Marriage and Family Therapy: The Most Common Legal and Ethical Issues

Jun 30, 2015 by Tom Dellner
David Jensen
David Jensen, JD

The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) offers a wide variety of benefits to its pre- and post-licensed members, from networking events to continuing education, liability insurance for graduate student members, opportunities to market one’s practice, scholarships and grants, access to research, a job board and its popular magazine, The Therapist.

One of its most valuable resources is its legal call center. CAMFT employs six staff attorneys who take between 90 and 120 member calls every weekday, providing quick, reliable and accurate consultation on an array of legal, ethical and licensure issues.

“People get into this field because they are called to help others,” says CAMFT staff attorney David Jensen. “They never realized that they would sometimes require an attorney at their side as they wend their way through what is an amazingly regulated field. CAMFT provides something of a clearinghouse, a group of attorneys who are honed in and focused on those issues that our members come up against on a daily basis. They really appreciate this service. It’s fairly unique in the mental health field—psychologists, licensed professional counselors and social workers don’t have it.”

In this podcast, CalSouthern’s editor of university publications Tom Dellner interviews Jensen about some of the most common legal and ethical issues facing CAMFT’s membership of licensed and pre-licensed marriage and family therapists. The discussion covers legal issues ranging from minor consent laws, subpoenas, witness fees and suicidal patient cases. Jensen also spoke at great length about ethical concerns such as dual relationships, alcohol-influenced behavior and valid termination versus abandonment.

Jensen’s is exceptionally knowledgeable and well-spoken in these areas, and provided a wealth of useful and compelling information, of interest to any current or aspiring therapists. We hope you’ll listen to the podcast. And for more information about CAMFT membership and associated benefits, visit or call (858) 292-2638.

Please click below to listen to the podcast:



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