UPCOMING GROUP TRAINING in 2019
BEYOND ETHICS, LLC WORKSHOP
12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
French Quarter Condos
1155 S. Monaco Parkway, Denver (at Mississippi)
Amy Diller, LCSW, will help me by hosting this seminar at her condo Clubhouse
Clubhouse entrance is on Monaco between Mississippi and Cherry Creek North Drive
Light refreshments provided!! Clubhouse is a very warm, comfortable place for us to work and learn.
“Ethical Management of Legal Involvement:
Authentic Use of the Therapist’s Self”
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.
Trainings are three (3) hours. We had a good turnout for the May 11th training, so be sure to join us for this next one.
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 very anxious client, who has terminated precipitously (e.g., by canceling last session(s) via phone or email), should you give a copy of his/her record to the client upon request?
A: My unequivocal answer is “NO!” Why? Because the precipitous termination, coupled with the high anxiety, suggests that the client might be likely to take some of your notes out of context and get even more anxious by reading what you have said about his/her therapy.
But you say, Deb – the client has right to inspect the record, right? Yes, under HIPAA, clients have right to access their records (not the psychotherapy notes without a separate, distinct additional authorization – IF you keep them separate from the rest of the clinical record). But given the nature of the client and the circumstances of the non-termination, the therapist would be most self-protective (always my goal) to offer a free “record-review” session of 10-15 minutes during which time the therapist is sitting with the client and available to answer any questions.
This procedure can be “sold” to the client as follows. “You may not be able to read my handwriting or you may have questions about some of my comments in the record. I keep the notes for me and that means they are not written out in a form that is always understandable to others. I will be happy to see you for a brief period of time while you review your copy of the record and if you have any questions during that review, to answer them as best I can.”
Why offer a free session? Because it serves to protect you – you will get an idea when the former client reviews the notes whether s/he becomes agitated by something that was written. If so, you can try to assuage the anxiety if you are present with the person. This would not be possible if the former client were to review them alone. It is well worth a 15-minute session at lunch break or end of day to protect yourself from a high-risk client getting upset about something you wrote and filing a Complaint (they terminated precipitously for some reason that likely was not that they were happy with you).
Well, it has been a year since I wrote a blog. My web guy is nudging me and I love writing these, but life has been fairly intense over the past year, so I have not taken time to write. Maybe you will better understand why with this blog. And I am setting my intention to write more frequently in this year of 2019.
In brief review –
I spent several months of the latter part of 2017 getting the Colorado house packed up and ready for the move. During that process were the final aspects of buying my new dream home to open the B & B in Northampton, selling my Colorado home to pay for the transition, and driving across the country for four straight days with 2 dogs and 3 cats and my best friend, Sue, and our son, Cody, who was driving the second moving truck. Sadly, my bearded dragon had passed in the summer of 2017, so Mango did not accompany me on this latest move although she (really a he, we found out at the reptile vet a few years ago) was a lively traveler from New Orleans to Denver in 2015!!
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
What people said about my most recent seminars:
- “Information presented in a very clear and precise manner with relevant examples.”
- “I really enjoyed the training; it was quite applicable to practice.”
- “Excellent presentation and interactions.”
- “Excellent, informative and concise.”
- “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!”
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 since 2015. 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 also consult with many individual therapists and agencies who need risk prevention consultation (e.g., high-risk clients or legal involvement). Clinical practice in this litigious age has become increasingly anxiety-producing and generally a one-time consultation helps the therapist figure out a plan for a risky situation to prevent it blowing up into a formal grievance.
I can custom tailor training to your particular agency or small group with questions submitted in advance by participants, if desired.
Consultations are conducted in the form of teleconference unless I am in Denver.
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 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.