Evaluating Capacity and Undue Influence: An Expanding Role for Mental Health Professionals

Presented by David Liebert, EdD, LMHC on 08-27-2021 at 9 a.m. Pacific (noon Eastern) to 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern)

The goal for this program is to identify professional roles mental health practitioners can provide by identifying, evaluating, and communicating the presence or absence of incapacity and undue influence when working with vulnerable populations such as those with neurocognitive and developmental disorders, as well as those who are emotionally vulnerable.

Increasingly mental health professionals are being called upon to offer up their insight when an elder’s judgment appears to be failing and their decision making is now in question, or a special-needs person has reached the age of adulthood and wishes to exercise their rights as an adult. The court routinely calls upon mental health professions to assist by offering their insight as to one’s level of capacity. Here capacity refers to one’s abilities to carry out legally significant acts with authority, which might be either psychological, physical, or authoritative. Still, all forms of capacity connect back to cognitive abilities related to understanding, appreciation, reasoning, and expressing choices.

More recently the court is also calling upon mental health professionals to evaluate the social context of a relationship to determine the possible presence of undue influence, which occurs when within a fiduciary or confidential relationship the will of the fiduciary or confidant replaces the actual will of another person. Persuasion is the primary tool at the Influencer’s disposal to manipulate and guide the will of another in a direction that is inconsistent with his or her personal moral compass.

This 2-hour continuing education webinar presented by Dr. David Liebert is intended for the mental health practitioner with little or no experience conducting incapacity and undue influence evaluations. Upon the completion of this course, attendees will be able to identify the attributes used to operationalize both incapacity and undue influence. Attendees will be able to identify assessment tools used—in part—to support such evaluations. Attendees will be introduced to the skills that are necessary when presenting their findings to attorneys or to the Court. Dr. Liebert will also incorporate ethical considerations for mental health professionals into this discussion.

This introductory continuing education webinar is designed to help mental health professionals:

  1. Identify both established and emerging areas of need for assessing capacity and undue influence.
  2. Evaluate criteria necessary for determining capacity and undue influence.
  3. Discriminate between prospective, retrospective, and real-time evaluations for capacity and undue influence.
  4. Identify objective tests that may be helpful in preparing an evaluation of capacity and undue influence.
  5. Recognize and describe ethical considerations when expanding professional practice into new areas.

Statement of program material's accuracy, utility, and risks: All program suggestions and recommendations are consistent with the procedures and practices of other experts who evaluate and report their findings on capacity and undue influence, as well as literature published on the topic. No known risks are identified.

Declaration identifying any potential conflict of interest and/or commercial support: None.

If you have any questions or would like information regarding disability accommodations, please contact us here.

How the Web Conference Works

Before the scheduled event, all registered attendees will be sent a reminder email from GoodTherapy with specific instructions on how to log in to the web conference center, as well as links to optional handout materials if applicable.

To attend the event, registered attendees will log in to the web conference center using a computer or device (smartphone or tablet with internet access) and calling into the teleconference line on a phone. Attendees will be able to ask live audio questions via phone and/or submit text chat questions via their computer or device. Attendees who are logged in to the event center will be able to see the live streaming video and/or document sharing. Alternatively, attendees may dial into the teleconference line only, though attendees dialing in by phone only will be unable to ask questions.

At the conclusion of this event, participants will receive an email with information about how to request a CE certificate in your GoodTherapy Account. To confirm attendance, participants must enter the start and end codes announced at the beginning and end of the live presentation. Participants will also be prompted to complete an online survey evaluating the event. Participants will need to complete this online survey within six days after the event. Once completed, participants will be able to download a copy of their CE certificate instantly.

For additional information about this event or our CE grievance procedures, please contact us here.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

2 CE contact hours will be provided by GoodTherapy for attending this web conference in its entirety. 

GoodTherapy is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.

GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 3/30/2019 – 3/30/2022. Social workers completing this course receive 2 clinical continuing education credits.

GoodTherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

GoodTherapy, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395. GoodTherapy, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

To receive CE credit hours for an archived event, you will need to complete a survey as well as a 12 or 15-question exam, verifying that you listened to or watched the event in its entirety. Archived CE events generally are considered "homestudy" by licensing boards.

Registration Information

Premium and Pro Membership with GoodTherapy includes access to this web conference at no additional cost, as well as other member benefits such as a profile listing in GoodTherapy's Therapist Directory. Not yet a member? Sign up for a Premium or Pro Membership, here.

Just want CE credits? Sign up for a monthly or annual CE Subscription with GoodTherapy to get unlimited access to our CE Program, including this event, other live CE web conferences, and hundreds of hours of homestudy courses.

Mental health professionals who are not members can attend this live web conference for $29.95 or access the homestudy recording for $14.95. Sign up here to purchase this CE course and earn a CE certificate.

If the event is canceled by GoodTherapy, registrants who purchased the event will be notified and the charge for the event will be refunded

If you have any questions or would like information regarding disability accommodations, please contact us.

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Meet the Presenter

David Liebert, EdD, LMHC

David Liebert, EdD, LMHC

David Liebert, EdD, LMHC is a Professor and Chair for the Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences at St. Petersburg College where he’s taught since 1998. He holds a master’s degree in sociology and a doctorate in counseling psychology.

Dr. Liebert is the author of several books, including fiction and nonfiction. His most recent novel, Natalie’s Joy (2020) is about a young girl with Down’s syndrome wrestling with her mother over her independence.

Dr. Liebert also maintains a limited private practice; he specializes in evaluations of capacity and undue influence. Dr. Liebert has conducted several hundred such evaluations, regularly consults with attorneys and has served as an expert witness.

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • aceGoodTherapy.org is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • Logo GoodTherapy.org has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. GoodTherapy.org is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • aceGoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 03/30/2019 - 03/30/2022.
  • GoodTherapy.org, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
  • GoodTherapy.org, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

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