Law and Ethics

Help! When Does a Therapist Consult versus Refer Out?

Submitted by Maria Denardo on Thu, 11/16/2023 - 09:08am
We’re back with part two of our new blog series in which you ask and we answer your most popular questions related to the CA law and ethics exam. On today’s docket, we’re going to take a closer look at when therapists are expected to consult versus refer out, according to the BBS. Here’s a simple breakdown: Generally, when a values conflict is at play and it’s affecting the therapist, then the therapist would consult. If the issue persists after consultation and begins to interfere with therapy, then the therapist could refer out as a later step. Examples of a value conflict may be opposing
Read More

Help! What’s the Difference Between Privilege vs Confidentiality in Therapy?

Submitted by Maria Denardo on Thu, 10/12/2023 - 09:23am
You asked, we answered! This month, we’re launching a new series addressing commonly asked questions we receive from associates who are studying for the California law and ethics exam. One of the most requested topics centers around client information – namely, the confusion between privilege and confidentiality. So, let’s get right down to it. What is confidentiality? In a nutshell, confidentiality is a legal and ethical requirement placed on therapists that restricts sharing client information to third parties. This is pertinent in our daily work with clients. If anyone asks for client
Read More

Law & Ethics Exam Prep: Dual Relationships

Submitted by Maria Denardo on Mon, 07/31/2023 - 09:42am
Today’s law and ethics exam prep topic deals with dual relationships. Dual relationships are an ethical issue in which there are two or more relationships in play at the same time between a client and a therapist, or a supervisor and a pre-licensed trainee/associate that may cause a blurring of boundaries. Some dual relationships are prohibited and others are unavoidable. All of them, however, require the therapist’s careful consideration. Dual relationships with clients (or current supervisees) that are prohibited include sexual relationships; becoming personal friends; therapeutically
Read More

Law & Ethics Exam Prep: Issues with Colleagues

Submitted by Maria Denardo on Wed, 06/14/2023 - 08:44am
Whether therapists operate in group collectives, a hospital setting, or private practice, each of us are connected within a broader mental health community that’s upheld by supporting and regulating each other. If a colleague significantly transgresses the laws or ethics of the field, there are specific steps of action the BBS expects clinicians to take to help resolve the violation. On the law and ethics exam, you’ll most likely see issues with colleagues show up in one or two ways. You may be tested on questions regarding colleagues who engage in sexual relations with their clients, or you
Read More

Law and Ethics Exam Prep: Tarasoff

Submitted by Maria Denardo on Sat, 05/20/2023 - 08:20am

This month, we’re tackling the topic of duty to protect as it relates to the 1976 Tarasoff ruling by the California Supreme Court. If you’re a new therapist and you can’t remember the protocol for Tarasoff situations, you’re not alone. Most associates have little to no professional experience with clients who are a danger to others, which can often lead to confusion around a therapist’s legal responsibilities, particularly on the CA law and ethics exam. And that’s where we come in. Here are the primary ways the BBS will evaluate your understanding of Tarasoff on the test: How to assess for

Read More

Law and Ethics Exam Prep: Termination

Submitted by Maria Denardo on Sat, 04/29/2023 - 04:06pm
The way psychotherapy concludes with a client can be a vital aspect of healing. This final stage of counseling, clinically referred to as “termination,” typically indicates when a client will transition to another clinician, take a prolonged break, or no longer receive therapy. An ideal termination phase is often viewed as a time to consolidate client goals and achievements, highlight strengths, anticipate future obstacles, and review coping mechanisms to maintain growth. When done well, a termination centers the client’s wellbeing, preserves therapeutic integrity, and can even provide a
Read More

Law and Ethics Exam Prep: Gifts

Submitted by Maria Denardo on Tue, 04/25/2023 - 11:35am

Is it legal for therapists to accept gifts from clients? Is it ethical? At what point is a gift considered too valuable? These are just a few of the questions we receive from associates who struggle with the nuance of gift-giving within the therapeutic relationship. The short answer is that there are no legal or ethical prohibitions against giving or receiving gifts between therapists and clients. And there’s no set guidelines for the monetary value of gifts. However, depending on the situation, ethical dilemmas (like dual relationships) and legal ramifications can arise when a potential gift

Read More

Law and Ethics Exam Prep: Business Practices and Policies

Submitted by Maria Denardo on Mon, 04/24/2023 - 05:27pm

One of the most fundamental aspects of navigating a new career as a psychotherapist is learning the business practices and policies that protect you and your clients. For many pre-licensed associates, this can feel like a daunting task. It’s no secret that these rules and regulations are extensive and include quite a few moving parts. This month’s blog cannot address every policy-related issue, but our MFT and LCSW exam prep programs will help you learn what you need to know to succeed. Below, we provide a brief overview of the specific business categories the BBS wants you to be proficient in

Read More

Law and Ethics Exam Prep: Confidentiality

Submitted by Maria Denardo on Tue, 10/25/2022 - 04:00pm

This month we're going to tackle an important topic of confidentiality as it relates to the law and ethics exam preparation. Confidentiality is both a legal and an ethical requirement placed on the therapist that restricts the volunteering of information obtained in a therapeutic relationship. By and large, maintaining confidentiality is the default state for therapists. However, there are mandatory and permitted exceptions to the rule, and the BBS wants you to know the information inside-out for the LMFT, LCSW, and LPCC law & ethics exams. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the confidentiality

Read More

Law and Ethics Exam Prep: Mandated Reporting

Submitted by Maria Denardo on Mon, 08/22/2022 - 04:00pm

“My client disclosed XYZ. Is that a mandated report?” This is one of the most common questions that I hear among trainees and associates, who often feel anxious about mandated reporting in the earlier stages of their career. It’s an incredibly important subject to know how to navigate legally and ethically in real life, and you can expect the BBS to test your knowledge on it at length. So, let’s start with the basics. What is a mandated reporter? All pre-licensed and licensed social workers and therapists are considered mandated reporters. This means that we’re legally obligated to report

Read More
Subscribe to Law and Ethics