Legal Issues


Legal Issues

Legal decisions can impact the practice of clinical mental health counseling. The case Tarasoff v. the California Board of Regents(1974) presented in your readings this week is an example of this impact. In this case, a therapist’s patient murdered someone and the victim’s family sued the therapist for not warning the victim that the patient was a potential threat. The Tarasoff decision stated that if a therapist determines that a patient poses a danger to others, that therapist must exercise reasonable care to protect the potential victim from that danger. This decision resulted in the “duty to warn” and “duty to protect” laws (Simone & Fulero, 2005).

To help you understand the relationship between legal decisions and practice, for this Discussion you focus on how legal decisions inform clinical mental health counseling practices and impact the counseling profession. As part of this Discussion, you search the Walden Library for relevant legal decisions to use as examples.

To prepare for this Discussion:

In the Learning Resources, review the course text chapter and the article, “Tarasoff and the Duty to Protect.” Think about how legal decisions impact the clinical mental health counseling profession.

Using the Walden Library, search for laws that have influenced the counseling profession, using keywords such as lawscounselinglegal decisions regarding same-sex marriageabortionelder abusechild abuseteen pregnancygangssexual harassment, or assisted suicide.

Select one legal decision (excluding Tarasoff) and reflect on how it has impacted the counseling profession.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 3 a brief description of the legal decision you selected. Then, explain how it informs the practice of clinical mental health counseling. Be specific and provide examples.

Note: Identify the legal decision you selected in the subject line of your post.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources using appropriate APA format and style.

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