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Professional Ethics

Professional Law and Ethics encompasses a wide range of rules, regulations, codes, and laws that define the standard of what is appropriate professional practice. The standards come from many sources... more
Professional Law and Ethics encompasses a wide range of rules, regulations, codes, and laws that define the standard of what is appropriate professional practice. The standards come from many sources. They may include state and federal laws, professional ethics codes, workplace policies, and common practice among professionals. The purpose of Professional Law and Ethics is to protect the safety and welfare of clients, patients, clinicians, and the general public.
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Questions and Answers

Barika Grayson LMHC, NCC
Barika Grayson LMHC, NCC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor www.counselflorida.com

Hello Largo, This is a great question. There are several options when a therapist is transferring to a new practice. If the practice is in the same general area and the therapist does not have a non compete agreement they can let clients know where they are going. Generally if a therapist has a... 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.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

There may be differences in Sate laws, and differences based on the particular license of the therapist, on this question so try googling your question for your State.Generally, the therapist should have given you whatever the standard practice is for your State, notice in advance. And, the... 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.
Lynda Martens
Lynda Martens
Marriage & Family Therapist, MSc, RP, RMFT

Hi, Different therapists are guided by the ethical guidelines of their own associations or colleges when it comes to receiving gifts, so this may differ a bit from therapist to therapist. It's important to me that I be sensitive to cultural norms, and to my client's needs. In Canada, and the US, it... 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

This is a great question. In general it is not appropriate for counselors to accept gifts from their clients. There are some exceptions to this general rule - including a recognition that there may be a valid cultural aspect to this type of gift giving.It might be best to simply offer your counselor... 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.
Lynda Martens
Lynda Martens
Marriage & Family Therapist, MSc, RP, RMFT

Hi Anaheim,Relationships with therapists have some things in common with other relationships; they work best if there is dialogue about what your hopes, thoughts, emotions and needs are. Are you letting your therapist know what your goals are? It's okay to say "I'd really like us to focus on this... 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

It can be really frustrating to feel like your counselor is not providing you with the help you need.My recommendation in a situation like this would be to let your counselor know how you feel. Specifically tell Your counselor that you don't seem to be getting the amount of feedback you would 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 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

It's a great idea for you to reach out to find a psychologist to talk to if this is a field you might be interested in pursuing. Regarding the length of schooling, it generally takes 4 years of college and an additional 4 to 7 years of graduate school to earn a doctorate degree to become a... 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.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

I'm sorry to hear about being taken advantage of by your former wife.On the positive side, think of how much you learned by going through this very painful time.Maybe you are naturally very generous and caring, to the point of expecting very little from the other person, for example.Consider... 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

I'm sorry to hear that this has happened. Counselors are legally and ethically required to make sure that they always put the wellbeing of their clients above their own interests. In addition, counselor ethical rules, and the laws in just about every state, make it illegal for counselors 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 or 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.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Do you want this therapist to have your credit card information?If not, then cancel the credit cards that you believe may now be accessible to this therapist.Therapists are expected to keep very clear boundaries between the therapy work and not have other relationships, such as "friend" or "money... 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.