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Us Too?  The Mental Health Professions and the #MeToo Movement:
Becoming Part of the Solution

An Ethics and Risk Management workshop

Sunday, June 24, 2018, 11AM – 6PM

(Registration and brunch, 11-11:30)

Richard Ruth, PhD

Credits and Fees

6 CE/CME credit hours

Regular Fee: $180
Current WSP members $120
Current WSP students: $30

Other students, please contact the administrative office

5028 Wisconsin Ave NW, #400, Washington DC 20016


Psychotherapy, at points in its history, has had a prescient impact on social and political events affecting women and sexual minorities.  Freud’s last living patient in a 2006 interview with a leading German newspaper, spoke of how Freud listened, with empathic intensity, to her experience growing up in an abusive, patriarchal family, and told her to do what it took to break free.  In an example of the deepest, truest psychotherapeutic ethics, his quality of listening changed the course of her life, she recounted.  How often do we succeed in this ethical task, in our own times?
Across the country, and across the world, women, and men who are allies of women, have risen up to insist that sexual harassment and sexual violence and abuse come to an end – that it is long past time, and that this is the time.  As of the writing, more than 450 abuse survivors have found the courage to come forward, make their experiences of abuse – sometimes at the hands of powerful, well-known figures – public, and demand justice.  Some have found support for coming forward from psychotherapists.  But the psychotherapy professions have not catalyzed or led the #MeToo movement.  Rather, like the whole of the society, we are asked to reflect, make meaningful amends for our history of passively condoning and at times actively colluding with sexual harassment and abuse, and become part of the turning tide toward change.

The #MeToo movement poses our professions a task with ethical – not just clinical and organizational and training – dimensions.  The ethical issues to be worked through in the mental health professions’ response to sexual abuse and sexual harassment will be the focus of this year’s Washington School ethics workshop.

As in past years, colleagues from diverse professional backgrounds, diverse work settings, diverse theoretical orientations, and diverse levels of experience, from graduate students to seasoned senior professionals, are encouraged to participate in this day of interactive ethics learning.  We will be working through a series of scenarios that bring up the complex, layered ethical and risk management issues the #MeToo movement is insisting that we consider, as they confront clinicians in our working lives.  We will not be running through the ethics codes of the various mental health professions in an abstract, experience-distant way, though those attending are encouraged to take some time, before the workshop day, to review their own profession’s ethics code.

If past experience is a guide, we can promise you a day of lively conversation, thoughtful interchange, and a deepened appreciation for ways that ethical thinking can ground and enrich our clinical work.  We hope you’ll join the conversation!


As a result of attending this workshop in ethics and risk management, clinicians will be able to:

  1. Identify two strategies mental health professionals can employ successfully for managing risks that come with efforts to proactively confront issues of sexual harassment and sexual abuse as they present in clinical settings.
  2. Demonstrate a working grasp of three strategies mental health professionals can use for identifying and responding to ethical challenges they are likely to face in working with clients/patients who have experienced sexual harassment, abuse, or violence.
  3. Apply what they have learned about ethics and risk management issues in crafting meaningful responses to sexual harassment, abuse, and violence to specific situations they have confronted or are confronting in their work as mental health professionals in the policy, clinical service provision, supervisory, administrative, or training settings in which they work.


Richard Ruth is associate professor of clinical psychology with the psychodynamically oriented PsyD program at The George Washington University, where he is also a founding and core faculty member with the interdisciplinary LGBT Health Policy and Practice graduate certificate program. He is a member of the faculty and steering committee and a supervisor with the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Program at the Washington School of Psychiatry. Dr. Ruth has served on the boards of the Division of Psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association and its sections on Women, Gender, and Psychoanalysis and on Childhood and Adolescence. A clinical and forensic psychologist and a psychoanalyst, he is in private practice in Wheaton, Maryland, and Washington, DC.


Online registration is closed. You may call the office if you would like to attend.


Cancellations and Refunds

Refunds will be made for cancellations received at the School office in writing at least 10 days before the seminar date and are subject to a non-refundable administrative fee of $50.

Who should attend?

The workshop is intended for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, physicians, medical students, and other graduate students.


The Washington School of Psychiatry is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Washington School of Psychiatry maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The School is approved by the Social Work Board of the State of Maryland as a provider of continuing education for social workers in DC, MD, VA and WV.

The Washington School of Psychiatry has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6388. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Washington School of Psychiatry is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

The Washington School of Psychiatry is accredited by MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Washington School of Psychiatry designates each session for a maximum of _6 AMA PRA Category I Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Disclosure of Commercial Support and the Unlabeled use of a commercial product. No member of the planning committee and no member of the faculty for this event have a financial interest or other relationship with any commercial product.