Continuing Education & Resources for Mental Health Professionals

CONSULTATION

We provide consultation on ethical and ethical/legal issues for individuals, practice groups, or agencies.

[NOTE:  This differs from on-site training for CE credit, which we offer separately.]

FOR CONSULTATION ASSISTANCE, CONTACT:

Mary Alice Fisher, Ph.D., Executive Director
434-971-1841, Ext. 2
fisher@virginia.edu

We offer the following types of consultation.
Each is described in more detail on the linked pages below:

CASE-CENTERED CONSULTATION:

This is our most frequent consultation request. You provide the subject matter by asking us to help you consider how to make ethical decisions about a specific case or how to resolve a specific ethical or ethical/legal dilemma:

I have just received a subpoena.  What are my options about how to respond ethically?
I believe my office mate is doing unethical things, but he won’t talk about it.  What should I do?
The parents of my child patient are demanding the complete therapy record.  Must I provide it?
An adolescent has requested therapy without his parents’ knowledge.  What are my options?

ISSUE-CENTERED CONSULTATION:

This is “preventive” consultation rather than “crisis” consultation. The issue you present may be real or hypothetical, broad or specific. For example, you might request consultation by raising ethical and ethical/legal questions such as:

What should I do if I ever receive a subpoena for patient records?
What am I ethically required to tell patients at the intake interview?
Must I give patients a written statement about the limits of confidentiality?
Can someone please review my intake forms to see whether they are complete enough?
Do I have options when Virginia law requires me to report something?
What are the appropriate boundaries about out-of-office contacts?
What are my ethical obligations if I retire or close my practice?

CONSULTEE-CENTERED CONSULTATION:

We can help you or your group reflect on your own policies and practice issues by asking you to consider personal and professional questions such as:

Am I somehow causing this particular ethical issue to arise so often in my practice?
If so, how am I “inviting this trouble” – – and why?
Given the recurring problem, why am I not better prepared to respond when it arises?
Either way, how can I prepare to respond most ethically in the future?
Why do I keep having problems with patients who push against the boundaries I set?

PRACTICE-SPECIFIC or ADMINISTRATIVE CONSULTATION:

For group practices, or in agency settings, we can focus on problems specific to your practice group/agency or help your group or team problem-solve about policies and decisions specific to your setting.  Examples might include:

If we change certain policies, what might be the ethical and legal consequences?
How can we better personalize our intake conversation about limits of confidentiality?
How should we prepare in advance for responding to legal demands for disclosure?
Are we responding ethically to the demands of managed care in our practice?
Are we adequately training non-clinical staff about ethical expectations in this workplace?

TO REQUEST CONSULTATION ASSISTANCE ABOUT ETHICS-RELATED ISSUES IN THESE OR OTHER SITUATIONS, CONTACT:

Mary Alice Fisher, Ph.D., Executive Director
434-971-1841, Ext. 2
fisher@virginia.edu

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