Psychologists are held to very high standards of practice. Existing statute, regulation and case law govern many aspects of our practice. They are particularly important in terms of the legal protections they provide clients, especially in terms of their confidentiality. Click on any title below to see a more detailed reference.
When an employer requires a medical evaluation (including directed referrals to BSS) such evaluations shall be job related and consistent with business necessity.
Provides both enforceable and aspirational ethical guidelines for psychologists. In the State of California, the enforceable aspects of the ethics code are incorporated into state law pertaining to the practice of psychology.
Case law that delineates a psychologist’s responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent a patient from committing suicide.
Specifies that if the consumer, meaning our client, is notified by mail at the last known address that records are being sought, we must produce the records by the date of the subpoena with or without an authorization. The subject of the subpoena must file a formal challenge with the courts to either quash or modify the subpoena to prevent records release.
Provides the legal basis for confidentiality by specifying that communications between a psychotherapist (‘psychologist’) and client are privileged. Also states that under most circumstances the client is the holder of the privilege.
Mandates that peace officers shall be free of any physical, emotional, or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a peace officer. This is one of the bases for directed referrals.
Mandates child abuse and elder/dependent abuse reporting for psychologists and other mandated reporters.
Provides for the involuntary hospitalization of individuals who demonstrate danger to self or others and grave disability.
This case law is an extension of previous cases related to “duty protect” and guides the psychologist to consider communications from those close to the patient as if the patient themselves communicated the serious threat of harm.
Department manual section that provides for directed and mandated referrals.
Case law that guides what information can be shared with an employer by a psychologist when the employee is ordered to see a psychologist for evaluation.
Record Keeping Guidelines: Approved as American Psychological Association Policy by the American Psychological Association Council of Representatives. (2009). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Provides guidance for psychologist’s record keeping.
Case law that mandates that a duty to protect exists when the psychologist develops the belief that there is a serious threat of harm by the patient against an identifiable victim (s) and that reasonable steps must be taken to warn the victim(s).