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Applied Law in the Behavioral Health Professions

A Textbook for Social Workers, Counselors, and Psychologists

Andrew B. Israel

Making effective decisions in the behavioral health professions requires an understanding of essential legal principles governing practice. The technical manner in which these principles are often presented in law treatises makes it difficult for the decision maker to prioritize and apply them in a practical manner. Applied Law in the Behavioral Health Professions addresses this significant problem by presenting social workers, counselors, psychologists, and students with an understandable and efficient strategy for applying the law in daily practice. Through the book’s multidisciplinary approach, practitioners are assured of making informed, thorough, and sensitive professional choices. The decision making framework introduced stresses a ranked consideration of fundamental legal, ethical, cultural, and regional factors that influence practice. The usefulness of the framework in addressing diversity issues in behavioral health is highlighted using examples focusing on the Hispanic and Native American populations of New Mexico and the southwestern United States.