UPCOMING GROUP TRAINING in 2018
BEYOND ETHICS, LLC WORKSHOP
1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
“Self-Protective Practices for High-Risk Cases”
BEYOND ETHICS, LLC WORKSHOP
1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
“Authentic Use of Self in Legal Involvement”
I will be providing at least two (2) training sessions in 2018 in the Denver area this year. Save the dates and be sure to look for the email notifications from my training business, BEYOND ETHICS, LLC.
In the workshops, I always incorporate some type of ethical conundrums for high-risk clinical practices, including ways to manage high-risk clinical practices that involve demands for records from clients and/or attorneys. I also help clinicians understand how to prepare for depositions and/or trial testifying.
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:
- “Very helpful and informative. Thank you!”
- “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.”
- “Very good! Lively! Engaging! Knowledgeable! Very important information. Perfect timing.”
- “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: What is the best course of action if you are asked to see an adolescent whose parents are divorced?
A: My first answer is “it depends.” If you are very determined NOT to go to court and want NO involvement with attorneys and custody litigation, you may want to refer the adolescent to another therapist who is okay with being dragged into the legal arena. Some clinicians actually like it!!
So, if you are okay with taking the chance of receiving a subpoena for your records and perhaps also for your deposition and/or trial testimony, go ahead and set up an initial appointment for the adolescent’s parents. Try to establish a clinical relationship with each parent from the inception of treatment.
Make sure to ask the parents to bring you a copy of the divorce judgment and any subsequent orders from the court regarding division of parental decision-making – sometimes a court will allocate different responsibilities to each parent; for example, father may be awarded educational decision-making and mother medical decision-making. Or, it may be joint authority. So, just be sure to check so you know who calls the shots in the event of a controversy with the mental health treatment of the adolescent.
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
DORA: What’s On the Various Boards’ Radar?
I try to attend many of the public Board meetings of all the Mental Health Boards: Social Work, Professional Counselors, Psychologists, Marriage & Family Therapists, Addiction Counselors, and Registered Psychotherapists. Each newsletter, this section will address current issues that arise in various Board meetings that may seem helpful for practicing clinicians.
I am repeating what I wrote about last newsletter because it is so important and NOT IN THE RULES.
At least the Social Work Board (and I believe all mental health boards will take the same position) has taken the position that therapists must have notes for each session as a part of their clinical record. Rule 16 governing records does not specify that notes are required for each session (e.g., some clinicians summarize their treatment periodically, etc.), but the Board has taken the position in several cases recently and/or currently before it that such per-session notes are required. The Board does not cite any authority for this conclusion, but rather says it is “best practice” – that is, best practice because the Board says so. No citation. No authority. Nothing from NASW or any other organization says this. And, most importantly, the Board’s own rule on record-keeping (Rule 16) does not state this. But, social workers are being disciplined for not having notes for each session notwithstanding the fact that they have not violated any written rule, ethical opinion, Board policy, or any other stated iteration concerning record-keeping.
So, beware and if you have not been doing so, please be advised that you should start keeping notes for each session even if very brief.
What people said about my most recent seminars:
- “This seminar was extremely insightful and Deb’s delivery and presentation was right up my alley!”
- “I think Deb is a great presenter.”
- “Great job as usual!”
- “Enjoy your workshops – always so informative and interesting. Time flies!”
- “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.”
- “Excellent presentation. Very informative and well thought out frame work. Thanks Deb!”
- “Presenter was engaging, knowledgeable, and very thorough.”
- “Nice work! Very interesting, especially when examining specific case studies.”
Training/Consultation For Clinicians/Agencies
I have been providing training for high risk clinical situations and legal involvement of the therapist for groups here in Colorado. I consult with individual practitioners, small groups of clinicians, and agencies to help therapists prepare for deposition or trial testimony, or to handle a subpoena request for clinical records.
I am available to meet with individual therapists who need risk prevention consultation and/or with groups of any size for any type of self-protective, clinical practice in this litigious age. I can custom tailor training to your particular agency or small group with questions submitted in advance by participants, if desired.
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 Denver and New Orleans, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. And, you can use the old tried and true method of calling her at 504.232.8884.