Psychotherapy Blog


Stephen Feldman, JD, PhD & Marnee Milner, JD, PhD

Stephen Feldman, JD, PhD, is an attorney and psychologist who has practiced and taught both law and psychology from Harvard in the east to Seattle University in the west. He holds a law degree from Harvard and a psychology degree from the University of Nebraska. He has lectured extensively on the law and ethics of mental health practice at conferences and in academic settings. His numerous articles and books include the Washington state volume of the American Psychological Association's series, Law & Mental Health Professionals (co-author). He currently is on the faculty of the University of Washington School of Medicine, and in private practice consulting with counseling services and individual practitioners on legal and ethical problems that arise in the course of practice. He was named the "Distinguished Psychologist" for 2006 by the Washington State Psychological Association.

Marnee W. Milner, JD, PhD, is an attorney and psychologist, currently practicing in Washington State.  She received her law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law and her doctorate from Pacific Graduate School of Psychology.  Dr. Milner's training was completed at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System with a postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at Brown University/Butler Hospital. Currently Dr. Milner is in private practice performing neuropsychological and psychological evaluations and, with Dr. Feldman, consulting with counseling services and individual practitioners on legal and ethical problems that arise in the course of practice.  Her website is

Ethics of Treating Two Psychotherapy Clients who Know Each Other

A question was recently posed to us about what to do when you discover in an early session with a new client that they are the former partner of another well-established client. Well, for those of you who actually stopped to think, “Oh, this may be a problem,” then you are certainly one step further away from sliding down the slippery slope of unethical behavior than those who did not recognize that this situation may pose a potential ethical dilemma....
Filed under: Law & Ethics

Receiving Gifts in Psychotherapy

What does your ethical code say about accepting gifts from clients? Is it ethical to do so? If you’re a psychologist, social worker, or marriage and family therapist, you’re probably not sure. That’s because your official code doesn’t address it. Surprisingly, there’s not a word about gifts in any of the codes pertaining to those disciplines. And yet, virtually every mental health practitioner has, or will, face a situation where some client offers a gift of some sort at some...
Filed under: Law & Ethics

Ethical and Legal Issues in Telephone Therapy

With today’s technology we are an ever mobile yet increasingly connected society. For example, a client who you have been treating in office and perhaps with a few phone sessions when he was stuck downtown at his office has now relocated out of state and wants to continue his therapy sessions. With telephone, Skype and e-mail, why not? Why not expand your practice and “see” patients across the country, especially if you have expertise in an area of treatment? ...
Filed under: Law & Ethics
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