ETHICS TRAINING through Deb’s BEYOND ETHICS, LLC
Deb is offering 3.0 hours of required Ethics to satisfy your renewal requirements.
“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.”
2017 Training Schedule: 3.0 hours of Ethics held at East Jefferson General Hospital on Friday, November 3rd from 8:45 a.m. to noon.
In my legal consultations with clinicians, as well as in the various groups to whom I present on high-risk clinical practice, I often get asked questions about practicing within this new age of social media and client mobility. I will present the pertinent rules and regulations governing social media and electronic communication with clients. I will also explore the seduction and risks of both and, along with audience participation and case examples, will analyze how to reduce such risks to protect the therapeutic relationship and guard the clients’ confidentiality. Finally, I will teach participants specific steps for responding to subpoenas that compel the release of clients’ clinical records.
Once you are registered for one of the trainings, you will be invited to send me questions or case examples of sticky situations you or others you know have encountered. Your input will enrich our time together and provide great grist for the training mill. Hope to see you in 2017 at East Jefferson General Hospital Conference Center for my Beyond Ethics, LLC trainings!!
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.
Question/Answer Corner: What’s On Your Mind?
Q: Suicide assessment/prevention –
This month I’m passing along a tip gleaned from my August 28th training: Self-Protective, Ethical Practices with High-Stress Clients/Situations: Walking the High Wire in Stressful Clinical Situations and Legal Involvement through Beyond Ethics, LLC. One of the participants, Logan, who works with a lot of high-risk clients suggested a useful tool for assessing and (hopefully) preventing suicide. It’s called CAMS, which stands for “Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality.” The web site for further research is: https://cams-care.com/cams/.
Here is a quote from the home page:
“CAMS is first and foremost a clinical philosophy of care. It is a therapeutic framework for suicide-specific assessment and treatment of a patient’s suicidal risk. It is a flexible approach that can be used across theoretical orientations and disciplines for a wide range of suicidal patients across treatment settings and different treatment modalities.”
Logan said he has been using this tool for quite some time and finds it very useful in helping predict suicidality of clients. Then, an honest dialogue can be engaged in with the client.
We discussed this tool in relation to the suggestion I give in trainings to use Mental Health Directives with clients; that is, have client write down a list of people who could be called if the client presents on a certain day as likely to cause harm to self or others. The client gives emergency people’s cell numbers and signs giving permission for the therapist to use own discretion in calling. I encourage clinicians to utilize this as a clinical tool as well, by inviting the client to consider having one or more of the trusted others come into session to better understand the depth of depression and/or possible triggers for self-harm (or harm to others).
CAMS offers consultation and online training to have access to the assessment instruments. (No conflict of Interest Disclaimer: I have no relation with nor do I get any kickback from CAMS).
A: Although suicide assessment tools vary, it is essential for the clinician to protect him/herself by documenting very thoroughly each session where the clinician was making any type of suicide assessment.
Information regarding Complaints
Some issues of concern to the Boards and some allegations against clinicians:
- Allegations of sexual misconduct by the therapist with the client.
- Several involved divorce as the underlying context where one parent had filed against the other one’s therapist or against the therapist of the children.
- DUIs – rules say we should self-report, but remember, sometimes colleagues report one another (at times, anonymously).
- Supervision cases involve issues about whether supervisor can sign off on the hours if the supervisor has reason to believe the supervisee is not practicing ethically. Advice: don’t leave your concerns as a supervisor to the last minute and then refuse to sign off because that could trigger a complaint by the supervisee (e.g., perhaps negligent supervision, bias, etc.).
Additional issues will be listed in the coming newsletters and Deb is always available to consult with your agency, private practice groups, clinical consultation groups, or with you individually to discuss potential high-risk situations.
I recently started teaching again in a masters level social work program (DUGSSW). It is such a fulfilling experience to be in a room with 20 fresh-hearted MSWs-to-be … so idealistic and full of compassion and curiosity and … engagement with our group. No one was secretly playing with the cell phone (hey, we all do that at meetings, right?). No one was yawning and slumping lower and lower in the desk chair (well, the iron rods I had installed in the back that they strap onto may have helped prevent the slumping). Impressively, all were listening to each other with rapt attention and adding their own pieces to the discussions.
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:
- “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)
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 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.