Bulletproof Ethics and Legalities
with Dr Phil Watts

This 2-day workshop presented by Dr Phil Watts focusses on ethical and legal issues that clinicians face. This is a practical and “hands-on” workshop to equip you with knowledge and skills related to different aspects of professional practice for both those in the public sector and private practice. This course is very helpful to early career clinicians but is relevant to all clinicians interested in maintaining high standards of professional practice whether in private practice or employee roles.

The training focuses on these 3 areas:

  1. Core ethics, legalities and accountability responsibilities
  2. Case Notes and Records: Ethical, Legal and Practical issues
  3. Separation and Divorce: Making Order of the Chaos

DAY ONE - Bullet-Proofing Psychology

Mental health clinicians function in a world of increasing professional accountability and potential litigation. A core competency required of all clinicians is an understanding of ethical, legal and professional matters.

Topics include:

  • Informed consent
  • Privacy and information
  • Records and notes
  • Communicating with others
  • Breaching confidentiality
  • Professional boundaries and relationships
  • Legal considerations
  • Dealing with Subpoenas
  • Negligence and going to court
  • Managing risk and scary scenarios
  • Self-care and professional practice
  • Ethical dilemmas

DAY TWO - Case notes, Records, Separation

The APS Code of Ethics requires psychologists to make and keep adequate records. Have you ever wondered what is an adequate record? The Code also requires clinicians to maintain the privacy and security of records. The morning focuses on the requirements of record keeping. Some of the questions you will be able to answer are things like:

  • Who owns the notes?
  • How do you deal with a subpoena?
  • When can you release the notes?
  • How long do you need to keep your records?
  • Can I make the records electronic?
  • How much should I put in my notes?

Day 2 will also encompass separation and divorce in the afternoon session:
A common reason for referral to a clinician is relationship breakdown, whether that is for the parents or the children.  It is a complex area to work with both Family Court and AHPRA complaints lurking in the background.  Dr Phil will help you understand the dynamics of relationship breakdowns, how this relates to the best interests of the children and touches on the new family law rules (coming in April 2024). Learn how to put the children at the centre of the process.

  • Learn about the emotional processes of initiators and non-initiators of the separation
  • Understand how children react to separation
  • The impact of various factors on children
  • Understand parenting plans for different ages
  • When does shared care work effectively
  • Avoid common traps

Book Now


$590 Early Bird 
(until 30th June)
$660 Regular price 


12th and 13th September 9am – 4pm


Apollo International Hotel
(Best Western)
290 Pacific Hwy

Free on-site parking, accommodation also available.

Dr Phil Watts

Dr Phil Watts

About Dr Phil

Dr Phil Watts, is a well-known and highly regarded adjunct associate professor in clinical psychology and an endorsed forensic psychologist.  With nearly 35 years’ experience, the last 31 in private practice he is highly experienced in assessment and treatment.   

Dr Phil is the owner and director of Mindstate Psychology in Perth which specialises in forensic assessment, clinical treatment, and neurofeedback treatment.  His private practice has 14 practitioners and is still growing.

Dr Phil has varied interest and is author of 6 books including “Surviving the Witness Box” (2007); “Shared Care or Divide Lives” (2008); “IP: DIY Internet Pornography: Do it Yourself Treatment Guide for men” (2014); and “How to find love and not a psycho” (2020).  He is co-author of “Fit to Practice: Everything you wanted to know about starting your own psychology practice in Australia but were afraid to ask” (2016).

 With over 2000 appointments as a “Single Expert” in the Family Court and 1000’s of reports for other courts, he is highly experienced within the legal arena.  This includes assessing risk in families and the community.   One area of interest has been providing advice to both regulatory bodies and defence solicitors about AHPRA complaints.

When it comes to presenting, Dr Phil frequently presents at national and international conferences and is a dynamic speaker who presents with energy, humour, and enthusiasm.

Page Last Updated: 07 May 2024