Ethics and Impairment Committee (EIC)

Our Mission: The EIC is charged with promoting and ensuring the integrity of SFCP and its members and has both educational and protective functions.

Who we are: The SFCP Ethics and Impairment Committee was formed in 2002 and reports directly to the Board of Directors. The EIC is composed of two co-chairs, and approximately ten members appointed by the by the co-chairs to serve a three-year term that is renewable for one additional three-year term. Committee members are members of SFCP including at least one candidate member.

Our Mission: The EIC is charged with promoting and ensuring the integrity of SFCP and its members and has both educational and protective functions.

What we do: To serve its mission, the EIC has several component functions.

  • The EIC provides confidential, informal consultations to members of SFCP and others who contact the co-chairs. These informal consultations with the co-chairs of the EIC may address questions about ethical conduct or impairment in an educational, often problem-solving mode.
  • The EIC may sponsor and promote educational events about ethical concerns.
  • Finally, the EIC responds to written complaints of analyst ethical misconduct or impairment according to the Guidelines provided below.


The Membership Committee and the Ethics and Impairment Committee of SFCP encourage all members and candidates to create a professional will to help protect their patients from preventable disruption in case of the analyst’s illness, impairment, or death.

Many colleagues have found that this important task is surprisingly difficult to pursue to completion, because of its emotional impact and because of the wish to avoid thinking about its implications. 

The task itself, however, is technically fairly straightforward and while we are providing you with a number of resources on the subject -- papers about professional wills and sample specimens -- we encourage you to keep this simple. It is probably best to create a basic will which covers the essentials in  a direct, efficient manner, while maintaining the option of expanding or modifying it immediately or at some point in the future.

We suggest taking the following essential steps: 

  • DESIGNATE of one or more colleagues to manage your practice and deal with your patients.
  • CREATE a list of your patients and how to contact them.
  • PROVIDE to your colleague(s) your office keys, information on access to your patient schedule and to your voice mail system (including password)
  • WRITE a simple professional will. You may want to include a list of others to be contacted, including professional organizations, malpractice carrier, office landlord, accountant and attorney.

You will no doubt think of additional features and provisions for your will and this should prove very useful.  Nevertheless we suggest that you move ahead with the basics and avoid being delayed. 

Feel free to contact any EIC member with questions or requests for assistance.  We would be happy to be of help.


Listed below are links to some helpful resources:

  1. Guidelines for preparing a professional will:
    Ken Pope is a psychologist who has long been involved in training and ethics.
  2. Model professional wills, by analysts, psychiatrists, psychologists, family therapists:
    1. A sample will developed by and used by several members of the EIC
    2. Stephen Firestein [see pp. 30-31]. Firestein is an analyst who was an early advocate for the importance of professional wills. His article includes a template:
    3. Oregon Task Force. The State of Oregon requires all psychologists to have a professional will.  The following two links are to their model will and to a list of immediate, short- and medium-term concerns for professional executors to deal with:

Membership list as of July 1, 2020:

Milton Schaefer, PhD and Mary Ewert, DMH, Co-Chairs

Terrence Owens, PhD
Marc Zussman, MD
Catherine Witzling, PhD, LCSW
Kristen Callahan, LMFT
Laura Dansky, PhD
Michael Bronzo, MD
Mary Diaso Rudy, LCSW
Lara Weyland, PhD

To contact either co-chair:
Milton Schaefer, PhD (415) 776-3400
Mary Ewert, DMH (415) 922-7646