  • Integrate one or more changes to informed consent language to protect their own safety

  • Identify at least three practical steps they can take to maximize safety with potentially dangerous clients

Course Outline

  1. Introduction: The risks we take
  2. Myths about dangerous clients
  3. Legal and ethical concerns
  4. Case example
  5. Protecting yourself

View references for this course


Benjamin Caldwell, PsyD

Education Director, SimplePractice Learning

Benjamin Caldwell, PsyD is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#42723). He currently serves as adjunct faculty for California State University Northridge in Los Angeles. He has taught at the graduate level for more than 15 years, primarily in Law and Ethics, and has written and trained extensively on ethical applications in mental health care. In addition to serving a three-year term on the AAMFT Ethics Committee, Dr. Caldwell served as the Chair of the Legislative and Advocacy Committee for AAMFT-California for 10 years. He served as Editor for the Users Guide to the 2015 AAMFT Code of Ethics and is the author of several books, including Saving Psychotherapy and Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs.

Additional Information

Format & Length:

Video format; Total running time 90 minutes

Topic Area:

Clinical practice

Instructional Level:

Introductory/Beginner. This course is designed for those with little or no prior training in protecting their own safety in clinical work.

Completion Requirements:

To obtain your CE certificate, you must progress through all course segments, complete a satisfaction survey, and obtain a score of 80% or higher on a course completion quiz.

Who Should Attend:

Psychologists, counselors, clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists.

Enrollment Period:

Once enrolled, you have 90 days to complete the course.

Financial Support Statement:

SimplePractice Learning pays course presenters for their teaching. There is no other financial support for this course.

Conflict of Interest Statement:

There is no potential conflict of interest or outside commercial support for this course.

Refund Policy:

Click here to see our policies on attendance, refunds, grievances, and accessibility, and other frequently asked questions.

Continuing Education Approvals:

SimplePractice is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SimplePractice maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course provides 1.5 hours of continuing education (1.5 CE credits) for psychologists.

SimplePractice has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6961. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. SimplePractice is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

SimplePractice is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LPCCs, LCSWs, and LEPs (CAMFT CEPA provider #145276). SimplePractice maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Courses meet the qualifications for the listed hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

SimplePractice is approved as a Rule/Statute Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling. Note that we do not automatically report CE completion to CE Broker at this time, so certificates of completion must be manually uploaded. Click here for more information.

SimplePractice is approved to provide continuing education activities for Marriage and Family Therapists in the state of Texas. MFT CE Provider Number 1271.

SimplePractice is approved to provide continuing education activities for Professional Counselors in the state of Texas. LPC CE Provider Number 3446.

SimplePractice is approved to provide continuing education activities for Social Workers in the state of Texas. Social Work CE Provider Number 7678.

This course is not part of our continuing education program approved through NAADAC. Click here to view our complete CE approval information, or check out our collection of NAADAC approved courses.