When Counseling and Family Law Collide: An Ethics workshop

Presented and developed by Frances Schopick, JD, MSW, LICSW

This all-day interactive presentation will focus on ethical and risk management issues common to many mental health therapists, counselors, social workers in agency, hospital, and clinical practice.  The presenter will help attendees understand the basics of family law issues relevant to therapists, counselors, social workers and to understand how to spot the kinds of problems that may arise when treating family members involved in-or who may be headed toward-divorce and custody decisions.  During the workshop we will discuss informed consent as a risk management tool and how Washington State defines unprofessional conduct.  We will also discuss identifying ways to testify in court that aim to keep the therapeutic relationship intact.  This workshop is designed to engage attendees in discussion to help them feel more confident in facing the many challenges we encounter in daily practice.  This workshop will not cover HIPAA.

Goals and Objectives:

1. Confidentiality and Privilege:  To provide a comprehensive overview of confidentiality and privilege-what they are, how they differ, why they matter, and how to honor them.  Attendees learn how confidentiality and privilege are pertinent to mental health practice, understand how the issues may arise, and ways to address them.

2. Disclosure Forms:  To provide a comprehensive overview of the legal requirements of the disclosure form and informed consent, discussing purpose, function, and utility.  Participants will learn the requirements so that they can review and edit their own disclosure statements for compliance.

3. Family Law and Custody:  To provide a comprehensive overview of relevant family law (aka divorce) and custody issues.  Participants will learn ways to respond to requests for advocacy, collateral attendance, joint counseling, and custody.

4. Unprofessional Conduct:  To provide a comprehensive overview of the Washington State statute on unprofessional conduct.  Attendees learn about the pitfalls that can lead to (the perception of) unprofessional conduct and how to avoid them.

5. Testifying in Court:  To provide a comprehensive overview of things to consider if asked to testify in court, including the differences between acting as a fact witness and an expert witness.  Participants will learn about how to avoid testifying, testifying safely, and preserving the therapeutic relationship.


Continuing Education (CE) Information

6 CEs

6 Law and Ethics CEs

 Cascadia Training is a NBCC Approved Continuing Education Provider (Provider #: 6575.)   and by the Washington State Office of Public Instruction as a "Washington State Approved Clock Hour Offering Workshop.

Frances Schopick, JD, MSW, LICSW

Frances Schopick, JD, MSW, is an attorney with a background in Social Work and psychiatric research. She worked for nearly 20 years as a mental health diagnostician and clinician in agency, research and private practice.  Living in Seattle, she is on the Adjunct Faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the Departments of Psychiatry and Preventive Medicine, and was formerly on the Faculty of Harvard Medical School in the Department of Psychiatry.  Research publications, abstracts, and presentations reflect her work in Mood and Personality Disorders including Narcissism and Psychopathy. 

Now an attorney, Fran works with mental health provider DOH Licensees of all disciplines who have received subpoenas, have to testify, or who have DOH complaints against them.  She also provides consultation on ethical and practice clallenges that put counselors at risk for DOH Complaints.  She completed her BA at Barnard College at Columbia University in New York City, a Master's Degree in Social Work (MSW) at the Hunter College School of Social Work in MYC and a Juris Doctor (JD) at the University of New Hampshire.  She holds Washington State licensure as both an attorney and LICSW. 

Upcoming Dates and Registration

No dates have been scheduled for this course. Please check back soon.

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