Course Summary

Practice Level: Intermediate

This course meets the California Law and Ethics continuing education requirements contained in the Statutes and Regulations Relating to the Practices of Professional Clinical Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Educational Psychology, [and] Clinical Social Work. The learning material is divided into five parts. Part I provides a review of California-specific laws and professional ethics. Part II focuses on legal and ethical issues in treating victims of domestic violence. Part III provides a comprehensive look at the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a key topic for providers who take third-party reimbursement. Part IV of this learning material discusses the provision of telehealth. Part V provides an alternative lens through which to look at ethical issues, using the framework of medical errors and root cause analysis.

Course Format

This course contains downloadable online lessons (PDF) and a practice test. When you’re ready, purchase the course by clicking the “Add To Cart” button. This will let you take the test, complete the course evaluation and receive your certificate for CE credits.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss the scope of practice for mental health professionals, including ethical codes and legal requirements.
  • Define confidentiality and informed consent.
  • Explain relevant California laws governing professional practice, including laws regarding minors’ consent and confidentiality, mandated reporting, and laws governing subpoenas.
  • Explain achieving and maintaining professional competence, including self-assessing for burnout and developing cultural competence.
  • Describe ethical concerns related to dual relationships, termination, and patient abandonment.
  • Describe the role of the mental health professional in working with domestic violence cases, including advocacy, navigating systems, and safety planning.
  • Discuss ethical and legal issues related to domestic violence.
  • Discuss the components of HIPAA, including its established ethical and legal requirements.
  • Describe the informed consent procedure, including the Notice of Privacy Practices and patient access to information.
  • Identify the types of technology available for telemedicine.
  • Recognize the ethical principles related to the practice of telehealth, including confidentiality and privacy.
  • Explain best practices in telehealth, including risk management and working with different populations.
  • Define patient safety goals and medical errors in behavioral health.
  • Explain how root cause analysis analyzes medical errors.
  • Identify medical errors common in mental health.

Course Syllabus

  • Content of Statutes and Regulations Relating to the Practices of Professional Clinical Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Educational Psychology, Clinical Social Work
  • Ethics vs. Law
  • Licensure of Mental Health Professionals
  • Confidentiality
  • Confidentiality and Minors


Heidi Dalzell, Psy.D.

Heidi Dalzell, Psy.D. is a psychologist in private practice specializing in eating disorders, as well as dual addictions, trauma, domestic violence and depression. She conducts individual and couples therapy with adolescent and adult clients. In addition to authoring numerous mental health courses she frequently blogs and writes newspaper articles about mental health topics.

Teresa Crowe, PhD, LICSW

Teresa Crowe, PhD, LICSW is a licensed clinical social worker in the District of Columbia and Maryland. She is a professor of social work at Gallaudet University and teaches practice, theory, and research in the MSW program. Her recent research focuses on deaf and hard of hearing populations, especially in the areas of behavioral health, intimate partner violence, telemental health, well-being, and help-seeking.

Claudia Dewane, D.Ed., LCSW

Claudia Dewane, D.Ed., LCSW is a retired Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, Temple University, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She received a Doctorate in Adult Education and Health Psychology from Penn State University, and a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University. She has a Certificate in Advanced Clinical Supervision from Smith College School of Social Work. She is the founder of Clinical Support Associates, providing supervision, consultation and training to professional social workers. She has presented numerous workshops on clinical, supervisory, and ethical issues in social work. She worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for several years in clinical, supervisory and policy capacities. She currently works as a therapist and clinical supervisor.

Accreditation Approval Statements is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content., provider #1115, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 08/08/21-08/08/24. Social workers completing this course receive 6 ethics continuing education credits. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6991. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Courses have been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #91345 is responsible for all aspects of the programming.

We are committed to providing our learners with unbiased information. CE4Less never accepts commercial support and our authors have no significant financial or other conflicts of interest pertaining to the material.

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