UPCOMING GROUP TRAININGS
NOTE: I am often available for a day or two around the group training to schedule in person individual or group legal consultations while I am in Colorado. If interested, please schedule with me in advance.
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs MSW Program
May 18th at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) new Masters in Social Work program. All day Ethics seminar for students, faculty, field instructors, and community partners.
Beyond Ethics, LLC
Ethical Management of Risk
12:30 – 3:30 p.m.
- Ethical Obligations in the Context of Couples and Families
- Why Couples and Families are Considered High-Risk Clients
- Certain Risks Inherent in Treating Couples and Families
- Specific Clinical and Legal Challenges When Working with Couples and Families: Case Examples (Deb’s and Participants’ situations)
- Ethically Responding to Subpoenas & Dealing with Attorneys
- Self-Protective, Client-Protective Procedure upon Receipt of Subpoena
- Subpoenas for Records, Deposition or Trial Testimony
- Preparing Clinician and Clients for Legal Involvement of Either/Both
Description of workshop
In this workshop, Deb and participants will examine the high-risk nature of clinical practice in 2020. Deb will present vital information for participants’ ethical responses in this litigious day and age. Also, Deb will facilitate discussion of participants’ case examples, as well as her own work defending clinicians in Louisiana and Colorado who have faced legal and ethical dilemmas in their clinical practices.
Deb will help participants develop ethical, self-protective strategies to avoid the high-risk case turning into the nightmare case! As a seasoned clinician, who has a firm belief in protecting clients and guarding their confidentiality, Deb’s suggestions always are fashioned to protect the therapeutic relationship and the client and therapist from bullying, harassing legal activity.
We will be discussing numerous case examples furnished by participants and culled from Deb’s legal practice in Louisiana and Colorado, which provides much grist for the training mill! Additionally, Deb will teach participants a relatively simple step-by-step approach for ethically responding to subpoenas for records, depositions, and/or trial testifying. Deb will help participants learn how to prepare for litigation events such as depositions and trial testifying.
About the Trainer
Deb is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 35 years clinical experience, who is also a lawyer since 1991. She has been defending clinicians since 2000 in various types of licensing board matters. Deb also has a robust practice of risk prevention consultation for therapists who are attempting to avoid ending up before their licensing board. After Ethics training around the country for PESI and Cross Country since 2006, Deb started her own training business, Beyond Ethics, LLC, in 2009. Through Beyond Ethics, Deb has been offering two to four trainings annually in Louisiana since its inception and in Colorado since 2015.
Case Examples Utilized in the Seminar
In the workshops, I always ask participants to send me case examples to discuss in the seminar. I also incorporate a variety of ethical conundrums for high-risk clinical practices from my law practice defending such claims when grievances are filed against clinicians. I also help clinicians understand how to prepare for depositions and/or trial testifying.
Trainings typically are three (3) hours and certificates will be provided at the end of the seminar.
from MAY 31, 2019 TRAINING IN NEW ORLEANS
The May 2019 workshop in New Orleans had close to 80 participants!! The largest group ever, and it was a lively, participative group of seasoned clinicians.
As I am doing with the Denver training, I had asked the Louisiana registrants to submit case examples of their (or colleagues’) “nightmare cases” (the subtitle of the seminar). So many therapists submitted diverse situations; we had a fun and instructive time analyzing them in the seminar.
It was such a diverse set of situations – some absolutely clinically resolvable, some quasi clinical/legal, and some mostly legal (e.g., responding to subpoenas and filing Motions to Quash subpoena when the release is objected to by the therapy client).
Here are some comments from participants at the recent training:
- “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.”
- “Great info – very knowledgeable and great examples.”
- “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.”
Question/Answer Corner: What’s On Your Mind?
Q: The social worker or counselor is working in another primary field, for example, an educational or medical setting. A situation arises that the head of the entity (e.g., the principal or the medical social worker’s supervisor or VP of hospital) wants you to follow a course of action that you believe goes against your ethical code. You explain your reasoning to the head person, who has asked you to take a course of action that you do not feel is ethical or in your client’s best interest. The person insists that you follow this course of action. You need your job and fear being fired if you do not comply. What do you do?
A: Social workers and counselors (and all adjunct personnel) have their own licensing boards that regulate their conduct. The rules governing your particular discipline are the rules you must follow. If an action that you are demanded to do in a job setting conflicts with your ethical obligations as a social worker or LPC, you must resist complying. You are licensed by the State of Colorado in your particular discipline to practice within the guidelines and rules set forth in the Mental Health Practice Act. You can try to discuss with the head person the specific rule that governs your conflict; this may be educational for you to find support for what you know is right. It may help the head person who is not as familiar with your discipline’s code of conduct to understand the bind he or she is placing you in. Hopefully, that person cares enough to listen. If you cannot get through, consider a legal consultation where I might contact the person on your behalf to “defend you” (so to speak) in advance of your being terminated.
In any event, please consider which outcome is worse: being fired from a job or having an adverse licensing decision issued by your regulatory board. Maybe with some finesse, we can help find another option.
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Training/Legal Consultation For Clinicians/Agencies
I have been providing training for high risk clinical situations and legal involvement of the therapist for individual clinicians and clinical groups in Louisiana and Colorado for some years now. 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.
Occasionally, I am available to meet in person 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 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.