ETHICS TRAINING through Deb’s BEYOND ETHICS, LLC
In 2018, I will be providing only one more seminar. Here is the information:
BEYOND ETHICS, LLC WORKSHOP
East Jefferson General Hospital
“Ethical Management of Legal Involvement:
Authentic Use of Therapist’s Self”
I always train with case examples and lots of humor, and – most importantly – audience participation with difficult situations, clinically and legally. I try to convey the way to protect yourself professionally – acting ethically AND self-protectively are not in conflict.
NOTE: If you are not on Deb’s email list for Beyond Ethics, LLC trainings and would like to receive notification (or your friend or colleague isn’t getting this email and wants to sign up), please go to beyond-ethics.com and sign up for Deb’s newsletter and training email notices.
Some of the participants had this to say about Deb’s training:
- “Deb provides awesome, thought-provoking info. I wish my agency would have had this info available for the clinicians before we went on the stand [at trial].”
- “Deb is such an incredible speaker – and knowledgeable. I really appreciate everything [she] does to advocate for social workers and the mental health profession(s).”
- “Very lively and informative. Made a serious subject clearer.”
- “Great topic and delivery – love Deb’s navigation of the grey areas. Thank you!”
- “Deb presented excellent information that I feel will help me with my practice. Excellent info! Great workshop.”
- “I attend multiple, legal, ethical practice trainings and Deb is excellent in presentation. Thank you!”
- “Great advice about staying balanced/grounded in testifying.”
- “I appreciate Deborah being both a clinician and an attorney. Frightening possibilities regarding DORA, but [she helped me] know what possible protections I can possibly provide for clients and myself.”
Question/Answer Corner: What’s On Your Mind?
Q: If you have a grievance filed against you, should you respond to the investigator’s request for a telephone call or in-person meeting?
A: My unequivocal answer is “NO!” – but, you cannot just ignore him. Most people who I have represented and/or people I have talked with who received Complaints (colleagues, not my clients) have stated that they either were very glad they had an attorney to run interference for them and handle the process of responding to the investigator and/or the Board, or (if they did not seek representation) said they wish they had retained a lawyer to help them with the difficult process.
I am not just trying to market here for new clients; I have plenty, unfortunately (for them, not me!!). But, over the years that I have been working with licensing boards in Louisiana and Colorado, there is one common denominator that stands out from all else: licensees who receive Complaints benefit by legal counsel.
Why? The licensing boards employ investigators who are from the law enforcement arena. These are not social workers or LPCs – they are former DEA agents (one of them boasts) or from some other type of law enforcement background. When they “interview” a licensee who has been accused of unethical professional conduct, those who have endured such “interviews” (I put quotations around the word because it is really much more like an interrogation, although they call it an interview, or a chat) routinely report that they wish they had not voluntarily walked into the lion’s den.
So, that’s my answer. Brave souls may want to tread on that path alone and if you choose that method of handling the grievance, I wish you (sincerely) all the best of luck. My advice from the vantage point of much experience in the field is to retain a lawyer to assist you. Let the lawyer answer the request from the investigator. I tell my clients that once they retain me, I file my letter of representation with the Board and the investigator (if one has been assigned) and from that point on, I serve as a shield for my clients from both. Not that the Board is the big, bad, mean monster, but let’s face it, they do have the power and I like to think that with counsel, the balance is tipped a bit more favorably toward a fair, thorough examination of the facts, not tipped toward the often false or exaggerated allegations of the Complainant.
Best news is that you will not receive a grievance. Here’s hoping!!
I recently got a wild hair to do something I have wanted to do for many, many years. Time never seemed to permit such a lark, what with working two careers and raising two fabulous children. (I like things in TWOs – being a Gemini, perhaps).
So, my new adventure is this: I am moving to Northampton, Massachusetts (home of Smith College School of Social Work, among many other colleges and universities in a 15-mile radius) to open a Bed and Breakfast in a Second Empire Victorian1 beauty built in 1868. The house is in a historic district three blocks from downtown shops and restaurants in the quirky, progressive, academic town of Northampton. One of its claims to fame is that the first Mayor of Northampton lived in the house in the late 1880s.
Other blog posts you might be interested in:
Transforming Our Relationships With Our Adult Children
Separation Pondering, Continued
Pondering Separation of All Types
Control Versus Resilience: Emotional Balance
Multi-Career Professionals or Juggling Many Balls
Deb’s Louisiana Law Practice
(1) Case/Clinical/Legal Consultations – can be undertaken via teleconference or in person. Call or email for appointment. Flat fee for up to one hour is charged. I am in New Orleans every month or so to meet with licensees who prefer face-to-face in person consultations, but also can arrange consultations via Skype or video face time (with android phones).
(2) Defense for Licensing Board Complaints – with Social Work, LPC, or Psychology Board. Other health professionals are also represented.
(3) Adoptions – while I do not have an “inventory” of babies, many of my clients have found babies who are available for adoption through friends or relatives. The latter is easier to accomplish because it is an “intrafamily” adoption and much easier to accomplish. Stepparent adoptions are considered “intrafamily” adoptions, too. Private (non-family) adoptions are not extremely expensive, but do require a private Home Study by another social worker and that adds to the cost of that type of adoption. Now that the United States Supreme Court has ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, Louisiana has to recognize the marriage of same-sex couples and I can get a second parent adoption accomplished via the Intrafamily adoption statute in any parish.
What people said about my most recent seminars:
- “Great topic and delivery – love Deb’s navigation of the grey areas. Thank you!”
- “I really enjoyed the training; it was quite applicable to practice.”
- “Information presented in a very clear and precise manner with relevant examples.”
- “Great info – very knowledgeable and great examples. Great reminders as well as some new nuggets.”
- “Could have listened to you all day! Great info. Lots to think about.”
- “Thank you for the best Ethics presentation I have been to in 25 years of practice. Your recommendations for protecting ourselves and our clients were exceptional! I will come to any presentation you have in the future. Thank you so very much!”
- “I always enjoy your trainings. I appreciate your flexibility in regards to discussing audience members’ concerns/experiences.”
- “My third seminar with you — you are great! Keep on teaching this class…”
- “Always great! Thank you! Wish you had more throughout the year… You are engaging and positive.”
- “Excellent! I could not think of anything to improve on this workshop. Keep doing what you’re doing.”
- “I thoroughly enjoyed your training. The intimate setting allowed for increased participation. I enjoyed the relevant examples/cases. I have been to Ethics seminars where the presenter went through the code of ethics (boring!). You discussed relevant issues that stimulated our interest in a fascinating way.”
- “Excellent presentation. Very informative and well thought out frame work. Thanks Deb!”
- “Nice work! Very interesting, especially when examining specific case studies.”
Legal Services Offered
- Legal Representation & Consultation for grievances (complaints) to licensing boards and/or malpractice lawsuits
- Training & Consultation for Clinicians and Agencies (e.g., respond ethically to subpoenas while protecting yourself and your clients; identify high-risk clients and situations to avoid client disciplinary complaints and harm to clients or third parties)
Deborah (Deb) Henson is an Attorney and LCSW (Tulane School of Social Work, MSW) in private practice in Colorado and Louisiana, specializing in mental health licensing defense. She represents clinicians in DORA grievances (CO) and licensing board Complaints (LA) and regularly consults with clinicians in both states to help them deal with legal and clinical conundrums, such as: (1) the receipt of subpoenas for records or testimony; (2) the escalation of high-risk clinical situations; and (3) other sticky ethical wickets that arise in clinical practice. Deb helps clinicians develop self-protective, clinically sound and legally proper strategies for risk prevention.
Deb has taught in the MSW programs at Tulane University School of Social Work and the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. She also serves as Expert Witness for litigation cases around the country involving assertions of malpractice against clinicians. She offers Divorce Mediation long-distance (Zoom; Skype; telephone) in Colorado and Louisiana. See her website for more details.
Deb has been presenting half- and full-day seminars on “Avoiding Ethics Complaints and Malpractice Lawsuits” or “Legal and Ethical Issues in Clinical Practice” around the country through PESI, Inc. for over 7 years and presenting for many CEU groups in Louisiana and Colorado. She also has lectured for Tulane School of Social Work Continuing Education and the University of Texas School of Social Work (Austin) Continuing Professional Development program, and for many other clinical and counseling groups. Deb started her own training biz — Beyond Ethics, LLC — in 2009. Contact Deb for group presentations to agency staff and/or private practice consultation groups.
Deb can be reached through her law and social work web site: www.deborahmhenson.com or through her training web site: www.beyond-ethics.com. Deb can also be emailed at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. And, you can use the old tried and true method of calling her at 504.232.8884.