OPA Ethics Committee

Ethics Committee Goal

To advance the knowledge and competency of the OPA members regarding the ethical standards for psychologists.

Ethics Committee Purpose and Objectives

The Ethics Committee of the Ohio Psychological Association has five functions:

  • to advance the knowledge and competency of OPA members regarding ethical standards for psychologists;
  • to educate psychologists regarding ethical principles and conduct;
  • to provide guidance to psychologists who have questions regarding their own professional ethics or conduct;
  • to advise the Board of Directors concerning procedures or actions which the Board can or should take to promote the ethical standards of practice of its members; and
  • to interface with the Education Committee to plan continuing education opportunities on topics relevant to the ethical practice of psychology.

How the Ethics Committee Helps OPA Members

OPA members are encouraged to confer with Ethics Committee members regarding matters of professional conduct and ethics. The Ethics Committee encourages proactive communication by inviting calls early in the decision process.

An OPA member may initiate contact with an Ethics Committee member by telephoning the committee member. While telephone is the preferred mechanism to reach a member of the Ethics Committee, alternative means are permitted to assure equal access to this service for members with a disability that prevents regular telephonic contact. A list of committee members and their contact information is located in the My OPA section. You must be a member of OPA to view this page.

When an Ethics Committee member receives a telephone consultation or question, the caller’s name and telephone number are requested. Collection of this information permits the Ethics Committee member to contact the caller to provide pertinent follow-up information. Please remember to protect the anonymity, privacy and confidentiality of all parties by presenting hypothetical situations and by avoiding inadvertent mention of identifying information.

The advice or opinions given by the Committee or its members are their own, based upon their experience and the situation as it is described to them. Therefore, neither the Committee nor its members can represent how the Board of Psychology might view or rule upon a particular situation. Please understand that the comments of Ethics Committee members are not intended to represent legal advice. You also are encouraged to confer with an attorney or with your professional liability carrier.

The Ethics Committee member documents the nature of the inquiry and disseminates the consultation to other members of the Ethics Committee after redacting the caller’s identifying information. In turn, members of the Committee provide their perspective to the Committee member that received the inquiry. The nature of the consultation also is reviewed at the monthly meeting of the Ethics Committee. If indicated, the Ethics Committee member will contact the caller to offer additional information. Only the Committee member with whom a caller speaks knows the identity of the caller.

Criteria for Membership on the OPA Ethics Committee:

To become a member of the OPA Ethics Committee, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Full members of the Ohio Psychological Association
  • Minimum of 10 years of licensure as a psychologist (except for the special Early Career Psychologists positions on the committee)
  • No record of disciplinary action or correction order issued by APA, the State Board of Psychology of Ohio or other state, provincial or territorial psychology licensing board.
  • The documentation of appropriate educational and other activity in the area of ethics in the two to three year period immediately preceding application to join the committee is an important part of the criteria to be on the committee. Not only must the person have taken 6 or more CE ethics credits in the previous biennium, but they must also be able to document a sustained interest and competence in ethical issues. The ethical issues studied must focus on the practice of psychology in the public and/or the private sector.
  • Evidence of ethical practice, competent professional judgment, and collegiality as informed by an interview with Ethics Committee members and information obtained from collateral sources and professional references.
  • Evidence of being able to work as part of a cooperative/collaborative team as informed by an interview with Ethics Committee members and information obtained from collateral sources and professional references.
  • Consistent with the overall goals of OPA, the goals for the membership on the Ethics Committee include an emphasis on inclusiveness and the importance of theoretical orientation, age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability and socioeconomic status

Do you meet these criteria? Fill out the application to join the committee.

OPA Ethics Committee Members

Richard M. Ashbrook, Ph.D., Chair
Marianne Bowden, Ph.D.
Terry Imar, M.A.
Kay Levine, Ph.D.
Kathleen A. Mack, Psy.D.
Christine F. Muller-Held, PsyD (not available for consultations)
Bob Stinson, Psy.D., J.D., ABPP
Elizabeth Swenson, Ph.D., J.D.

Staff: Michael Ranney

Resources – OPA Members Only

Log in to the My OPA section to view these documents

Duty To Protect Document
Duty to Protect Form

Links (not specifically endorsed by OPA)

APA Board of Scientific Affairs’ Committee on Animal Research and Ethics (CARE)
APA Ethics Office
APA Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Behavioral Projects in Schools, K-12
Ethics and National Security (2005) (The PENS Report)
Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct with 2010 Amendments
Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Animals
Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists
Ohio Administrative Code – Board of Psychology Section
Ohio Revised Code – Psychology Section
Ohio State Board of Psychology
Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists (1991)
State Laws Related to the Professional Practice of Psychology and School Psychology in Ohio
Rights and Responsibilities of Test Takers: Guidelines and Expectations (1998)

Ethics Committee Member Biographies

Richard M. Ashbrook, Ph.D., earned his B.S. from the University of Maryland, his M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology and M.F.A. (English/Creative Writing) from The Ohio State University. He completed his internship at the University of Rochester’s School of Medicine & Dentistry, Strong Memorial Hospital and did additional post-doctoral training in pediatric and health psychology. Since 1986, Dr. Ashbrook has been on the faculty of Capital University (Columbus) where he is a professor of psychology, former chair of the behavioral sciences department and interim dean of the College. Dr. Ashbrook is a registrant of the National Health Service Providers of Psychology, a member of the American Psychological Association, APA’s Division of Clinical Psychology, the Ohio Psychological Association and the Central Ohio Psychological Association. Dr. Ashbrook holds medical staff privileges at OhioHealth’s Grady Memorial Hospital where he also serves as vice chair of the department of psychology. Dr. Ashbrook is affiliated with Behavioral Science Specialists, L.L.C., a behavioral health and medical consulting company specializing in forensic assessment, outsourced services to non-profit and governmental agencies, and practitioner-based, action research. Dr. Ashbrook is licensed to practice psychology in Ohio and North Carolina.

Marianne Bowden, Ph.D., received her master’s educational psychology from John Carroll University and her doctorate in counseling psychology from Kent State University. She completed her American Psychological Association (APA) approved doctoral psychology internship at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, and her psychology residency at The Counseling Center of Wayne and Holmes Counties. She has been the owner of Bowden and Associates Psychological and Counseling Services since 2000. Throughout her career, Dr. Bowden has served in positions as therapist, administrator, supervisor and consultant. She has experience evaluating and treating children, adolescents and adults. She specializes in treating victims of sexual abuse, mood and anxiety disorders, developmental disorders, and she conducts forensic and treatment evaluations. She has completed over 1,500 evaluations in her career.  Dr. Bowden has conducted numerous trainings for mental health, law enforcement and community professionals statewide and nationally. She is on staff at Wooster Community Hospital and Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital. She is listed in the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. She is a member of the Wayne County Child Sexual Abuse Task Force and serves on the board for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Wayne County.

Terry Imar, M.A., received his graduate degree from Kent State University in 1971 and has been in practice in Ohio since 1975. Prior to entering full-time private practice in 1981, he was clinical director of North Central Mental Health Center in Columbus. Mr. Imar is in general practice in Delaware, working with adults, adolescents and children. He has special interests in ADHD and substance abuse disorders.  Mr. Imar is a member of the medical staff of Grady Memorial Hospital, where he is chief of the psychology service. He is a past-chair of the Ohio Psychological Association’s Mandatory Continuing Education Committee and is a member of OPA’s Education Committee. In addition to his membership in OPA, Mr. Imar is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association for the Advancement of Psychology and the Central Ohio Psychological Association. Mr. Imar is a Charter Patron of the Academy for Education and Research in Professional Psychology, the organization that created the school of professional psychology at Wright State University.

Dr. Kay Levine earned her B.A. in Liberal Arts from Syracuse University, her M.A. in Education from Case Western Reserve University, and her Ph.D. in Special Education/Educational Psychology from The University of Southern California. While getting her doctorate, Dr. Levine also trained as a child psychoanalyst at Reiss-Davis Child Study Center in Los Angeles. Her clinical experience is exceptionally varied. Dr. Levine has worked as a special education teacher, a childcare worker at a residential treatment facility, a child life worker in the intensive care unit of a children’s hospital, a consultant for a residential drug treatment program in which addicted mothers and their children resided, a staff psychologist and administrator in various clinical settings, and a treatment team leader for the locked unit at a residential treatment center. Dr. Levine lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio; she is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the  School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, where she teaches and supervises both child and adult psychiatry residents and fellows at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. She has provided direct clinical service at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in the Department of Psychiatry and Rehab Unit since 1998. She is a member of the Ohio Psychological Association and serves on the Ethics and Ohio Colleague Assistance Committees. Dr. Levine also is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), and APA’s Division 39, Psychoanalysis. She is a supervisor on the Disaster Mental Health Team of the Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross. She has a particular interest in the psychology of victims as well as helpers in disasters. Dr. Levine is licensed to practice psychology in Ohio and California. She also holds licensure as a Marriage, Child, and Family Therapist in California. In her private practice Dr. Levine primarily works with couples and individual adults.

Kathleen A. Mack, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she has a private practice established in 1987. She earned her B.A. in sociology at Miami University, her M.S.Ed. in School Psychology at the University of Dayton, and her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at the Wright State University School of Professional Psychology. She completed her internship at the University of Cincinnati Psychological Services Center. Her post-doctoral training was in the traumatic brain injury unit at St. Elizabeth Medical Center. Since licensure as a psychologist in 1987, she has continued to work in the area of clinical psychology, providing psychotherapy services to older adolescents through seniors and neuropsychological assessments to clients who present with a wide range of medical problems. She has consulted in physical medicine and rehabilitation departments of hospitals.  She has been an active member of the American Psychological Association ( APA), the Ohio Psychological Association (OPA), and the Cincinnati Academy of Professional Psychology, where she was the president in 2006. She is the Cincinnati regional representative to the OPA Board of Directors. She chaired the OPA Ethics Committee for four years.  Dr. Mack also is a registrant of the National Register of Health Service Providers of Psychology and a holds Diplomate status with the American Board of Medical Psychotherapists. She is a member of APA Division 35, the Psychology of Women, and the National Association of Neuropsychology.

Bob Stinson, Psy.D., J.D., ABPP, obtained his doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Wright State University’s School of Professional Psychology and his law degree from Capital University Law School. He is licensed to practice psychology and law. Dr. Stinson is listed in the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology (AAFP) and a Diplomate in forensic psychology with the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). He has full clinical and special forensic hospital privileges at Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare in Columbus, Ohio, where he also serves on the hospital’s ethics committee. He is an Adjunct Professor of Clinical Psychology at The Ohio State University and supervises clinical psychology students from various university programs. Dr. Stinson holds membership in APA (and several of its divisions), OPA, and he is Past-President of the Central Ohio Psychological Association (COPA). In addition to working at Twin Valley, Dr. Stinson maintains a private practice, providing consultations and evaluations, specializing in clinical and forensic psychology.

Elizabeth V. Swenson, Ph.D., J.D., is a professor of psychology at John Carroll University. She earned her B.S. from Tufts University, M.A. and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in educational psychology, and J.D. from Cleveland State University. Her primary occupation is teaching professional ethics, the effects of hospitalization on children’s development, planning for careers and graduate school, and legal issues in psychology to undergraduate students. Dr. Swenson is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Midwestern Psychological Association and of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. She has been involved in strategic planning for John Carroll University as well as for the Society for the Teaching of Psychology and as a consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.  Her professional service includes being a member of the Ethics Committees of both the American Psychological Association and the Ohio Psychological Association. She has also been a member of the APA Continuing Professional Education Committee, the Ethics Code Revision Task Force and the Council of Representatives from Division Two. She is a member of APA (Divisions 1, 2, 35 and 41), OPA, the Association for Psychological Science and the Midwestern Psychological Association. She practices law in Cleveland, Ohio, in the area of child protection and advocacy.


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