Continuing Education & Resources for Mental Health Professionals

CONSULTATION

Issue-Centered Consultation

This is “preventive” consultation rather than “crisis” consultation.  Many ethical and ethical-legal dilemmas can be avoided if we engage in careful advance planning.  This type of consultation is offered toward that goal.

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 decide to retire or close my practice?

Sometimes this type of consultation can easily be accomplished by telephone or email (e.g., if the request is to obtain a copy of a specific form, an existing document, or a link to a particular legal statute). But often this type of consultation is best conducted in person.  In that case, we would ordinarily meet at our office in Charlottesville  at 934  East Jefferson Street, and the charge would be the same as by phone  — $50/hour or fraction thereof.  If you prefer to meet in your own office, there would be an additional charge for travel time and mileage.

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

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

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