This month’s California law and ethics practice question tests your knowledge of legal and ethical issues regarding advertising. If you are an associate MFT, Social Worker, or PCC in California, you can expect to see questions related to this topic appear on your exam Law and Ethics exams. It’s important to know the legal requirements, delineated in the CA Business and Professions Code and the ethical obligations included in your professions code of ethics. The BBS falls under the Department of Consumer Affairs and wants to ensure consumers have the correct information to make informed decisions.
So how might advertising be tested on your exam?
You could be tested on:
- What constitutes false, fraudulent, misleading or deceptive advertising
- Information requirements for business cards and/or any public communications
- Appropriateness of testimonials from clients
- Managing misinformation available in the public realm regarding your credentials
Let’s test your knowledge on one aspect of advertising that could be tested and see how you do!
Jane Doe received a doctoral degree in sociology before receiving her masters degree in counseling psychology. Prior to becoming a therapist, she worked for a university as a sociology professor. As a professor, her colleagues and students addressed her as Professor or Dr. Doe. Which of the following advertisements fulfills the legal and ethical requirements in this case?
- Dr. Doe, License number, License title or appropriate acronyms
- Jane Doe, PhD, License number, License title or appropriate acronyms
- Dr. Jane Doe, License number, License title or appropriate acronyms
- Jane Doe, License number, License title of appropriate acronyms
(scroll down for answer and rationale)
The correct answer is D.
The only answer that accurately represents Jane Doe’s credentials as a therapist is answer D. This answer includes her full name as it appears on her license, her license number, as well as her full license title. This answer is clear and would not mislead the client in any way.
In contrast, answer A is incorrect since potential clients could incorrectly assume her title of doctor is related to her counseling credentials. In addition, the therapist must include her full name in all advertisements.
Similarly, answers B and C are incorrect because they are also misleading. In order to include the PhD or Doctoral title, the therapist must clearly indicate that these additional titles/degrees conferred are unrelated to hercredentials as a therapist.
How did you do on this question? Does the correct answer and rationale align with your understanding of advertising, or did you learn something new? If you have any additional questions, you are welcome to check in with a TDC coach. Our coaches are here to answer your questions and provide support and guidance as you prepare to PASS your California law and ethics exam with confidence!
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