Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs, 8th ed - digital version

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Written by a therapist for other therapists (and therapists in training), Basics of California Law takes the many nuances of California law and regulation and puts them in digestible, easy-to-apply language. It covers all three of California's major masters-level mental health professions: Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Clinical Counseling, and Clinical Social Work.

What's New: The eighth edition is updated to 2021 law, and includes the following changes:

  • Updated child abuse reporting requirements
  • New independent contractor rules 
  • New rules for crisis response teams
  • New rules for expedited license application processing
  • Updated information on required suicide prevention training
  • Updated information on Emotional Support Animals
  • Added information on therapist disciplinary actions
  • Added information on intellectual property
  • Added information on branding
  • And more!

Contents: The chapter list is unchanged from the seventh edition: 

  1. Licensing
  2. Supervision
  3. Unprofessional Conduct
  4. Confidentiality
  5. Documentation
  6. Families and Children
  7. Abuse Reporting
  8. Business and Marketing
  9. Technology
  10. Advocacy

This digital edition includes hundreds of live hyperlinks to specific articles, links, and sections of California law and regulation that serve as reference material for this text.

Reviews: Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs has been praised as "the comprehensive resource I've wanted for my graduate school courses" by Kathy Wexler, LMFT, LPCC. Diane Gehart, author of Mastering Competencies in Family Therapy, calls it "an indispensable resource for students, educators, and practicing clinicians." It is perfect for students learning about the state laws governing their profession, interns preparing for their licensing exams, and clinicians keeping current on state law.  

About the author: Author Benjamin E. Caldwell, PsyD teaches Law and Ethics for California State University Northridge in Los Angeles. As the Legislative and Advocacy Committee Chair for AAMFT-CA, he drove forward changes in state laws around reparative therapy, hours for licensure, and the title change from "intern" to "associate."

Course instructors: If you are using Basics of California Law as a required text in your class, or would like to review it for adoption consideration, you may be eligible to receive an instructor review copy at no charge. Please visit this page for additional information.

Delivery information: You will receive two separate emails immediately after your order is processed: The first is your receipt, and the second is your download link. If you have not received your download link within 15 minutes of your order, please check your spam/junk folders. If you do not find it there, please reach out to us at


Caldwell, B. E. (2021). Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs (8th ed.). Los Angeles: Ben Caldwell Labs.

ISBN: 978-1-7348735-5-9