Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Friday, October 14, 2011

Richard F. Small: PPA's 2011 Ethics Educator of the Year

Richard F. Small, PhD ABPP
Ethics Educator of the Year

Pennsylvania is fortunate to have Dr. Richard F. Small as a practicing psychologist and ethics educator.

A survey by Ken Pope showed that psychologists were more often likely to turn to peers as a source of ethical information than published articles, ethics codes, or other sources. Here at PPA, we are pleased that the ethics educators’ award not only goes to academic psychologists but also goes to practicing psychologists (such as Don Jennings, Don McAleer, and Eve Orlowe) who have a substantial impact and credibility in supporting their professional colleagues.

Part of Dr. Small’s success as a thinker or presenter on ethical issues stems from  real life experience, as a psychotherapist, a marriage therapist, a practice owner, a supervisor, an evaluator, and a teacher.  This wide ranging experience gives him credibility and familiarity with the ethical issues that psychologists face on an average, everyday basis.

In everything he does, whether as a practicing psychologist, a consultant on insurance and practice issues, or a volunteer for PPA, Rick is guided by overarching ethical principles. For example, his writings on insurance and practice management always kept patient well-being at the forefront. He gave special attention to multiculturalism and diversity while PPA President, and, through the Pennsylvania Psychological Foundation, he has focused on developing book awards for graduate students in psychology.

Dr. Small presented on ethics for a number of organizations, including the American Psychological Association, the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, various private organizations (such as The American Health Care Institute), and non-profits.  In fact, Rick and Sam Knapp first used the term “positive ethics” in a workshop they gave 15 years ago entitled, “Ethics is more than a code.”  Dr. Small has also authored or co-authored a number of articles for The Pennsylvania Psychologist.  He has been a member of our Ethics Committee for years.  He remains committed to multiculturalism and diversity as well.

As you will see this afternoon, Rick is an excellent presenter.  Using the Acculturation model as a guide, Dr. Small balances the legal aspects of ethics with the personal values and emotional qualities of a seasoned psychologist to provide a truly integrated approach to teaching ethics.

For all his work with ethics education at the state and national level, I am pleased to present Dr. Richard F. Small as this year’s the Ethics Educator of the Year.