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Law & Ethics: Letters, Testimony and Boundaries . . . Oh My! Guidelines to help you Stay within Your Scope of Practice & Competence When Writing Letters and Offering Professional Opinions

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Course Description:
Therapists are often asked to write letters, fill out forms and offer professional opinions on behalf of clients. During this three hour presentation, CAMFT Staff Attorney Alain Montgomery will review key legal and ethical standards for therapists to consider before writing a letter or filling out a form for a client and discuss how to manage the potential outcome of having to respond to a subpoena and/or testify as a witness in a legal proceeding which could result from having rendered a professional opinion on behalf of a client.

Member $55
Non-member $65

Credit Hours:

3 Hours

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
  • Distinguish the meaning between a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist’s (LMFT) Scope of Practice and Scope of Competence.
  • Identify the applicable standards of care and relevant sections of the CAMFT Code of Ethics that address issues related to writing letters and offering professional opinions.
  • Identify the basic that pertain to writing letters.
  • Identify specific considerations for a therapist to evaluate when contemplating whether or not to write a letter or fill out a form on behalf of a client.
  • Develop practical guidelines for writing letters and transmitting letters to clients or third parties.
  • Identify the types of letters that a therapist is typically asked to write at the request of a client and the situations during which a therapist may be asked to provide a professional opinion in a legal proceeding. 
  • Determine the steps that can be utilized to manage the potential outcomes of having to respond to a client’s or third party’s request for the client’s record or respond to a subpoena to produce documents or testify in court which could result from having written a letter on behalf of a client.
The user acknowledges that the workshops, handouts, and related course materials contained therein are intended for educational purposes only, and should not be considered to be legal advice or a substitute for legal or clinical consultation. These presentations address issues that are multi-faceted, and the user should not assume that the courses discuss every law, regulation, or ethical code that may be relevant to the subject matter. Legal and ethical standards are subject to change, and it is always prudent to check to see whether a particular law, regulation, or ethical standard may have changed.

This course satisfies the Law and Ethics course requirement for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs which is required for each license renewal cycle.

Refunds/Cancellations: CAMFT does not offer refunds for On-Demand Library purchases.