Law and Ethics Exam Prep: Business Practices and Policies

By Maria Denardo on April 24, 2023

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 for the exam. Plus, you’ll have an opportunity to put your knowledge to the test on one key business issue with a FREE practice question.

Topics to study for the exam include: 

Let’s test your knowledge and see how well you do!

Business Practices and Policies Practice Question: 

A newly licensed MFT in California wants to set up a private practice utilizing a sliding fee scale. Considering their legal and ethical responsibilities, the therapist should:

A. Set up a sliding fee scale based on a percentage of client income – regardless of income level.

B. Set up a sliding fee scale for clients who have experienced systemic oppression.

C. Set up a sliding fee scale that offers lower rates based on client’s identity (e.g., gender or race).

D. Set up a sliding fee scale and advertise the “as low as” rate.

(Scroll for answer and rationale.)


MFT Law and Ethics Exam Prep Business Practices and Policies


The correct answer is B: Set up a sliding fee scale for clients who have experienced systemic oppression. Answer A is strong until the inclusion of the phrase “regardless of income level.” This setup could exploit clients who fall in a high-income bracket. Answer C can be eliminated because it is illegal and unethical to create a pricing structure based on protected classes. For example, it would violate anti-discriminatory laws to base the fees on gender, religious creed, national origin, race, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, and so forth. Answer D is incorrect because only advertising the “as low as” rate would be considered misleading by state law. Therefore, the only ethical and legal option left in this answer set is B, which slides fees based on personal experience without including a protected class.

MFT & LCSW Exam Preparation:

How did you do? Do you feel prepared to answer more questions about business practices and policies on the exam? Let us know in the comment section below. Regardless of where you landed on this question, TDC offers thorough, in-depth programs for MFT CA Law & Ethics, MFT CA Clinical, and AMFTRB exams that provide everything you need to successfully PASS your exams with confidence. And these programs even include access to coaching!

If you’re in need of the 12-hour law and ethics course, we offer a BBS-approved program that will fulfill your continuing education requirement HERE.*

*Please note that the BBS is changing CE requirements. Beginning Jan. 2023, BBS registrants will need to complete a one-time 3-hour telehealth course that is BBS approved. Additionally, registrants will be required to complete a 3-hour law and ethics course at each license renewal. This is a new requirement for associates and will replace the existing 12-hour course requirement.

Already licensed? Check out our continuing education library that includes a range of courses from Gestalt Therapy to Clinical Supervision.


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