Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs - Fourth edition (2017) - Digital download

Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs - Fourth edition (2017) - Digital download

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Note: This page is where you can order the digital version. If you are interested in the paperback version, click here.

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 fourth edition is updated to 2017 law, and includes new material on:

  • Life coaching
  • Emotional support animals
  • New licensing exams
  • Forthcoming title change from "intern" to "associate" for MFTs and PCCs
  • New telehealth regulations
  • Other states allowing temporary therapy via telehealth 
  • Working with clients on conservatorship
  • Record-keeping for abuse reports
  • Consent with minors whose parents are divorced
  • Business structures
  • Employment
  • Fee setting and antitrust
  • And more.


The chapter list for the fourth edition matches prior editions, with the exception of Chapter 8 being renamed "Business and Marketing." That chapter contains new material on licenses and permits, employment law, fee setting, and related business issues. 

  1. Scope of Practice
  2. Licensing Requirements
  3. Unprofessional Conduct
  4. Informed Consent
  5. Confidentiality and Privilege
  6. Working with Minors (including child abuse reporting)
  7. Working with Elders and Dependent Adults
  8. Business and Marketing
  9. Technology
  10. Advocacy

The text includes more than 450 footnotes identifying specific articles, links, and sections of California law and regulation that serve as reference material for this text. Footnotes in the digital version include hundreds of active hyperlinks to articles, resources, and California law on the web.


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 ofMastering 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. Reader reviews have averaged 4.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon. 

About the author

Author Benjamin E. Caldwell, PsyD teaches Law and Ethics for California State University Northridge in Los Angeles and The Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. As the Legislative and Advocacy Committee Chair for AAMFT-CA, he has driven forward changes in state laws around reparative therapy, hours for licensure, and the forthcoming intern title change.

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.

About this digital download

After you have completed your order, you will receive an automatic email with a download link. This product is a digital download delivered in PDF format. You will need a current version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader to properly view it.

Your file will be individually stamped with your name or email address, and transaction information. This software product is licensed for the purchaser's individual use only. Redistribution in whole or in part is prohibited.