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KIMBERLY DEBOTH BALL STATE UNIVERSITY NOVEMBER 25, 2013 Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California: Implications for School Psychologists.

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Presentation on theme: "KIMBERLY DEBOTH BALL STATE UNIVERSITY NOVEMBER 25, 2013 Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California: Implications for School Psychologists."— Presentation transcript:

1 KIMBERLY DEBOTH BALL STATE UNIVERSITY NOVEMBER 25, 2013 Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California: Implications for School Psychologists

2 Overview Case Details Tarasoff I & II Threat Assessment State Law Duty to Warn Duty to Protect Implications for School Psychology

3 Case Details Client: Prosenjit Poddar Victim: Tatiana Tarasoff Therapist: Dr. Lawrence Moore Tarasoff Family filed suit:  University of California Regents  Staff of Student Health Center  Campus Police California Supreme Court- Two Rulings (Jacob, Decker & Hartshorne, 2010; Pabian, Welfel & Beebe, 2009; Simone & Fulero, 2005)

4 TARASOFF I (Jacob, Decker & Hartshorne, 2010; Weinstock, Vari, Leong & Silva, 2006) First Supreme Court Ruling  Therapists have a duty to warn  “a warning is essential to avert danger from arising…” Aftermath of TARASOFF I  Concern from mental health professionals  APA filed “amicus curiae”  Threatens freedom of speech  Concern from police

5 TARASOFF II (Jacob, Decker & Hartshorne, 2010; Weinstock, Vari, Leong & Silva, 2006) Second Supreme Court Ruling  Therapists have a duty to protect  “an obligation to use reasonable care to protect the intended victim…”  Warning is one way of protecting Aftermath of TARASOFF II  Confusion associated with the two rulings  Division in APA  1981 Revision of Ethical Codes

6 What is a Threat? Multiple definitions “an expression of intention to inflict evil, injury or damage” “an indication of something impending” “the potential for possible harm” Risk Assessment (Felthous, 2006; Simone & Fulero, 2005)

7 State Law (Jacob, Decker & Hartshorne, 2010; National Conference of State Legislature, 2013; Pabian, Welfel & Beebe, 2009) Duty to Protect is followed by most states  Mandatory  Permissive Indiana Code (1998)  Includes all mental health providers  Mandatory Pabian, Welfel & Beebe Study (2009)  Surveyed 1,000 psychologists  76.4% were misinformed on state law

8 State Law Continued… (National Conference of State Legislature, 2013)

9 State Law Continued… Language Differences Mandatory Reporting Laws  Discourage patients from seeking help  Discourage therapists from working with high-risk clients Soulier, Maislen & Beck Study (2010)  70 Tarasoff related court cases  Permissive states increase liability for clinicians (National Conference of State Legislature, 2013;Soulier, Maislen & Beck, 2010)

10 Warning the Victim (Felthous, 2006; Pabian, Welfel & Beebe, 2009) Knowledgeable of risk Denial Violence Prevention How to Warn?  Clinical assessment  Simple vs. Specific  Release from hospitals and prisons  Need for further research

11 Duty to Protect Law Enforcement Notification  Reaction  Inconsistency in victim notification  Inconsistency in documentation Hospitalization  Maintain trust  Ewing v. Goldstein (2004)  Third party information  Failure to protect victim (Pabian, Welfel & Beebe, 2009; Soulier, Maislen, & Beck, 2010; Weinstock, Vari, Leong & Silva, 2006)

12 Implications for School Psychologists (Jacob, Decker & Hartshorne, 2010; Merrell, Ervin, & Peacock, 2011; Pabian, Welfel & Beebe, 2009; Pires,2012) NASP Code of Ethics Special obligation- minors Seek consultation Completed risk assessment Negligence = ignorance of state law Ensure safety of students When to breach confidentiality

13 Other Implications (Marini & Stebnicki, 2009; National Conference of State Legislature, 2013) Counselors  ACA Code of Ethics  “clear and imminent danger”  “serious and foreseeable harm” Physicians, Clinicians & Therapists  Differences between states  Illinois

14 References Felthous, A. R. (2006). Warning a potential victim of a person's dangerousness: Clinician's duty or victim's right?. Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychiatry And The Law, 34(3), Jacob, S., Decker, D., & Hartshorne, T. S. (2010). Ethics and the law for school psychologists (6th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. Marini, I., & Stebnicki, M.A. (Eds). (2009). The professional counselor’s desk reference. New York, NY: Springer. Merrell, K.W., Ervin, R.A., & Peacock, G.G. (2011). School psychology for the 21 st century: Foundations and practices. New York, NY: Guilford. National Conference of State Legislature. (2013). Mental health professionals duty to protect/warn [Table, Graph]. Retrieved from the National Conference of State Legislature website:

15 References Pabian, Y. L., Welfel, E., & Beebe, R. S. (2009). Psychologists' knowledge of their states' laws pertaining to Tarasoff-type situations. Professional Psychology: Research And Practice, 40(1), Pires, M. (2012, July). Confidentiality in schools: Do you know what to do? From Science to Practice. Retrieved fromhttp://www.apadivisions.org/division- 16/publications/newsletters/science/2012/07/confidentiality-in-schools.aspxhttp://www.apadivisions.org/division- 16/publications/newsletters/science/2012/07/confidentiality-in-schools.aspx Simone, S., & Fulero, S. M. (2005). Tarasoff and the Duty to Protect. Journal Of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 11(1-2), Soulier, M. F., Maislen, A., & Beck, J. C. (2010). Status of the psychiatric duty to protect, circa Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychiatry And The Law, 38(4), Weinstock, R., Vari, G., Leong, G. B., & Silva, J. (2006). Back to the past in California: A temporary retreat to a Tarasoff duty to warn. Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychiatry And The Law, 34(4),


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