Skip to main content
Digital Recording

Moral Injury in the Behavioral Health Professions: Navigating Clinical and Ethical Challenges with Resilience

Average Rating:
Not yet rated
Frederic G. Reamer, PhD
6 Hours 27 Minutes
Mar 06, 2024
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Recording
Never expires.


Mental health practitioners often witness, do or cant stop things that clash with their core beliefs.

And these events can leave a deep emotional bruise-often known as moral injury or distress.

The clinician with expertise in treating intimate partner violence who learns of the terrible suffering of their clients… and can’t stop it.

The therapist working with a child living in an abusive home who has to make a mandated report… and fears that their report will make things worse.

An ethical dilemma around accurate diagnosis when that label will carry risks for the client.

Moral injury goes beyond work stress. And it’s dangerous to overlook, causing distress in the clinician and creating risk for the client.

These adverse effects are so debilitating that some practitioners consider leaving the profession they love….

In this training, author and leading expert on professional ethics and moral injury Frederic Reamer, PhD, will provide guidance to behavioral health practitioners who grapple with these unwanted and unnerving situations and their aftermath. Drawing on decades of experience, Dr. Reamer discusses moral injury, moral distress, and demoralization as well as provides a comprehensive overview of:

  • The signs and symptoms of moral injury and moral distress in the behavioral health professions
  • How to demystify whistleblowing for ethical alignment and strong professional advocacy
  • Strategies to buffer against vicarious trauma and leverage post-traumatic growth
  • Potential consequences of moral injury, including harm to clients or the risk of malpractice claims
  • Top strategies to develop and maintain moral courage in the face of ethical challenges

Through extensive and relatable case studies, Dr. Reamer illustrates the myriad ethical dilemmas that behavioural health practitioners face in their careers and provides a powerful reminder that you are not alone in the struggles you face.

This training will cultivate your moral courage, and leave you feeling inspired and ready to continue your healing mission with a renewed sense of purpose and resilience!

Purchase today!


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


This online program is worth 6.5 hours CPD.



Frederic G. Reamer, PhD's Profile

Frederic G. Reamer, PhD Related seminars and products

School of Social Work, Rhode Island College

Frederic G. Reamer, PhD, Professor Emeritus has taught in the graduate program of the school of social work, Rhode Island College, Providence, Rhode Island for 40 years. Dr. Reamer received his PhD from the University of Chicago and has served as a social worker in correctional and mental health settings. He chaired the national task force that wrote the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and served on the task force that added technology standards to the code. Dr. Reamer lectures both nationally and internationally on the subjects of professional ethics, professional malpractice and liability, and documentation. In addition to ethics, his research and a teaching have addressed a wide range of human service issues, including mental health, health care, criminal justice, and public welfare. Dr. Reamer has conducted extensive research on professional ethics and has been involved in several national research projects sponsored by The Hastings Center, Carnegie Corporation, Haas Foundation, and Center for Bioethics of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Reamer has been an expert witness and formal ethics consultant in more than 130 litigation and licensing board cases throughout the United States. He is the author of many books and other publications on ethical standards in behavioral health, risk management, and documentation.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Frederic Reamer has employment relationships with Rhode Island College, Rhode Island Department of Corrections, and Providence Police Department Training Academy. He receives royalties as a published author. Frederic Reamer receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Frederic Reamer serves as an advisory board member of Ocean State Stories, Pell Center, Salve Regina University and an advisory editor for the Encyclopedia of Social Work Online.

Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


For a more detailed outline that includes times or durations of time, if needed, please contact


Visit our FAQ page at or contact us at


  1. Identify the signs and symptoms of moral injury and moral distress in the behavioural health professions.
  2. Determine the causes of moral injury.
  3. Identify ethical standards related to moral injury.
  4. Evaluate the relevance of secondary and vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, and posttraumatic growth.
  5. Utilize strategies to prevent and respond to moral injury.
  6. Determine the role of clinical, organizational, community, and policy advocacy to address moral injury.


The nature of moral injury and moral distress

  • The danger of perpetrating harm
  • Witnessing and learning about harm
  • Failing to prevent harm
  • Patterns of moral injury
  • Signs and symptoms of moral injury
  • The role of demoralization
  • Research risks and limitations
  • Case examples:
    • Clinician who witnesses harm inflicted on clients
    • Clinician who fails to prevent harm caused to clients

Causes of moral injury in the behavioural health professions

  • Professional burnout
  • Professional impairment
  • Workplace conditions
  • Social conditions and policies
  • Ethical dilemmas
  • Case examples:
    • Workplace conditions that cause harm
    • Clinician who experiences burnout

Consequences of moral injury: Secondary trauma, compassion satisfaction, and moral repair

  • Secondary trauma
  • Vicarious traumatization
  • Compassion fatigue
  • Vicarious resilience, posttraumatic growth, and compassion satisfaction
  • Moral repair and apology
  • Restorative justice: Addressing harm to individuals and communities
  • Transitional justice: Organizational and institutional accountability
  • Case examples: A clinician who experiences secondary trauma and vicarious traumatization

Professionals’ ethical responsibilities: Moral choices and whistleblowing

  • The nature of whistleblowing: Ethical standards
  • Ethics violations that cause moral injury
  • Practitioner impairment
  • Disclosure of moral injury and defamation risks
  • Standards of care
  • Case examples:
    • Clinician who considers blowing the whistle on misconduct
    • A clinician who violates ethical standards

Prevent moral injury: The role of prevention protocols, advocacy, and moral courage

  • Organizational change
  • Community advocacy
  • Policy advocacy
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Moral courage to expose and address moral injury
  • Case examples: Clinicians engaging in change and advocacy

Ethical standards as they relate to self-care

  • Key concepts
  • Codes of ethics and self-care standards
  • Barriers to self-care
  • Reflective practice
  • Case examples:
    • Clinician’s efforts to engage in ethicsinformed self-care
    • Clinician who engages in reflective practice

Target Audience

  • Counsellors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychotherapists
  • Psychologists
  • Addiction Counsellors
  • Therapists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Case Managers
  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


Satisfaction Guarantee
Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to or call 01235847393.

Please wait ...

Back to Top