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Deceptive Clients:

Ethically-Based Strategies for Dealing with Client Deception in Counseling and Psychotherapy

5 CE Credit Hours - Online Course - $49.00

Developed by Shawn Adair Johnston, Ph.D.

Board Approvals for Psychologists, LMFTs, SWs, Counselors, & Nurses

Simply follow these steps:

1. Sign up securely online.
2. Read/listen to the articles & audios.

3. Submit evaluation & post-test.
4. Print your certificate.


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Deceptive Clients Scant literature exists regarding ethically and clinically based strategies for dealing with client deception in counseling and psychotherapy. While many clients still seek treatment for traditional psychological problems and personal growth, many others have been forced into treatment by spouses, employers or the courts for behavioral problems such as substance abuse, impulse-control disorders, etc. Given the increasingly litigious nature of our society, it is also now common for clients to obtain psychotherapy as a way of enhancing their prospects in the pursuit of some legal goal such as the acquisition of child custody, disability benefits, avoiding incarceration or winning a personal injury lawsuit. With the remarkable diagnostic diversity of today's client population, it is increasingly likely that therapists will treat individuals with hidden ulterior motives who engage in significant deception. When the client's deception can result in harm towards the client, other persons and even the therapist, the psychotherapist has an ethical and clinical obligation to do the best to identify and address it.

This unique introductory course discusses the clients and situations in which deception is most likely to occur, deception detection techniques primarily used in forensic practice but also readily accessible to psychotherapists, and ethically-based strategies for dealing with deception. The course is composed of 4 audio lectures (transcripts provided), an article, and an empirically-based test for differentiating between truthful and deceptive statements. The test (the Forensic Assessment of Client Truthfulness) is derived from the research on verbal content analysis and identifies the most reliable characteristics of true vs. false statements. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

Educational Objectives:

    This course will teach the participant to
  • Identify ethical principles raised by client deception in counseling and psychotherapy.
  • Describe specific situations in which client deception is most likely to occur and types of deception in which clients are most likely to engage.
  • Summarize research concerning deception detection with a focus on why it is so hard to detect client deception.
  • Describe empirically-based techniques accessible to counselors and therapists in detecting client deception.
  • Identify ethically-based and clinically efficacious strategies for dealing with client deception.

Course Syllabus:

  • Introduction
  • Definitions
    • Types of deception

  • Techniques for Deception Detection
    • Physiological
    • Psycholinguistic
    • Psychological
      • Use of tests
      • Use of interview
      • Use of verbal content analysis
      • The FACT test

  • Ethically-Based Strategies for Dealing with Deception
    • When to confront deception
    • How to confront deception

  • Conclusion


Author's Bio


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