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PSY627A Legal and Ethical Issues

Lead Faculty: Dr. Valerie L. Alexander

Course Description

Examines the professional laws and ethics pertaining to the practice of counseling and psychotherapy, with an emphasis on the laws and ethics pertaining to the practice of professional counseling, the content of these legal and ethical codes, and the underlying principles involved.

Learning Outcomes

  • Articulate relevant legal and ethical responsibilities pertaining to: scope of practice, informed consent, training in the use of assessment instruments, boundaries, dual relationships, informed consent, continuity of treatment, confidentiality, and HIPAA, within the counseling profession.
  • Assess dangerousness to self or others and recommend appropriate interventions based on ethical and legal requirements.
  • Articulate the laws pertaining to mandated reporting of suspected or known abuse (eg. child, dependent adult, elder) and dangerousness.
  • Articulate issues of therapist's cognitive, emotional or physical limitations, transference, and countertransference on the therapeutic process.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of ethical issues pertaining to diagnosis and treatment planning with respect to health insurance and managed care, as well as the importance of the initial therapeutic interview including discussion of fees, office policies, therapeutic process, confidentiality, and therapist responsibilities.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of how to document clinical services, securely maintain client records and respond to client's request for records.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the importance of recognizing the needs, abilities and cultural diversity of clients.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of laws and ethical standards regarding sexual contact between therapist and client.