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Massachusetts Legal and Ethical Issues for Mental Health Clinicians

This program focuses on ethical, legal, statutory or regulatory policies, guidelines and standards that impact psychological practice and explores the mann...
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Information

Faculty:
Susan Lewis
Duration:
6 Hours 4 Minutes
Format:
Audio and Video
Copyright:
Sep 29, 2020

Description

This program focuses on ethical, legal, statutory or regulatory policies, guidelines and standards that impact psychological practice and explores the manner by which clinical and ethical issues affect the everyday practice of the mental health professional in Massachusetts. This unique blend of clinical and ethical concerns allows for a more meaningful understanding and interpretation of the rules that govern mental health practice and allows the attendee to identify specific state laws that affect and govern their practice.

Through lecture, a review of references including the APA “Ethics Code” and the seminar manual with state specific policies and regulations; Dr. Lewis will prepare you for litigation issues which can put your client, your license and your practice at risk. You will learn how to structure your practice to limit exposure of risk, as well as discover record keeping practices that may help protect you in the event of a complaint. Susan will provide you with the following take-home tools to minimize risk:

  • Updates on HIPAA and Massachusetts laws and regulations
  • Risk management strategies
  • How to avoid litigation dilemmas, complaints and malpractice actions
  • Best practices in the professional relationship, informed consent and office policies

You will learn through problem solving discussions that are representative of actual ethical decisions you encounter in your clinical practice. The blending of Susan’s experience as a lawyer, work within the court system and extensive clinical experience makes her a hands-on, knowledgeable instructor! 

Handouts

Outline

Clinician-Client Relationship

  • Law vs. ethics
  • Elements of legal informed consent
  • Nuts and bolts of office policies
    • Records vs. psychotherapy notes
    • What to put in a record
  • Limitations on confidentiality
    • Massachusetts case law & danger to others
    • Massachusetts duty to warn potential victims HIPAA
    • The latest updates you need to know

Practical Approach to Risk Management

  • Elements of consent
  • Competence & scope of practice
  • Boundary violations/crossings
  • Issues with modern technology
    • Texting, cell phones, e-mail, video psychotherapy
  • Perils of supervision

Litigation

  • Licensing complaints & malpractice lawsuits
    • Massachusetts-specific statutes
    • Massachusetts rules and regulations
    • Case law and how to find it

Navigate the Legal System

  • Roles of attorneys
  • Confidentiality/privilege
  • Subpoena & disclosure of confidential information
  • Depositions, interrogatories, expert testimony

Treatment of Minors

  • Massachusetts age of majority
  • Consent to treatment
  • Privilege/confidentiality
  • Separation & divorce

Case Studies

Faculty

Susan Lewis, Ph.D., J.D. Related seminars and products: 26


Susan J. Lewis, Ph.D., J.D., is a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist and lawyer. She has over 25 years of experience in clinical practice with unique populations that have included female sexual offenders incarcerated at a woman’s prison, self-injurious individuals, forensic patients and individuals who suffer from severe and persistent mental illness. In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Lewis has served in leadership roles as clinical director, program manager, and supervisor for psychiatry residents and post-doctoral psychologists.

 

Currently, Dr. Lewis teaches courses on Law and Ethics in Mental Health that are state specific to the laws of each state. She has also lectured nationwide on the DSM-5® and differential diagnosis. She taught courses at Harvard’s Extension School and Northeastern University on The Psychology of Criminal Behavior. She is the author of Legal and Ethical Issues for Mental Health Clinicians: Best Practices for Avoiding Litigation, Complaints and Malpractice (PPM, 2016) and her latest book From Deep Within: A Forensic and Clinical Psychologist's Journey (2018).

 

A sought-after consultant, Dr. Lewis works with attorneys on controversial issues such as dangerousness, competence to stand trial, criminal responsibility evaluations, and civil and criminal commitment. She works with attorneys on strategies of how mental illness might impinge on legal decision-making. Dr. Lewis has been adjudicated an expert in almost all of the district and superior courts in Massachusetts.

 

Her extensive clinical experience makes her a hands-on, knowledgeable instructor. She is engaging and has a wonderful sense of humor, which she brings to her seminars.

 

Speaker Disclosures:

 

Financial: Susan Lewis is in private practice. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Susan Lewis is a member of the American Psychological Association.