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Articles by Legal Department Staff

The Legal Department articles are not intended to serve as legal advice and are offered for educational purposes only. The information provided should not be used as a substitute for independent legal advice and it is not intended to address every situation that could potentially arise. Please be aware that laws, regulations and technical standards change over time. As a result, it is important to verify and update any reference or information that is provided in the article.


Former Staff Attorney David Jensen writes about his recent observation of the many number of Board Accusations involving the crime of driving under the influence of alcohol. Learn how one too many drinks may affect your professional license.

Too many licensees and interns are not aware of the potential danger to their license or intern registration.

This article discusses a recent Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) case related to animal assisted therapy and the legal and ethical issues therapists should consider when practicing animal assisted therapy, or when therapists simply bring their own dog to the therapy office.

This article discusses the differences between the legal and ethical requirements of treating a patient who is suicidal versus treating a patient who has chosen to end his or her own life after complying with California’s End of Life Option Act.

This article will discuss an ongoing email scam that is targeting therapists. Recourses and tips are discussed for those who have been affected. The ethics of fees are also discussed.

Therapists have the legal and ethical duty to maintain patient confidentiality and take reasonable steps to ensure patient confidential information maintained. This article discusses how to comply with HIPAA’s Security Rule when communicating with patients via e-mail and text messaging.

The article discusses the topic of starting a private practice. It is intended as a sequel to Part One of “Starting a Private Practice,” which was published in the November/December issue of The Therapist. Issues covered in Part Two includes: Initial inquiries and requests for service, intake procedures, record-keeping and documentation, fees and insurance related issues, and key issues when advertising a practice.

This article discusses starting a private practice. It stresses the importance of planning and identifies key considerations before opening a practice. Practical needs are discussed, legal considerations are identified, and multiple resources are provided to assist in getting started.

California law has long recognized telehealth as a form of delivery of health care and behavioral health services, but many psychotherapists practicing in the
state, including CAMFT members, have inquired as to the standards surrounding the rendering of telehealth services. As a result, the Board of Behavioral Sciences developed regulations on the standards of practice for telehealth that became effective July 1, 2016. This article provides an overview of the regulations.

This article provides a brief discussion of the process and procedures for a wage claim filed with the California Labor Commissioner.