Social Workers, Counselors, MFTs

California Law and Ethics for Professional Counselors (18 CE Hours)


This course meets the California pre-licensure requirement for California Law and Ethics for Counselors (18 clock hours) for LPCCs.

Target Audience: Candidates preparing for the counselor licensing exam in the state of California

Course Description: This course takes the many nuances of California law and regulation and puts them in digestible, easy-to-apply language for professional clinical counselors. In addition, the text of the ACA Code of Ethics is included.

This course covers the following subject areas:

  • scope of practice
  • licensing requirements
  • unprofessional conduct
  • informed consent
  • confidentiality and privilege
  • working with minors (including child abuse reporting)
  • working with elders and dependent adults
  • business and marketing
  • technology
  • ACA Code of Ethics
  • BBS Uniform Standards Related to Substance Abuse and Disciplinary Guidelines
  • brochure Professional Therapy Never Includes Sex

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the scope of practice for professional clinical counselors
  • List the licensing requirements for professional clinical counselors
  • List the actions that constitute unprofessional conduct for professional clinical counselors
  • Describe the requirements for informed consent and issues related to disclosure
  • Analyze the principles underlying confidentiality and privilege and distinguish between them
  • Analyze key laws related to the treatment of minors
  • Analyze key laws related to the treatment of elder and dependent adults
  • Analyze the legal requirements for advertising services
  • Analyze the legal requirements for telehealth
  • Describe ethical obligations of professional counselors and establish guidance to inform the ethical practice of professional counselors
  • Summarize ethical considerations relevant to professional counselors and counselors-in-training
  • Apply the ethical standards as a guide designed to assist professional counselors in constructing a course of action that best serves those utilizing counseling services

Course Components:

  • Textbook (NOT included, must be purchased separately by participant)
    - Required textbook: Caldwell, B. E. (2020). Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs. Los Angeles, CA: Ben Caldwell Labs.
    - Available at author's website (see below), Amazon, etc.
  • Online text: ACA Code of Ethics, BBS Uniform Standards Related to Substance Abuse and Disciplinary Guidelines, Professional Therapy Never Includes Sex (included)
  • Multiple choice online exam (included)
  • Electronic certificate of completion (free)

We allow you to obtain the textbook on your own to afford you greater flexibility. You can borrow from the library or a friend, or purchase a new or used copy for yourself or with a group of friends(Available at author's website: Click Here)

Course Credit(s): 18 CE Credits or Hours

Course Format: Book-Based and Online Text (format of this course is noninteractive)

Course Schedule: Self-paced

Course Author(s): Benjamin E. Caldwell, PsyD, LMFT

Content Publisher(s): Ben Caldwell Labs, American Counseling Association, California Department of Consumer Affairs, and California Board of Behavioral Sciences

Course Author(s) Qualifications:

Dr. Caldwell is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an Adjunct Professor at California State University Northridge and at The Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. He has spent more than 10 years doing policy work in the mental health professions, including several years as chair of the Legislative and Advocacy Committee for the California Division of AAMFT. 

Course Level: Beginning/Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced

Reminder: The information presented in this course is for informational purposes only and is not meant to serve as ethical or legal advice. For ethical or legal advice, please contact a professional organization, state licensing board, or attorney.

The following are California BBS-recognized approval agencies:
Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC)

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