AVOIDING LIABILITY BLOG

Coaching or Counseling: That is the Question!

I’m licensed in New Jersey and I would like to practice coaching in Utah. If a patient in Utah files a complaint against my New Jersey license, am I still covered under this policy?

 

Misconception: if you call yourself a coach you can cross state lines. Provided you’re not breaking the law. This is a misconception because the state your license is held in is where your liability insurance protects you. If you cross state lines you may not be under the protection of your malpractice insurance. The state board in the state you are practicing in and licensed in must OK you to practice across state lines and it is all contingent on state law. Some states say it is Ok some say it is not.

 

It’s important to ask questions like “If I’m licensed in New Jersey and I would like to practice coaching in Utah. If a patient in Utah files a complaint against my New Jersey license, am I still covered under this policy?” By asking this to a legal consultant you can protect yourself for malpractices. To prevent malpractice against your license it is important to keep all procedures processes and systems HIPAA compliant, consent forms must be filled out with up-to-date information.

 

DeeAnna suggests getting a legal consultation to ensure consent forms will hold up in court should a complaint be filed and also to ensure all processes are HIPAA compliant. This doesn’t mean you have to have an attorney on retainer, but pay them for a business consult to ensure your practice is protected should a complaint be filed.

 

Under the terms of “coaching” transcript to transcript, a therapist/counselor must be able to prove what is coaching and what is counseling. Many of the principles of coaching are founded on the same principles of counseling making it hard to determine and prove which is which. For example both are based on Maslow basic hierarchy of needs.

 

When a complaint goes to the licensing board, they are going to check to see if the therapist has done training in due diligence. Have they gone out of their way to remain HIPAA complaint and to learn about the rights and wrongs in the practice.

 

 

A few things to generally keep a therapist out of trouble:

  • Did the therapist demonstrate due diligence?
  • Has the therapist taken effort to learn about right and wrong in their practice?
  • Has the therapist participated in training such as read books, taken CE classes, participated in seminars, etc?

 

To DeeAnna’s knowledge no case law shows that someone has been sued because coaching and counseling principles are so closely intertwined. However there is a lot of gray matter here. Nothing is set in stone so you must rely on best practices.

 

Information in this blog was provided by Deanna  Nagel a Licensed Professional Counselor and Board Certified Coach also offering coach certification training. Visit Deena’s websites at  www.onlinetherapyinstitute.com and www.jerseyshoretherapy.com 

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CPH & Associates

CPH & Associates

Over the last decade, more than 500,000 people chose CPH & Associates for liability insurance. Because our business is specialized, we are able to focus on your liability needs in a way that bigger companies are not. Our team of associates represent over 50 years of collective experience in this field, and we are able to serve a large client base while maintaining a small-office approach.

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