Seminar Detail

Massachusetts Mental Health & The Law - 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017 at 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

This event is not currently available for purchase.

For more information: Call (800) 844-8260
Course Description:

As a mental health professional, you not only deal with critical clinical matters with your clients – you must also stay up-to-date on seemingly ever-changing laws and procedures. Keeping up-to-date is essential in order to protect your clients and yourself. At this comprehensive one-day seminar you will gain an understanding of confidentiality, privilege, patient/client treatment policies, informed consent, ethical trends and dilemmas, and much more, that will help you stay on top of issues that arise in everyday clinical situations.

  1. Explain the reporting laws regarding abuse and duty to warn.
  2. Compare the requirements of subpoenas and court orders.
  3. Explain the treatment rights of individuals and the use of informed consent.
  4. Discuss health care proxy procedures and issues.
  5. Identify decision-making and risk management strategies.
  6. Discuss ethical/legal standards of care.

8:00 am - Registration, Sign-In, & Course Materials (Morning Coffee & Tea)

8:30 am – Confidentiality of Medical & Mental Health Records – Diane Geraghty Hall 2..0 Ethics
  • Confidentiality
  • Statutes Specific to Specialties
  • Disclosures without Consent, Exceptions to Confidentiality
  • Duty to Warn
  • Criminal Acts
  • Confidentiality of Records of Minors
  • Privilege, Subpoenas & Court Orders
10:30 am - Break

10:15 am – Treatment Rights – Miriam Ruttenberg 1.0 Ethics
  • Informed Consent & Right to Refuse Treatment
  • Substituted Judgement (“Rogers”) Cases
  • Admission/Discharge Rights
11:45 am - Lunch (On Your Own)

12:45 pm – Ethical Dilemmas: Trends, Challenges, & Risks – Frederic Reamer 3.0 Ethics
  • Trends in Malpractice Claims & Ethics Complaints
  • Ethical Challenges & Risks:
    • Confidentiality
    • Informed Consent
    • Conflicts of Interest
    • High-risk Treatment
    • Defamation
    • Impaired Professionals
    • Privacy
    • Boundary Issues
    • Digital & Electronic Relationships
    • Termination of Services
    • Documentation
    • Privileged Communication
  • Key Concepts: Malpractice, Negligence, & Ethics Violations
2:15 pm - Break

2:30 pm – Ethical Dilemmas: Decision Making, Risk Management Strategies
  • Handling Difficult Ethical Judgments/Decisions
  • Ethics Consultation & Ethics Committees
  • Ethical/Legal Standards of Care
4:00 pm - Evaluations, Adjournment, & Certificates


Frederic G. Reamer, Ph.D., has been a professor in the graduate program of the School of Social Work, Rhode Island College, Providence, Rhode Island, for over 30 years. Dr. Reamer received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has served as a social worker in correctional and mental health settings. He chaired the national task force that wrote the current National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics. Dr. Reamer lectures both nationally and internationally on the subjects of professional ethics and professional malpractice and liability. In addition to ethics, his research and teaching have addressed a wide range of human service issues, including mental health, health care, criminal justice, and public welfare. Dr. Reamer has conducted extensive research on professional ethics and has been involved in several national research projects sponsored by The Hastings Center, Carnegie Corporation, Haas Foundation, and Center for Bioethics of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of chapters on professional ethics in the Encyclopedia of Social Work, the Encyclopedia of Bioethics, and the Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics and is the author of many books, including: Risk Management in Social Work: Preventing Professional Malpractice, Liability, and Disciplinary Action; Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships in the Human Services; and The Social Work Ethics Audit: A Risk Management Tool.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Frederic Reamer is a Professor, School of Social Work, for Rhode Island College.

Non-financial: Frederic Reamer is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.


Diane M. Geraghty Hall, JD, is a partner in the law firm of Geraghty Hall & Ready, LLP specializing in health law with a concentration in mental health. She has been practicing for over 20 years in mental health law. She represents many psychiatric facilities and mental health providers in a variety of matters including patient care issues, commitments and guardianships. She lectures extensively on health law, provides training for new residents and is also an adjunct associate professor of Health Law at Boston University School of Public Health.


Miriam Ruttenberg, JD, is a senior attorney with Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee. She has been with MHLAC since the end of 2000 and has represented and advocated for adults and children with mental health issues in a range of areas, including custody and visitation, guardianship matters, and special education needs. More recently, Attorney Ruttenberg has been working on privacy of medical records issues, legislative advocacy around inpatient rights and school discipline issues, and coordinating MHLAC trainings for attorneys and clinicians. Prior to coming to MHLAC, Attorney Ruttenberg practiced law in Maryland and the District of Columbia at a small civil rights law firm doing family law, employment, and juvenile cases; worked on conditions of confinement cases at the ACLU National Prison Project; and advocated for clients with HIV/AIDS at the Whitman-Walker Clinic Legal Services. Attorney Ruttenberg graduated from Hampshire College and received her JD from American University Washington College of Law.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Miriam Ruttenberg is a senior attorney at Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Nonfinancial: Miriam Ruttenberg has no relevant nonfinancial relationship to disclose.
Credits listed below are for full attendance at the live event only. After attendance has been verified, pre-registered attendees will receive an email from PESI Customer Service with the subject line, “Evaluation and Certificate” within one week. This email will contain a link to complete the seminar evaluation and allow attendees to print, email or download a certificate of completion if in full attendance. For those in partial attendance (arrived late or left early), a letter of attendance is available through that link and an adjusted certificate of completion reflecting partial credit will be issued within 30 days (if your board allows). Please see “live seminar schedule” for full attendance start and end times. NOTE: Boards do not allow credit for breaks or lunch.

If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, or questions on home study credit availability, please contact or 800-844-8260 before the event.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.

The planning committee and staff who controlled the content of this activity have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. For speaker disclosures, please see speaker bios.

PESI, Inc. offers continuing education programs and products under the brand names PESI, PESI Healthcare, PESI Rehab and Psychotherapy Networker.

This seminar includes 6.0 hours of state specific ethics instruction. If ethics is not specified within your licensing board’s approval statement below, please contact your board to determine the applicability and amount of ethics allowed.

Addiction Counselors
This course has been approved by PESI, Inc., as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 6.0 CE in the Legal, Ethical and Professional Development skill group. NAADAC Provider #77553. PESI, Inc. is responsible for all aspects of their programming. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance.

This intermediate activity consists of 6.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

Massachusetts Counselors: Application for MaMHCA/MMCEP continuing education credits has been submitted. Updates will be posted as they become available.

Marriage & Family Therapists
This activity consists of 360 minutes of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. You should save this course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

Massachusetts Marriage & Family Therapists: This course has been submitted for review for continuing education approval. Credit is pending.

Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists
This intermediate activity consists of 6.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please contact your licensing board to determine if they accept programs or providers approved by other national or state licensing boards. A certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the program to participants who are in full attendance and who complete the program evaluation.

PESI, Inc., #1062, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. PESI, Inc. maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: January 27, 2017 - January 27, 2020. Social Workers completing this course receive 6.0 Ethics continuing education credits. Course Level: Intermediate. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance. A certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the program to social workers who complete the program evaluation.

Other Professions
This activity qualifies for 360 minutes of instructional content as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your course outline and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.

Credit Card Required for online registration | Contact us to redeem Gift Certificates