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Nov 17, 2017
A Day in the Life of a Good Psychologist: How to Avoid Being in the News
Facilitated by Derek Truscott & Richard Spelliscy



Intended Audience:


Practicing Psychologists and Psychologists-in-Training


Learning Objectives:


  • Identify everyday ethical choice points
  • Adopt daily habits of practice that promote ethical behaviour
  • Apply ethical reasoning to avoid difficult situations
  • Resolve ethical missteps before a complaint of unprofessional conduct is made


Program Format and Schedule:


Scandalous ethical blunders attract a disproportionate share of our attention. We usually respond by seeking more information so that we might evade such infamy. Yet our ability to avoid notorious ethical situations is not determined by how much we know, but by how we deal with what we don’t. A day in the life of an ethical psychologist is so familiar that we think we know it well, like a frequently heard song. This assumption can dull us to the ethical implications of habitual activities and deny us opportunities to maintain, let alone improve, our ethical reasoning skills. Attending to the ethical nuance of ordinary professional activities creates occasions for meaningful learning. We will use case examples, experiential exercises, lecture, and group discussion to highlight ethical choice points often overlooked in daily professional life. We will then show how to cultivate an everyday ethical mindset to help avoid indiscretions that give rise to complaints of unprofessional conduct.




  • I read the news today, oh boy (overview and intro)
  • Woke up, fell out of bed (self care)
  • And looking up, I noticed I was late (professionalism)
  • Break
  • Having read the book (competence)
  • Somebody spoke, and I went into a dream (respect)
  • Lunch
  • Nobody was really sure (release of info)
  • But I just had to look (confidentiality)
  • Break
  • He blew his mind out in a car (client risk)
  • I want to hold your hand (boundaries)
  • Conclusion and wrap-up


Date: 17 November 2017

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m

Location: Royal Glenora Club, 11160 River Valley Rd, Edmonton, AB - 




                   Derek Truscott, PhD, R.Psych (AB) is a Professor of Counselling Psychology in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Alberta. He has practiced in hospital, community, group home, rehabilitation, and private settings. Dr. Truscott is the author of Ethics for the Practice of Psychology in CanadaEthics and Law for Teachers, and Becoming an Effective Psychotherapist, as well as numerous articles on ethical and professional practice. He has served in a variety of regulatory capacities for the College of Alberta Psychologists, Canadian Psychological Association, and the U of A. Additional information at


Richard Spelliscy, PhD, R. Psych (AB) is the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the College of Alberta Psychologists, and an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta. He is a registered psychologist in three Canadian jurisdictions and maintained a private practice offering consultative services to education, health, social service, and public/occupational safety organizations for over two decades. He currently serves on the board of ASSIST, a psychological support service for the legal community. Dr. Spelliscy has maintained a longstanding relationship with the College throughout his career, providing expert opinions, ethics/practice reviews, and serving as a council member for six years including a term as president. He was the College’s first Director of Professional Guidance. Prior to his current College role, he served as the Complaints Director and Deputy Registrar.





The Psychologists’ Association of Alberta (PAA) is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) to offer Continuing Education (CE) for psychologists.  This workshop is offered for six (6.0) hours of CE Credit.  Full attendance at the workshop is required to receive Continuing Education Credits.  Partial credit will not be awarded, and late arrivals or early departure will preclude awarding of Continuing Education Credits.  PAA maintains responsibility for the program.




Cancellation and refunds may be applied for by writing to the PAA office.  Cancellations received fourteen (14) days prior to the Continuing Education activity will receive a full refund of the registration fee, less a $25.00 + gst processing fee.  PAA reserves the right to cancel any activity, in which case a full refund of the registration fee will be provided. 

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