To hire a contract lawyer to draft new client paperwork (informed consents, notice of privacy practices, etc.) or to not hire a contract lawyer? That is the question…
I’d definitely recommend having an attorney look over your new client paperwork. I mentioned recently in an Instagram post that one thing I did wrong when I was first starting was that – with permission – I copied a friend’s intake paperwork. He was a psychologist. His dad was an attorney and had made sure it was air tight for him. For him. I didn’t know that different licenses in the same state needed radically different paperwork. Nor did I know that the same license across different states require different things in their intake paperwork. Sometimes our boards like to mess with us apparently.
Nothing bad happened. It was just one of those things that years later I was like “oh whoops!”
I’m a rule follower and anytime I find out I was going against the rules I feel like I barely missed going to jail.
My friends Kate & Katie hired a lawyer to make the most stringent paperwork that apparently meets all the guidelines at once in the U.S. You can buy a paperwork package from them and save a ton that you would’ve paid for a lawyer to draft them.
Here’s the thing: on the surface, our paperwork feels like the kind of CYA thing that we don’t really get too excited about. It feels separate from our clinical work and more like a box we have to check. Kate & Katie have convinced me it’s not just some speed bump we have to go over to get to our practice. And our paperwork is better than I thought – it does more than CYA and communicate policies. It CAN be a part of the therapeutic process.
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