If It’s Not in the Record, It Didn’t Happen – Or Did It?

Law and Ethics of Effective Documentation and Recordkeeping for Mental Health Professionals

Effective recordkeeping is vital to effective clinical work and is a key part of sound professional practice. In this workshop we will examine Washington State and Federal legal standards regarding clinical documentation. We will also discuss documentation best-practices to support effective clinical work while minimizing risk of liability. Participants will gain increased understanding of the current standards regarding clinical documentation. This course is intended to meet ethics continuing education requirements

This continuing education workshop will be focused on understanding the sources of law and ethics standards and applying those standards to a range of real-world and hypothetical scenarios.

Through this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to discover the guidance provided by Washington state law, federal law, and a range of applicable ethical codes. In addition to the provided case studies and scenarios, participants are encouraged to share their own experiences, questions and thoughts.


Participants in this workshop will be able to:

  1. Locate and describe ethical standards relating to clinical documentation
  2. Locate and describe Federal and Washington State legal standards relating to clinical documentation
  3. Create and evaluate strategies to use clinical documentation to best support effective work with clients
  4. Evaluate sufficiency and effectiveness of current documentation strategies.
  5. Apply best practice standards to clinical documentation of work with a range of diverse client populations.
EPDC CE Hours: 6
Presenter: Eric Strom

Eric Strom is an attorney and Licensed Mental Health Counselor. As an attorney, Eric provides legal counsel, consultation and guidance to mental health professionals. The focus of Eric’s clinical practice is providing mental health counseling services to combat veterans. Eric is currently serving as the ethics advisor for the Washington Mental Health Counselors Association.