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Professional Liability and NASAC Standards Discussion

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Topic 2 DQ 2 (Obj. 2.3 and 2.4)
What special precautions or practices should a private practitioner adopt in order to minimize
professional liability and ensure that their treatment of clients remains soundly within the
boundaries of professional practice standards? The American Counseling Association as well as
individual state counseling associations (i.e., ICA, AzCA) provide a variety of resources to
clinicians. Choose either the ACA or your state’s counseling association. What are its member
benefits, activities, services to members, and current issue? How could membership be especially
helpful to the private practitioner? Summarize what the ACA Code of Ethics says about the
following: report writing, record keeping, and service reimbursement.
This discussion question meets the following NASAC Standards:
15) Understand the variety of insurance and health maintenance options available and
appreciate the importance of helping clients access those benefits.
20) Understand the addiction professional's obligation to adhere to generally accepted ethical
and behavioral standards of conduct in the helping relationship.
21) Understand the importance of ongoing supervision and continuing education in the delivery
of client services.
47) Inform the client of his/her confidentiality rights, program procedures that safeguard them,
and the exceptions imposed by statute.
65) Apply confidentiality-related legal restrictions appropriately.
116) Demonstrate ethical behaviors by adhering to established professional codes of ethics that
define the professional context within which the counselor works, in order to maintain
professional standards and safeguard the client.
118) Adhere to federal and state laws, and agency regulations, regarding addictions treatment.
121) Conduct culturally appropriate self-evaluations of professional performance, applying
ethical, legal, and professional standards to enhance self-awareness and performance.
When it comes to competence, Corey et al (2015) states,
Competence is both an ethical and a legal concept. From an ethical perspective,
competence is required of practitioners if they are to protect and serve their
clients. Even though mental health professionals may not intend to harm clients,
incompetence is often a major contributing factor in causing harm. From a legal
standpoint, incompetent practitioners are vulnerable to malpractice suits.
Continuing “They suggest that individual notions of accountability be augmented with
interdependent and collectivistic perspectives on ethics, which incorporate both competent
practitioners and competent communities.” Competence guidelines may be found in the various
codes of ethics from the professional associations.
But just how does one assess competence? Corey at al continues (2015)
assessment approaches are most effective when they integrate both
formative and summative evaluations. Formative assessment is a developmentally
informed process that provides useful feedback during one’s training and throughout
one’s professional career. Summative assessment is an end point evaluation typically

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Topic 2 DQ 2 (Obj. 2.3 and 2.4) What special precautions or practices should a private practitioner adopt in order to minimize professional liability and ensure that their treatment of clients remains soundly within the boundaries of professional practice standards? The American Counseling Association as well as individual state counseling associations (i.e., ICA, AzCA) provide a variety of resources to clinicians. Choose either the ACA or your state’s counseling association. What are its member benefits, activities, services to members, and current issue? How could membership be especially ...
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