Georgia  |  Health Care Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 8/11/12, 8:43 pm

What do I need to practice mental health therapy? In terms of legal qualifications.

What can I legally do to help people with mental health, if I only have a B.S?

Is it illegal for me to simply talk to people?

I understand I cannot prescribe medication, treat, or diagnose any mental (or any kind) of health disorders. But is it illegal for me to simply talk to people? If there are people out there who's just looking for someone to talk to about their daily life, maybe get some advice on how to deal with personal issues, can they talk to me? And I always make perfectly clear to them that I am not a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. They are aware I cannot treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication. They are fully aware that all we do is talk. Can I then legally talk to them or will I get sued.

I also make sure to obtain a signed copy of disclaimer, stating they understand the terms of our interaction, that they understand my status as a non-professional, and that they cannot hold me responsible for any action they undertake regardless of circumstance. The disclaimer makes clear my limited role, and I urge them both in person and on paper to talk to emergency professionals immediately if they have suicidal thoughts or feel that they might endanger themselves or others.

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