ETHICS TRAINING through Deb’s BEYOND ETHICS, LLC
NASW ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN BATON ROUGE
2:30- 5:45 p.m.
Baton Rouge Hilton Capitol Center in the Capitol Room (limit 90)
“Self-Protective, Ethical Practices with Couples and Families:
Walking the High Wire in Stressful Clinical Situation and Legal Involvement”
Register through NASW.
BEYOND ETHICS, LLC WORKSHOP
East Jefferson General Hospital
“Ethical Management of Legal Involvement:
Authentic Use of Therapist’s Self”
Registration for the Beyond Ethics workshops will be available through Deb’s Beyond Ethics website. Registration links will be provided soon in emails.
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.
- 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 licensing boards, 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: You are appointed by the court (in the process of ongoing custody litigation) to provide reconciliation therapy for father and teenage daughter. Mother is thought to be alienating daughter from father.
What can you do to make sure you are protected and rather shielded from becoming a part of the adversarial battle between the parents?
A: First, try to establish a clinical relationship with each parent from the inception of treatment. Even if you are not appointed to work with the mother, know that some contact with her might prevent her from feeling totally excluded and, therefore, more likely to kick up a fuss with you as a target when the relationship between father and daughter improve.
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.
If mother has the decision-making authority for the daughter, you have to get her permission before attempting to coordinate care with any other health care professional – even though father is your adult client. For example, if you want to collaborate with the daughter’s individual therapist or her pediatrician, be sure to get mother’s permission. So, establishing at least a cursory relationship with mother from the inception will help ease the way for subsequent requests for authorizations.
Even if mother does not possess exclusive decision-making authority, she might still become upset when your therapy helps break down the alienation that she has worked so hard to create over time. Even if mother did not really create this alienation, but rather father’s behavior with his daughter has alienated her over time, try to work carefully with this very high-risk clinical situation. I am defending a therapist in this exact situation in Colorado where mother filed a licensing board Complaint against her for trying to do what good therapists do: collaborate and coordinate care for their clients. So, beware! Seek consultation if things are seeming to get sticky to try to prevent a Complaint if at all possible.
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:
- “This seminar was extremely insightful and Deb’s delivery and presentation was right up my alley!”
- “Enjoy your workshops – always so informative and interesting. Time flies!”
- “I think Deb is a great presenter.”
- “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 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.