Becoming a licensed psychologist in Texas takes years of advanced training. As a psychologist, you work hard to develop a course of care that prevents or alleviates disorders and helps people regain their mental well-being. Our law firm understands the important role psychologists have in Texas. That’s why we work hard to protect the rights of licensed psychologists whose professionalism is being challenged by a patient or someone else.
The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP) establishes licensing and enforcement procedures for psychologists it licenses. The TSBEP’s mission is “to protect the public by ensuring that psychological services are provided to the people of Texas by qualified and competent practitioners who adhere to established professional standards.”
Complaints filed with TSBEP against a Texas psychologist are forwarded to the Enforcement Division. Each complaint is reviewed for legal sufficiently to determine if the allegations, if true, state a violation of the law, if the allegations are against a TSBEP licensee, and if the activities or services involved are exempt from the Board’s jurisdiction.
A compliant determined to be legally sufficient on its face will proceed forward to the investigation stage and an investigator will be assigned. At this point the licensed psychologist will be informed in writing about the complaint and Board investigation.
As soon as you are informed by the TSBEP of a complaint and ensuing investigation against you, we urge you to contact a professional license defense attorney. The Board will provide you a copy of the original complaint and a deadline to respond within 30 days. Your attorney can help you craft solid initial responses to the Board. Do not attempt to face the Board alone. Our Firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced professional license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the complaint will take one of two paths to resolution:
- Probable Cause cannot be determined.
- If the investigation yields insufficient evidence to establish probable cause of misconduct, then the complaint is referred to the Dismissal Committee, which will review the investigation and make a recommendation to the Board to dismiss the complaint.
- Probable Cause can be determined.
- If probable cause can be determined the complaint is referred to the Disciplinary Review Panel. In such cases, the Board will provide you with a Notice of Violation that itemizes the violations of the law alleged in the complaint and supported by evidence obtained during the investigation.
Complaints that involve minor and uncontested violations may be resolved by an Agreed Order offered by the TSBEP prior to the case being sent to the Disciplinary Review Panel. If you are offered an Agreed Order to resolve the allegations you have the option to accept or reject it.
If the case against you continues to the Disciplinary Review Panel, then you will be invited to attend an informal settlement conference with the Panel. The complainant will also be invited to this conference. You and the complainant are entitled to be represented by legal counsel. After the information settlement conference, the Panel may recommend dismissal, remand for more investigation, or recommend a disciplinary sanction against you, the licensed psychologist. In cases where disciplinary sanctions are recommended by the Panel, the Board has another opportunity to send an Agreed Order to resolve the case.
If you do not accept the Agreed Order, the Board will then refer the complaint for formal resolution at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). A SOAH hearing operates similarly to a bench trial and is presided over by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). After the hearing the ALJ will make a Proposal for Decision containing her or her option as to whether the facts establish that a Board rule was violated.
Serving Psychologists Throughout Texas
If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are experienced medical license defense attorneys and we know how to navigate the TSBEP’s complaint process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your psychologist license.
Learn more about how we help our clients in our article 5 FAQ’s We Answer for Our Clients.
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your license and reputation. Contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.