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In today’s litigious and regulated climate, mental health professionals face an increasing risk of malpractice claims and grievances against their ability to practice. To help you better manage that risk and enhance your practice we offer a variety of courses and instruction that provide you practical information and advice. We will help you with CEU’s/PDH’s while also helping you safeguard your practice from legal or civil malpractice claims. Our courses also aid you in understanding jurisprudence and ethical dilemmas and how to deal with the gray areas of confidentiality (see information below), and compliance with DORA regulations.
Here’s a sampling of courses we’ve offered.
How to Start a Private Practice – What the heck is a PLLC?
Starting a private practice can feel a bit overwhelming. What type of business structure should I have? Should I be a sole proprietor? A PLLC? An S-Corp? What if I want to share office space with other practitioners? Do I need renter’s insurance? What is the best professional liability insurance? How should I keep my records? Receive answers to these questions and many, many more in this legal and ethical blueprint into starting a new private practice.
Coaching and the Therapist
Therapy and coaching are current hot button issues for DORA. Learn how to set the boundaries necessary to safely practice these different yet often complementary practices. From paperwork to practical applications when working with clients—come learn your clients’ rights and your responsibilities.
Record keeping is one of the most important responsibilities of any mental health practitioner. Knowing what forms to use, what information to keep, how to keep it, where to keep it and for how long are key components to protecting your practice. However, in today’s world we also need to understand electronic record keeping vs. paper records; and, appropriate destruction methods. What do you do with your records if you close your practice or you die? This class will help you develop the type of record keeping habits you need to keep you ethically and legally compliant. Template forms will be available for purchase!
HIPAA Compliance: I have no idea what I’m doing . . .
Few areas of mental health regulation feel as confusing and arbitrary as HIPAA. This class will help you break this monstrosity into the basics; including: Who is a Covered Entity; Progress vs. Process/Psychotherapy Notes; Forms; Procedures; Electronic Risk Management; and Electronic Payments. A template and instruction for performing an Electronic Risk Analysis is included!
The Courts and Courtroom Testimony
Chances are, at some point in your career as a mental health professional, you will have to appear in court . . . either on your behalf or on behalf of a client. This class will teach you the fundamentals of the court system including courtroom terminology; the differences between civil, criminal and administrative courts; and, the role of an expert witness. We will also use a sample hypothetical/mock trial to demonstrate the difference between direct and cross examinations.
The Grievance Process
The dreaded “G” word – no one wants to think about it but the odds are that it will probably happen to every mental health professional at least three times in their careers. Yes it’s scary, but knowledge is power – this class will help you understand DORA’s grievance process and how to navigate it; how to work with your professional liability insurance provider; who to contact when; why you should never respond to a DORA complaint without consulting an attorney; and what you should do NOW before you’re grieved.
Safeguarding Your Practice: What do you mean I can’t carry my client files home in a tote bag?
What are the major practice risks facing practitioners today? Learn about the top ten major ethical and regulatory risks facing mental health professionals in private practice. Class includes information on how to identify these risks in your practice and steps to take to avoid these pitfalls; and the creation of a legal and ethical resource binder to help you make sound decisions for your clients and for your practice.
Working with Children and Adolescents – Ethical and Legal Pitfalls
Working with children and adolescents can be highly rewarding – it also brings with it some unique challenges. Whose consent do you need to treat a child? When is it OK to release information about the child’s therapy to another person? Can a therapist offer an opinion about custody in a custody hearing? How should a therapist work with a Parental Responsibility Evaluator and/or a Child and Family Investigator? Learn the answers and best practices for these issues and many more in this class!
Parental Responsibility Evaluator Training
Family disputes are challenging on every level – whether legally, from a mental health perspective, or even financially – but particularly when the dispute involves determining parental responsibilities in regard to children. Becoming a Parental Responsibility Evaluator (PRE) is one way for mental health professionals to help the courts determine what is truly in the best interests of the child. This training will educate aspiring and seasoned PREs about the current Colorado laws and ethics that apply to the profession; help you qualify as a PRE; help you develop necessary policies, procedures and paperwork; and help you better understand the different roles of PREs, Child and Family Investigators and Mental Health Professionals.
Teletherapy & Electronic Counseling
In order to meet the needs of a clientele that favors convenience, quick results, and flexibility, more and more therapists are choosing to offer electronic psychotherapy options to their clients. While technology changes daily; the law is having trouble keeping up. The Colorado Revised Statutes provide little statutory guidance for mental health professionals who engage in electronic psychotherapy – they do not, in fact, address it at all. So how do you know how to ethically and legally perform electronic counseling? This class will discuss the applicable ethical codes; State Rules; general guidelines; and recommended paperwork for performing electronic counseling within Colorado. A copy of an Electronic Therapy Informed Consent Template is included in the fee for this class.
Religious Ministry: Are you a Spiritual Counselor or Mental Health Professional?
Is it OK to talk about religion and spirituality during a counseling session? When does a spiritual discussion become religious ministry? If I provide counseling in a room in a house of worship is it therapy or religious ministry? Do I have to be registered/certified/licensed with DORA to practice religious ministry? This class will help guide you through the Religious Ministry exemption set forth in Board Rule 17; educate you about the differences between Religious Ministry and Mental Health Counseling and; help you develop best practices for discussing religion and spirituality with mental health clients and with those seeking religious ministry.
Reporting: Child Abuse (Children and Adults); Elder Abuse and Harm to Self or Others
There are few things more uncomfortable for a mental health professional than having to breach confidentiality – particularly when doing so may damage the therapeutic relationship. It is a fact that every mental health professional will have to file a report of child abuse, elder abuse or harm to self or others at least once (and probably many more times) in his or her career. This class will discuss the legal and ethical requirements for reporting these events in Colorado including: who is a mandated reporter and when; where reports be filed; what information must be included; and how to document the report. It will also provide guidance on determining when a report must be filed.
Please Note: You must pass a written examination for each course to qualify for a completion certificate. (CEU credit compliance pending.)