CEU Course Details


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1300

Warning a Potential Victim of a Persons Dangerousness Clinicians Duty or Victims Right?

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Credit Value: 1
Exam Questions: 10
Passing Grade: 8 correct
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Course Description: This course is based upon material published in the journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law and is available as an open access article.

The legal duty of a psychiatrist or psychotherapist to warn an identifiable victim of a patient’s serious threat of harm has been well recognized in U.S. jurisprudence and clinical practice since the Tarasoff decision of the Supreme Court of California in 1976. Warning practices vary over a spectrum ranging from those that are essentially legally required duties of clinicians to those based on rights of actual or potential victims to be warned of a specific event. These practices can be categorized as follows (1) warning of the risk of violence (2) warning of the threat of violence (3) requested warning and (4) criminal victims warning mandated by statute. As legal requirements and clinical standards for Tarasoff type warnings continue to evolve, it behooves mental health professionals to recognize these four different types of warnings. Although not all are equally supported in law, all four practices can appear to carry some measure of legal obligation.

This course on warning a potential victim of a person’s dangerousness is designed for social workers, professional counselors, or psychologists who do clinical work.  This course is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to develop their understanding of the ethics and law behind warning another of a person’s dangerousness. The course material includes a literature review of patient rights and a clinician’s duty to the law when it comes to giving warning on what a person is capable of doing to another.  It may also be useful for licensed clinicians who require clinical continuing education courses for license renewal.  

Authors:  Felthous

Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding the legal duty of a clinician in warning an identifiable victim about another person’s potential dangerousness.  Specifically, a professional will:

  • Describe the legal duty of a psychiatrist pr psychotherapist to warn an identifiable victim of a patient’s serious threat of harm recognized in the U.S. jurisprudence.

  • Identify the warning practice categories for a victim in relation to another person’s potential dangerousness

  • Recognize the four different types of warning that can be legally given in practice.

Citation:  Felthous, A. R., (2006). Warning a potential victim of a person’s dangerousness: clinician’s duty or victim’s right? The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. Retrieved from: http://www.jaapl.org/content/34/3/338.long

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Credits: 1 Exam Fee: $11.00 Format: Online
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This Ce-Classes.com course is approved for CE credit by:

  • The American Psychological Association (APA) Ce-Classes.com is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Ce-Classes.com maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) CE-Classes.com, provider #1142, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. CE-Classes.com maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 1/5/2017-1/5/2020. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval.
  • Social workers participating in this course will receive 1 Clinical continuing education clock hours.

  • The National Association of Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) Provider #96981. Expires 9/1/2019
  • This course is NOT available for NBCC credit


  • The Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling Provider #852 BAP-Expires 3/31/2019
  • The California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Ce-Classes.com is approved to provide continuing education by the following professional organizations: ASWB and APA. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences, BBS, recognizes relevant course work/training that has been approved by these nationally recognized certifying bodies to satisfy renewal requirements.
  • The California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) Provider Number OS-12-174-1116 Expires 11-2018
  • The Texas Board of Social Work Examiners, Continuing Education Provider – 5674 expires 4/30/2018.
  • The Texas Board of Professional Counselors, Continuing Education Provider – 1622 expires 2/28/2018.
  • Massachusetts Authorization Number: 1300
  • Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board – Provider # RCST031201 Expires 5/31/2019
  • New York Social Work Board NYSED Provider #120


  • The Florida Board of Nursing (CE Provider #: 50-4896) Expires 10/31/2018 Do not send certificates to the Florida Board of Nursing. You must keep this certificate for 4 years.
  • The California Board of Registered Nursing. CEP 15647 Expires 11/30/2018.


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