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The Portable Lawyer for Mental Health Professionals: An A-Z Guide to Protecting Your Clients, Your Practice, and Yourself

The Portable Lawyer for Mental Health Professionals: An A-Z Guide to Protecting Your Clients, Your Practice, and Yourself
Author: Barton E. Bernstein JD LMSW - Thomas L. Hartsell
ISBN 13: 9780471465515
ISBN 10: 471465518
Edition: 2
Publisher: Wiley
Publication Date: 2004-04-12
Format: Paperback
Pages: 480
List Price: $75.00

Safeguard your mental health practice with up-to-date information and savvy advice on practicing in today’s legal environment

Today’s mental health professional must approach the legal aspects of practice with both sensitivity and foreknowledge. The array of legal guidelines and ethical standards to comprehend is increasing in scope and complexity. Licensing issues, ethics questions, and malpractice suits all present pitfalls that, if ignored or misapprehended, can interrupt or even end a career.

Written by two attorneys specializing in the legal aspects of mental health care, The Portable Lawyer for Mental Health Professionals, Second Edition is an indispensable survival guide for all clinicians. The authors explain how to handle allegations of malpractice, cope with threats of violence, preserve client confidentiality, and more. Each chapter features step-by-step guidance, helpful case studies, "legal light bulbs" highlighting important concepts, answers to frequently asked questions, dos and don’ts, and sample forms and contracts to help you safeguard your practice. Completely revised and updated, the Second Edition also includes new information on:

  • Treating older adults
  • Using "exotic" therapy techniques
  • Ethical and legal aspects of office leases
  • And more

The Portable Lawyer for Mental Health Professionals, Second Edition offers the latest information for practicing in today’s legal environment. Mental health caregivers, graduate students, attorneys, and clients alike will find this guide to be an invaluable resource.

Aimee St. Pierre

This reference on legal aspects of clinical practice for mental health professionals includes sample forms and letters for use with clients. It is intended to provide easily accessible legal information for mental health professionals. This is a worthy goal, and this book should be useful for busy clinicians who may refer to it regarding a variety of issues that regularly arise in mental health practices. The authors have targeted all mental health professionals. However, psychiatrists will find this book somewhat lacking since it does not address issues related to medical diagnosis and treatment. The credibility of the authors is high; both are attorneys, and one is also a clinical social worker. This book addresses the fundamentals of clinical practice (e.g., confidentiality, fee arrangements, termination of treatment) and also includes legal aspects of business practice such as incorporation and managed care. Brief clinical vignettes are used to introduce important legal issues, and significant points are bulleted for quick reference. Sample forms are a particularly useful feature. The failure to include the aspects of practice unique to psychiatrists, especially related to somatic treatments, is a particular shortcoming of this book. Also, the lengthy sample incorporation documents are of little utility to the reader. This book is a unique and valuable addition to the paucity of literature addressing the legal aspects of conducting a mental health practice. The quality of the legal information is excellent without being overly detailed or obscure. While the book has obvious usefulness for students and beginning practitioners, its format and organization make it a resourcealso for busy clinicians who have specific questions or are in need of an update on legal aspects of practice management.