If a therapist gives theraputic advice to a friend, but the friend is not a client, then the friend takes an action based on the advice that creates emotional and financial damage to a client is that therapist liable for the damages?
Assuming that the therapist is located in California and gave the advice to the friend in California, California law will determine whether the friend has a potential malpractice claim. (If one of those facts is changed, then a choice of law issue may arise). The fundamental legal issue is whether the facts support the conclusion that a therapist-patient relationship had been established. If so, then the therapist undertook a duty of care toward the patient, regardless of whether the friend paid for the advice. California Evidence Code Section 1011 addresses that issue. Your friend will need to consult a California attorney familiar with these concepts. Furthermore, California imposes relatively stringent time limitations for such actions, so your friend should proceed expeditiously.