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Legal & Regulatory

Issues relating to the laws and regulations that govern the professional practice of counseling.
Issues relating to the laws and regulations that govern the professional practice of counseling.
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Questions and Answers

Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

The answer depends on what State you live. Since the description you write here is that your brother may be a serious risk to himself and others, it is worth contacting a mental health hotline or one of your local area hospitals and talk to a social worker or other professional level person in their... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
I tailor my therapeutic approach to each client's strengths and goals

I'm sorry to hear that your brother has been having such a rough time. He's lucky to have you on his side (although he may not always see it that way). As far as whether you can sign him in, that depends on a lot of different things. I would suggest that you Google the state and county that you live... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.
Karen Keys, LMHC, CASAC, NCC
Karen Keys, LMHC, CASAC, NCC
Recovery and Wellness Expertise

Hello, My heart goes out to you, your brother, and your family, dealing with a very painful and difficult situation.  In New York, you can't institutionalize someone else directly. You can, however, call the police or EMS. If they agree that he would benefit from hospitalization (and it sounds like... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Kristi King-Morgan, LMSW
Kristi King-Morgan, LMSW
Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Family members sometimes get Power of Attorney over vulnerable adults. If you had this, you could do something like that. I'm assuming that you don't, though. There are steps family members can take through the court system to get someone involuntarily committed, but it is a long process.  I deal... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Eric Ström, JD, MA, LMHC
Eric Ström, JD, MA, LMHC
Attorney & Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Thanks for asking this question. I know it can be really difficult to deal with issues like this. To answer your question, you might be able to get you brother some mental health help, even if he doesn't recognize that he needs it. In most states, an individual can request a mental health evaluation... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care nor legal advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist/attorney nor does it create a therapist-client nor attorney-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

I am so sorry for your loss.  Generally therapists only have a duty to report self harm to ones self or others if it is expressed to them.  Often times they will not report relapses due to the fact that proper releases were not signed or patient has specifically asked them not to for fear of shaming... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Kristi King-Morgan, LMSW
Kristi King-Morgan, LMSW
Social Worker, Psychotherapist

I will admit I am confused about this question. Are you the other parent in question or a concerned coworker of this therapist? Therapists do not prescribe or have access to medication. Most therapists won't even get involved in a custody battle. They know there is a good chance of their records... more

Eric Ström, JD, MA, LMHC
Eric Ström, JD, MA, LMHC
Attorney & Licensed Mental Health Counselor

This sounds like a potentially serious situation. The most important thing is to make sure the child is safe.  If you suspect that a child is (or has been) harmed, I would strongly recommend that you report your concerns to your local law enforcement or to Child Protective Services. If you don't... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care nor legal advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist/attorney nor does it create a therapist-client nor attorney-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Eric Ström, JD, MA, LMHC
Eric Ström, JD, MA, LMHC
Attorney & Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Typically, a therapist cannot force a client to receive any treatment they do not want.  In the end, it is the clients who get to decide what type of treatment they want. If a therapist believes that their client is in imminent danger of harm however, the therapist might have an obligation to take... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care nor legal advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist/attorney nor does it create a therapist-client nor attorney-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Eric Ström, JD, MA, LMHC
Eric Ström, JD, MA, LMHC
Attorney & Licensed Mental Health Counselor

I know it can be really tough when a loved one is in the hospital and you aren't being told what is going on. In general, both Federal and State confidentiality laws prohibit health care providers from giving out private information about patients to non-family members. Unfortunately, you will... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care nor legal advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist/attorney nor does it create a therapist-client nor attorney-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.