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S24-502 To Disclose or Not to Disclose, Ethically That Is the Question

Total Credits: 3 including 3 Ethic CEs

500 Ethics
Veronica Cruz, LCSW-C
Course Levels:
3 Hours 15 Minutes
Target Audience:
Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists

Please Note: Programs with a ☾ insignia begin after 5pm or air on the weekend.


Self-disclosure is an ever-present and unavoidable aspect of clinical and macro social work. So how does one determine when to disclose and when to not disclose? Ethically, what helps someone determine their answer? According to Frederic Reamer, many social workers are reluctant to disclose personal information to clients because doing so may stir up complicated transference and countertransference issues that may be counterproductive clinically. Yet sometimes self-disclosure is inevitable, and therefore it is imperative to skillfully handle self-disclosure to avoid or reduce ethical dilemmas. When self-disclosure is not handled effectively it can lead to boundary issues and/or dual relationships.     

This workshop will explore the importance of understanding and exploring the ethics of self-disclosure. We will examine the intersection between ethics, self-disclosure, and boundary-setting. A focus will be on analyzing various ethical codes: Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners (Title 10, .03, .04 & .05) to the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics (1.01, 1.04, and 1.06 a-h). This is an interactive workshop where case vignettes will be presented, and participants will work in a group setting to further maximize their understanding of the concepts presented.  



Veronica Cruz, LCSW-C Related Seminars and Products

Cruz and Associates

Ms. Cruz is a bilingual (Spanish/English) clinical and forensic social worker who has worked with children, adolescents, and families for over eighteen years. Ms. Cruz was employed for ten years as a forensic social worker with the Office of the Public Defender in Montgomery County. In addition, from 2000–2014 she worked as an emergency room and psychiatric social worker. She has extensive experience in inpatient psych and partial hospitalization psych programs. Ms. Cruz specializes in criminal defense mitigation, dual diagnosis, crisis intervention, addiction, trauma, and working with diverse ethnic groups.        

Ms. Cruz is a graduate of the Catholic University of America with a B.A. in psychology and received her Master of Social Work, specializing in mental health and addiction, from the University of Maryland School of School Work. In 2014 she completed an advanced two-year post-graduate Forensic Social Work Certification through the University of Maryland Continuing Education Department. In 2008 she co-created the Forensic Social Work Committee for NASW and in 2010 became the sole chair, a position she maintained until 2016, when she resigned due to other professional obligations. She continues to advocate for legislative changes. Under her leadership, the committee successfully hosted two national forensic social work conferences and advocated for various legislative bills and reform. She maintains various professional memberships and affiliations.        

Ms. Cruz is an Adjunct Professor:       

  • In 2016, Ms. Cruz joined the University of Maryland (Shady Grove) School of Social Work, teaching Advanced Trauma.       

  • In 2015, Ms. Cruz joined the Catholic University of America School of Social Work, teaching Advanced Ethics.  

Agenda & Learning Objectives


5:50 – 6:00pm Log on 


6:00 – 6:30pm              

  • Introductions 

  • Learning Objectives 

  • Power-point presentation (Overview of Self Disclosure) 

  • Visual Presentation  (Boundary Setting) 


6:30 – 7:30pm              

  • Power-point Presentation (Values & Codes of Ethics)    

  • Case Vignettes  


7:30 – 7:45pm Break   


7:45 – 9:15pm                

  • Power-point Presentation (Ethical Decision-Making Models)  

  • Case Vignettes 

  • Questions & Answers                                        


9:15 Adjournment 



Upon the completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Examine attendees’ knowledge of various direct and indirect service situations and the importance of balancing ethical responsibilities to ethically manage self-disclosure.   

  • Demonstrate an understanding of self-disclosure and the intersection with boundary setting, countertransference, and transference.   

  • Evaluate the four types of self-disclosure: deliberate, unavoidable, accidental, and client-initiated.   

  • Analyze and deconstruct an array of case examples utilizing various ethical decision-making models to reduce or eliminate ethical violations.   

  • Summarize key elements of balancing ethical responsibilities in relationship to the concepts of self-disclosure and boundary issues. 

Bibliography & References


Code of Ethics Board of Social Work Examiner (2019). Retrieved from 


Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (2017). Retrieved from   


Dolgoff, Ralph et. al. (2011). Ethical Decisions for Social Work Practice, 9th Edition, Cengage Learning.  


Harvey, J. & Boyton, K. (2021) Self-Disclosure and Psychological Resilience: The Mediating Roles of Self Esteem and Self-Compassion, Interpsona, Vol. 15 (1), 90-104 


Ho, A. et al. (2018) Psychological, Relational, and Emotional Effects of Self Disclosure After Conversations with a Chatbot, Journal of Communication, 68, 712-733 


Imboden, Rachel (2020) Exploring the Relationship Between Ethics Stress and Burnout, Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, Volume 17, No. 1 


Kreiner, H. & Levi-Belz.Y (2019) Self-Disclosure Here and Now: Combining Retrospective Perceived Assessment with Dynamic Behavioral Measures, Frontiers in Psychology, Volume 19, Article 558 


Longmire, Katelyn (2019) Counselor Self-Disclosure: The Impact of Disclosing Mental Health Clients, Counselor Education Capstones, 112 


Reamer, Frederic (2018) Ethical Standards for Social Workers’ Use of Technology: Emerging Consensus, Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, Volume 15, Number 2 


Reamer, Frederic (2022) Managing Ethics Challenges in Social Work Organizations: A Comprehensive Strategy,  Advances in Social Work, 22 (1)  


Valutis, S. & Rubin, D. (2016) Value Conflicts in Social Work: Categories and Correlates, Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, Volume 13, Number 1 

Course Completion & CE Information

Category I Maryland BSWE Requirement

The Office of Continuing Professional Education at the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners in Maryland to sponsor social work continuing education programs. This workshop qualifies for 3 Category I Continuing Education Units for ethics. The Office of Continuing Professional Education is also authorized by the Maryland Board of Psychologists and the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors to sponsor Category A continuing professional education.

Please refer to the tab "Live Interactive Webinar Policies & FAQs" for UMSSW Office of CPE policies regarding all live interactive webinar related matters.

Target Audience

Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists

We welcome anyone interested in the topic!


Late Fees and Refunds

The base price is $70 and includes CE credit. A non-refundable late fee of $20 is added on March 20, 2024

Cancellations** must be received 24 hours in advance prior to the workshop to receive a refund or an account credit.

Late fees cannot be refunded or applied to  account credit. 

**ALL cancellations will be subjected to a $35.00 administration fee.**

Live Interactive Webinar Platforms


The Office of Continuing Professional Education hosts Live Interactive Webinars through two platforms: Zoom and WebEx.

Both platforms offer high quality and user-friendly webinar platforms for our registrants.


System Requirements:

  • Operating Systems: Windows XP or higher; MacOS 9 or higher; Android 4.0 or higher.
  • Internet Browser: Google Chrome; Firefox 10.0 or higher.

Our system is not compatible with the Safari web browser.

  • Broadband Internet Connection: Cable, High-speed DSL and any other medium that is internet accessible.

**Please have your device charging at all times to ensure that your device does not lose power during the webinar.


Course Interaction Requirements:

To participate in Live Interactive Webinars, you MUST have a device that allows you to view the presentation on screen and hear the instructor at all times. We do not allow participants to call-in from their phones or mobile devices and solely listen to the presentation. Participation in Live Interactive Webinars is mandatory.

Webinar Policies & FAQs

Click The Link to View The Webinar Policies & FAQs



ADA Accommodations

If you are requesting ADA accommodations, please contact our office via email at least two weeks prior to the workshop date. Requests after that date may not be fulfilled.  

Our email address is