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Presented by: Becky Beaton-York, Ph.D.

Dr. Beaton-York was the Founder of The Anxiety & Stress Management Institute, the Co-Founder of the nonprofit OCD Georgia, Inc. and, recently, The Knowledge Tree, LLC. She loves growing businesses and coaching therapists regarding practice building from an ethical perspective. In 2005, Dr. Beaton-York was voted Counselor Educator of the Year by the Licensed Professional Counselor's Association of Georgia. She is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology at Emory University. Dr. Beaton-York is also the Chair of the Georgia Psychological Association’s Ethics Committee. You may have seen her on the television series "Hoarding: Buried Alive" as the treating psychologist on over 60 episodes.

Chris J. York, Esq.

Mr. York attended Bowdoin College in Maine for undergrad and is a 1991 graduate of Emory University Law School. As an Atlanta based litigator, early in his career he tried numerous medical malpractice jury trials on behalf of defendant physicians. Later, he focused more on product liability, business, and corporate practice. He was Georgia counsel to a national seat belt and airbag supplier and later served as Senior VP and General Counsel to an Atlanta medical device company. In 2003, he formed his own firm which he still runs. His law partner, Chip Gaskill, is a Vanderbilt Law School graduate who specializes in corporate matters in addition to family law, trusts and estates. Their firm is York Gaskill, LLC. Today, Mr. York primarily specializes in helping small businesses.

Workshop Description:

This workshop will address the legal and ethical essentials of being in any kind of outpatient practice. In order to generate business to grow a practice, marketing is essential. However, in this age of social media, self disclosure and dual roles can muddy the waters of a clean therapeutic relationship. It's also critical that therapists are aware of the Standard of Care in which they need to uphold as well as ascertain that they truly have the competency to perform the services in which they are advertising. Additionally, being competent in emergency procedures is essential: Do you know the best practices to involuntarily commit a client, what to do if a client shows up intoxicated, or the logistics of a self-care plan? All of these solid, much needed skills will be addressed, along with ethical fee setting, how to provide a therapeutic environment, and protective documentation strategies beginning with your intake through a mindful termination summary.

Educational Objectives:

  • Describe how Social Media can play an essential part in practice building and how to thwart the ethical pitfalls.
  • Explain the essentials of "Competency" and "Standard of Care” requirements.
  • Discuss business licensing laws, employment law (including employing someone with a W2), HIPAA requirements, and whether or not it makes sense to become an S-Corp or an LLC.
  • Describe how to save a significant amount of money on taxes by employing yourself with a W2.
  • Summarize what the research says about the clinical setting and how to set up a therapeutic (and confidential) environment for your clients.
  • Demonstrate ethically and legally sound ways to implement a crisis response plan, hospitalize a client voluntarily and involuntarily, how to deal with clients who show up intoxicated, and if “suicide contracts” are really effective and if they hold up in court.
  • Explain the essentials of clinical documentation: what needs to be in a client record; how to write progress notes from a risk management perspective; how long client records should be retained; who has access to records; who owns the records, and the difference between psychotherapy notes and the medical record.
  • Discuss the frequently overlooked ingredients needed in an informed consent to treatment that will help you maintain an ethical practice and prevent future malpractice claims.
  • Demonstrate financial reimbursement and ethical pitfalls concerning fee-setting, what is considered “reasonable and customary,” what lawyers term “undue influence,” bartering, kickbacks, etc.
  • Apply all the above to develop the framework for a business and marketing plan.

6 Ethics or Core CE Clock Hours:

  • Ph.D.s: The Knowledge Tree (TKT) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. TKT maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • LPCs: This workshop is approved for 6 ethics or core hours through the Licensed Professional Counselor's Association of Georgia, approval #8777-20AW.
  • SWs & MFTs: This workshop is approved for Ethics Hours for Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists via LPCA of Georgia through reciprocal agreement with the Composite Board.


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Workshop Coordinator at:

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