It’s the Law – What Every Therapist and Counsellor Needs to Know


       Date:  Edmonton, June 2nd, 2016
                  9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Location:  Executive Royal Hotel
                  10010 178 Street,
                  Edmonton, Alberta
                  T5S 1T3
                                           Date:  Calgary, June 3rd, 2016
                                                       9:00 am – 4:30 pm
                                    Location:   Executive Royal Hotel
                                                       2828 23 St. N.E.,
                                                       T2E 8T4
                                             Cost:  $225.00
                                     Presenter: Professor Robert Solomon, LLB, LLM

Workshop description


The legal environment governing mental health, psychotherapy, and counselling is far more challenging than before. However, contrary to what is becoming the conventional wisdom, Canadian law is supportive of treatment, counselling, and care professionals who have acted reasonably and in good faith. This workshop will provide participants with a working understanding of the key legal principles governing their professional lives and with the ability to identify and avoid common legal problems.

Reference will be made to leading Canadian cases and relevant materials. Professor Solomon will cover the following topics:

  • consent and competency to consent and substitute consent to treatment counselling and care.
  • concept of negligence, the scope of negligence liability and the role of customary practice in determining liability.
  • review of general guidelines for record keeping, liability for negligent record keeping, computer records; record retention policies, ownership and access to clinical and administrative records, recording information from and about third parties, and the use of email communications.
  • confidentiality and privilege, and disclosure of client information.
  • examining the federal and provincial laws requiring treatment, counselling and care professionals to report client information to specified officials; discussion of the common law duty to warn in Canada.

The workshop will conclude with common sense rules for anticipating and avoiding legal problems and liability.

Reference will be made to the leading Canadian cases and the relevant Alberta legislation. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions throughout the workshop.

Learning Goals and Objectives

You will learn the general legal principles governing:

  • Consent, competency to consent, and substitute consent to treatment, counselling, and care.
  • Negligence liability and the standards of care expected of mental health counsellors and service providers.
  • Record-keeping, record retention policies, liability for negligent record-keeping, the use of computer records, and client access to and ownership of records.
  • Confidentiality, privilege, and disclosure of client records with and without client consent.
  • Privacy.

About the Presenter:

Robert M. Solomon, LLB, LLM, currently holds the rank of Distinguished University Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario, and has been involved in research and teaching on health care, civil liability, and criminal law for more than 40 years. He has served as a consultant to Health and Welfare Canada, the Law Reform Commission of Canada, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, and the Australian Health Department. He has presented and written extensively about the increasingly challenging legal environment facing psychotherapists, social workers, nurses, and other mental health professionals. He is the lead author of A Legal Guide for Social Workers (third edition) published by the Ontario Association for Social Workers. Robert Solomon is an experienced and thoroughly engaging speaker. You will find yourself both entertained and informed.

Register for Edmonton Workshop Register for Calgary Workshop