Stephen Behnke, JD, PhD, Director, APA Ethics Office


Dr. Stephen H. Behnke received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his PhD. in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan. In 1996, Behnke was made chief psychologist of the Day Hospital Unit at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, a position he held until 1998, when he was named a faculty fellow in Harvard University’s program in Ethics and the Professions. After completing this fellowship, Behnke directed a program in research integrity in the Division of Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School. In November of 2000, Behnke assumed the position of director of ethics at the American Psychological Association. He holds an appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Behnke co-leads an ethics discussion group at the meetings of the American Psychoanalytic Association and has consulted to various psychoanalytic institutes regarding issues of ethics and law.

Behnke’s research interests focus on issues at the convergence of law, ethics, and psychology. He has written on multiple personality disorder and the insanity defense, on issues involving competence and informed consent to treatment and research, on forced treatment of the severely mentally ill, and on state laws relevant to the work of mental health practitioners.