Balancing Risk Management and Practice

This six-hour interactive workshop will focus on understanding how to manage risk in your psychotherapy practice whether it is in an agency/hospital setting or in private practice. 

Upcoming Workshop Dates:

October 5, 2018

This will count for the required six hours of legal ethical training practitioners must take every two years to maintain licensure (Masters level clinicians only). See the "Continuing Education Credits" tab below for details.

There are over a dozen state laws and rules that interact with the Washington State counselor licensing laws. In addition, there are Federal laws that influence the practice of psychotherapy in Washington State. As a clinician, it is imperative that you have an understanding about how these laws interact so you don’t run afoul of them and expose yourself to unnecessary risk.

Topics will include:

  • State laws pertaining to record keeping, as well as how to keep records that will minimize your risk of being successfully sued and protecting your license, including disclosure statements and informed consent.
  • What to do when you get a subpoena.  The difference between subpoenas and court orders and how to respond to both, as well as an understanding of confidential and privileged communication.
  • The do’s and don’ts of electronic communications: email, texting, social media, Skype.
  • Legal requirement for mandatory disclosures: duty to warn, reporting to CPS, APS, unprofessional conduct, and involuntary treatment.
  • The pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages of forming a PLLC or other corporate structure to minimize risk.

Wellspring Counseling in association with healthcare law attorneys, Ogden Murphy Wallace (OMW), invite you to learn the most current information to help you effectively manage professional risk at this six-hour, interactive workshop especially designed for therapists in any clinical setting including private practice and agencies.

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Learning Objectives

  • Understand the basics of state and federal laws that govern your practice.
  • Learn the elements of proper recordkeeping and informed consent.
  • Understand when you can release records and when you can’t, what is privileged and when you must disclose information.
  • Learn the legal issues surrounding electronic communications with clients and what you can do to limit your liability when communicating electronically with clients.
  • Learn when you must disclose information about a client and when you can’t.  Understand when you may, but are not required to disclose information about a client.
  • Understand the difference between ethical behaviors and behaviors the state considers to be unprofessional conduct, behaviors that endanger your license to practice.
  • Learn the advantages and disadvantages of forming a professional entity, such as a professional limited liability company or professional services corporation.

Workshop Instructors

  • R. Keith Myers, LICSW is Vice-President of Clinical and Training Services for Wellspring Counseling. He is a past Chair of the Ethics Committee for the WSSCSW, and was a member of the Ethics Committee of the Clinical Social Work Federation that last revised its code of ethics.  He has trained practitioners nationally on HIPAA and is the HIPAA Privacy and Security Officer for Wellspring.
  • Dana L. Kenny is a member of the OMW Business Practice group with a practice focusing on healthcare. She represents hospitals, physician groups, and other health care organizations in transactional and regulatory matters. Her practice also includes advising on matters related to healthcare and clinical affiliations for higher education. Dana received her law degree from the University of Washington.
  • Casey Moriarty is an attorney in the OMW Healthcare Practice group. His practice focuses on advising clients on patient privacy issues, including compliance with HIPAA, the HITECH Act, and the Washington State Uniform Health Care Information Act.  Casey also advises healthcare clients on legal issues related to business entity formation, and compliance with the corporate practice of medicine doctrine. 

Why Wellspring & OMW?

Wellspring Counseling, one of the oldest and most experienced counseling organizations in the State, has teamed with their attorneys in the Health Care Law division of Ogden Murphy Wallace (OMW) to present a practical and understandable workshop that will teach you how to manage risk in your practice.

Because of our size and tenure, Wellspring Counseling encounters legal and ethical issues almost daily. Over time, we have come to trust the attorneys at OMW to help us navigate such things as subpoenas, recordkeeping, mandatory disclosures, high risk situations, HIPAA, involuntary treatment and unprofessional conduct. It became apparent that, together, Wellspring and OMW could provide a valuable service by sharing the successful methods and practices to help therapists manage their profession risk. 

(Note: while there will be a necessary overview of how HIPAA and state laws interact, this workshop will not cover HIPAA in detail.)

Continuing Education Credits

This Program has been approved for 6 Legal/Ethical CEUs for Licensed Social Workers, Mental Health Counselors,  Marriage and Family Therapists and all associate categories by the Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work.

At this time we are only able to offer continuing education credits for master’s level clinicians for Balancing Risk Management workshops.  If you are licensed as a practitioner other than a LMHC, LMFT, LICSW or LASW or any of the corresponding Associate categories, we cannot offer continuing education credits  (CPE or CME).   We are able to offer CPEs and CMEs for our Working With Suicidal Clients.


Wellspring Training: A Practitioner’s Best Choice

There are over a dozen state laws that influence how we practice, yet few therapists know what they are. For example, a request for and release of clinical records is a common occurence, yet it can be the most troublesome.

As a large psychotherapy practice, Wellspring is often directly involved in many of the legal and ethical issues practitioners encounter. Using the advice received from the attorneys at Ogden Murphy Wallace, Wellspring Counseling has not been successfully sued in the last 30 years and no practitioner has lost their license as the result of a complaint.

In addition to receiving up-to-date information about legal and ethical issues at the workshop, you will receive templates for recordkeeping, disclosure statements, releases of information, service agreements, consent for treatment, treatment plans, and supervision agreements. Developed and refined over many years, the templates adhere to best practices when it comes to forms and recordkeeping.

Many of the topics for this workshop come from questions practitioners ask frequently on listserves, and our goal is to efficiently address your concerns about minimizing legal risk.