It’s the Law! Understanding Legal Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy: 2023 Series

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Part 1: Consent, Capacity, Negligence and Documentation

Get an overview of the challenging legal environment you face as a mental health practitioner, the expectations of the Canadian courts, the role of management policy, and your legal obligation as a clinician.

Any treatment to be provided by a health care or counselling practitioner requires the consent of the patient, or where they are incapable, from their substitute decision maker.  The discussion will use current Canadian legal cases to expose differences in the legal principles governing consent to treatment by patients versus guardians. Time will also be devoted to talking about the differences between negligence, errors in judgment and incompetence.

Professor Robert Solomon will review the elements of a valid consent, the role of consent forms, capacity to consent to treatment, counselling and care. The broad definition of capacity and the general principles governing the exercise of substitute consent will also be discussed.

Reference will be made to  the leading Canadian cases and current Ontario legislation and emerging issues. Those outside Ontario will benefit as most Commonwealth jurisdictions have similar legal expectations. It will provide the latest updates about legal  virtual practices  as well as the effects of the covid pandemic on all counseling practices. 

Part 2: Confidentiality, Reporting and Duty to Warn

Learn why proper record keeping is essential for mental health professionals and why you could be held liable for negligent record keeping. Professor Solomon will discuss  the use of computer records, record retention policies, ownership and access to records, and even email communications, He will also cover provincial laws that require clinicians to report client information when suspected danger is present and the counsellor’s common law duty to warn.

What is the legal meaning of the term “confidentiality” and what are the legal consequences of breaching it? Professor Solomon will discuss the meaning of implied and express consent and how to obtain it, along with rulings regarding the rights of parents to access their child’s counselling records.

Robert Solomon is an experienced and engaging speaker with a reputation for presentations that are both informative and entertaining. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions throughout the webinar and will gain an understanding of how the law is applied in clinical settings. It will provide the latest updates about legal  virtual practices  as well as the effects of the covid pandemic on all counseling practices.

This training was presented live on Thursday, May 11, and Friday, May 12, 2023.

Upon completion of this course, the attendee will have learned to —

  • Analyze basic issues of consent, capacity to consent and substitute consent to treatment, counselling and care.
  • Identify the types of conduct and situations that can lead to liability in negligence.
  • Apply the legal principles governing documentation, confidentiality and disclosure of patient information.
  • Demystify overlapping common law and statutory documentation, confidentiality and disclosure obligations.
  • Determine the mandatory reporting obligations that apply to your practice and assess your potential civil liability for breaching the duty to warn.
  • Better anticipate and avoid common legal problems.

Legal Issues in Counselling with Robert SolomonRobert Solomon, LLB, LLM, holds the rank of Distinguished University Professor in the Faculty of Law at Western University. He has been involved in research and teaching on healthcare, civil liability and criminal law for more than 46 years. In addition, he has served as a consultant to Health and Welfare Canada, the Law Reform Commission of Canada, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and numerous healthcare agencies. Robert has also presented and written extensively about the increasingly challenging legal environment facing psychotherapists, social workers, nurses and other mental health professionals.  He is the lead author of A Legal Guide for Social Workers (3rd edition).

Part 1:

TimeTopic Covered
First 90 minutes
  • This session will focus on the legal areas of consent and capacity
15 minutes
  • Break
Last 90 Minutes
  • This session will focus on the legal areas of negligence and documentation

Part 2:

TimeTopic Covered
First 90 minutes
  • This session will focus on the legal areas of confidentiality and mandatory reporting
15 minutes
  • Break
Last 90 Minutes
  • This session will focus on the legal areas of duty to warn

This training offers 6 hours of direct contact (not counting breaks or lunch). It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards/regulatory body to verify CE requirements for their license to practice.

For Live Broadcast Attendees

Webinar attendance by participants is automatically tracked, documented and archived for future reference. Upon confirming you have attended 100% of the webinar and upon completion of a course evaluation, you will be issued a certificate of participation (see below).

For Attendees of On-Demand/Recorded Version

If you cannot verify 100% attendance of the Live Broadcast or if you are watching the On-Demand/Recorded version of this webinar, you will need to complete a Post-Webinar Quiz with a pass of at least 80% in order to verify your attendance.

For US Participants

  • Instructions on how to obtain your Certificate of Attendance will be distributed either upon completion of the Live Broadcast or after participants pass the Post-Webinar Quiz following the On-Demand/Recorded version of the webinar.

Click here for more info about CEs for US participants

For Canadian and International Participants

Upon fulfillment of the above requirements, Canadian and international participants will be issued a Certificate of Participation that includes:

  • Name of Participant
  • Title of Training
  • Name of Presenter plus their credentials
  • Number of hours of training
  • Date of training
  • Confirmation that you have passed a quiz with at least an 80% grade to verify your attendance

Please check carefully with your regulating body/organization that this certificate is sufficient proof for you to claim CEUs.

Click here for more information about Continuing Education for Canadians and International participants

This training is aimed at all mental health professionals, including:

  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Clinical and Counselling Psychologists
  • Psychiatric Social Workers
  • Pastoral Counsellors
  • Psychotherapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Physicians
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Counsellors
  • Graduate Students in Accredited Programs in the Above Fields
  • case managers
  • licensed professional counsellors
  • all other professionals who would like to develop, update or expand their skills and knowledge in mental health practices
6-Hour Webinar RateCAD $259 / USD $207

All pricing is in CAD$. The USD$ equivalent is about 20% less than CAD$. Click here to estimate webinar rate before taxes in your local currency.

Event Detail

May 11, 2023 1:00 pm
May 12, 2023 4:30 pm