BEING PREPARED FOR THE UNEXPECTED: PRACTICE AND ETHICS OF PREPARING YOUR PROFESSIONAL WILL - 3 CE UNITS
Rochelle Perper, Ph.D. /Mary Harb Sheets, Ph.D.
What is a Professional Will and Why Do I Need One?
The incapacitation or death of a Psychologist has profound ramifications for families, friends, clients, and the community. In some cases, we may be able to plan ahead for such transitions, but most of the time, death or incapacitation happens suddenly and without notice. It is crucial for Psychologists to plan ahead by thinking about how our clients and business will be managed when we are no longer able to perform our role, and who will be in-charge should tragedy strike.
What is a Professional Will?
A Professional Will is a plan for what happens if we die suddenly or become incapacitated without warning. It includes valuable information about a Psychologist’s professional practice so that the person designated (the ‘Executor’) can more easily respond to client’s needs and to the administrative tasks of the practice.
Why is a Professional Will necessary?
A Professional Will is important for various legal, ethical, clinical, and personal reasons. Below are some of the important reasons why every Psychologist needs to have a Professional Will:
- Psychologists have an ethical responsibility to ensure continued care for our clients
- Having a plan in place will help clients feel safe and taken care of; likely minimizing traumatic responses and feelings of abandonment
- The Psychologist could be at risk for legal action if a plan is not in place. For example, if a client feels abandoned or his or her confidentiality is violated
- Most of us feel a responsibility to our colleagues, friends, family and community to create as little burden as possible should anything happen to us
Where Do I Start?
There is a lot to consider when creating a Professional Will. For example, how to select an Executor, and what information is necessary to include. Once you know the elements, the process is straightforward. The best place to start is by attending the Professional Will CE course!
This valuable workshop is part didactic and part “hands on” work on each attendee’s Professional Will. Participants will receive a fill-in template of a Professional Will prior to the training. At the workshop, attendees will be given time to work on the template, customizing it for their practice with expert guidance from the instructors.
ROCHELLE PERPER, Ph.D.
Rochelle Perper, Ph.D. is the founder and Principal Psychologist of Therapy Changes, a multispecialty group Psychology practice with locations in Point Loma and Rancho Bernardo.
Dr. Perper earned her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Child and Family studies from Alliant International University. She is current Chair of the Ethics Committee at the San Diego Psychological Association as well as the Board of Directors for the San Diego Victim Assistance Coordinating Council. Dr. Perper has taught courses at Alliant International University and National University and is an invited speaker to various community groups and professional organizations including UCSD, USD, Sharp Hospice, and VITAS Hospice on subjects related to grief and loss, trauma, and violent crime. In addition, Dr. Perper has authored several articles on grief and loss as well as a scholarly article titled Grief, Depression, and the DSM-5. For more information about Dr. Perper, please visit
www. Therapy Changes.com.
MARY HARB SHEETS, Ph.D.
Mary Harb Sheets, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist working in independent practice and teaching Advanced Law and Ethics at Alliant University. A member of National Register of Health Service Psychologists, she is also a Fellow and Past President of the San Diego Psychological Association (SDPA). She has chaired the SDPA Ethics Committee, is the current Chair of the California Psychological Association Ethics Committee, and writes and presents regularly on ethical issues in psychology. She has also provided education and training on workplace violence prevention programs, conducted critical incident debriefing with organizations in crisis, and offered consultation services to businesses. In the area of behavioral health, Dr. Harb Sheets addresses living with chronic health conditions.
Attendance Policy: CE Credit and Certificates will not be issued to those who arrive later than 15 minutes or leave early from any course scheduled time. This policy is highly enforced to ensure compliance with APA Guidelines.
Cancellation Policy: No refund will be given to any registered individual who is a no-show to a course. Any individual canceling within 72 hours of a course will be charged 50% of the course fee.