When someone files a formal complaint against a professional counselor with the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors—a subsidiary organization to the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council—it puts the counselor's career, livelihood, and reputation on the line. No counselor wants to see go to waste all of the dedication they have put into their training on how to help their fellow Texans through the difficult issues they confront in their lives. Yet this fate may await a counselor who is subjected to discipline by the Board.
Counselors are confronted with a number of fairly common complaints. Among these are accusations of unprofessional conduct, breaches of confidentiality, failure to maintain accurate and proper records, inappropriate relationships with their clients, deceptive advertising of their services, failure to report information on abuse of their minor clients, insurance or Medicaid fraud, and criminal activity. Any one of these allegations can do a counselor's career irreparable damage.
The first thing the Board does when it receives a complaint is review it to determine whether the allegations therein fall within its jurisdiction—in other words, whether what is claimed to have occurred in fact indicate there may have been a violation of the law or of Board rules. If it decides this in the positive, it launches an investigation into the allegations. At this stage, the counselor is notified in writing of the allegations, and invited to respond to them in writing. This response letter is very important for shaping the investigation and containing the scope of the complaint process going forward. It is where the counselor's defense begins. As such, we highly recommend contacting an experienced professional license defense attorney to help craft it.
The possible punishments that may come as a result of a complaint run the gamut from administrative penalties to suspension, and even the possibility of total revocation of the license to practice as a professional counselor.
It's very important that a professional counselor under investigation contact an experienced professional license defense attorney at the earliest possible point in the complaint process. The sooner we are brought in, the sooner we can aid in mounting a solid defense.
So make the call. The attorneys at BERTOLINO LLP are experienced professional license defense attorneys. We are prepared to represent you in any investigation, legal hearing, or proceeding regarding your license. 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) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.