Those who practice psychology in the state of Texas have pursued their vocation through multiple hurdles over the course of many years. These highly-qualified individuals are vital to the mental health of our communities, as they aid people going through some of life’s most difficult challenges. It is therefore imperative that a licensed Psychologist do whatever they can to follow the standard of care inherent to the profession in order to avoid any risk of losing their license—and should plan to mount a solid defense against claims they have breached that standard.
The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists establishes licensing and enforcement procedures for the Psychologists it licenses. The Board’s stated 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."
The state of Texas licenses Psychologists at four different levels, based on the amount and type of education and experience a licensee has. A Licensed Psychological Associate possesses the least amount of education, but still has a Master’s degree to meet the standard for licensure. A Licensed Specialist in School Psychology also requires a master’s degree, and is the license required of individuals planning to provide psychology services within the Texas school system. A Provisionally Licensed Psychologist is one who has achieved a doctoral degree in psychology and is permitted to practice under the supervision of a fully-licensed Psychologist. This is a temporary license required on the way to licensure as an independent Psychologist. And a Licensed Psychologist possesses a doctoral degree and all of the experience required for independent practice.
No matter which level of license a practitioner maintains, the standards of professional practice will apply. Among these are the requirement of confidentiality. This covers not just what a patient says in therapy, but even the fact that the therapeutic relationship exists at all. Texas’s courts hold this Psychologist-patient relationship to be paramount—except in certain circumstances, such as if a patient poses an imminent danger to themselves or others.
If a Psychologist comes under fire by the Board for an allegation of having violated this requirement—or any other requirement under the standard of care—they should contact a professional license attorney immediately.
If this happens to you, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are experienced license defense attorneys and we know how to navigate the complaint process before the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. We are skilled at assisting mental health professionals in determining the course of action that will be beneficial or detrimental to your career, depending on the particular allegations. Immediately consulting an experienced license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case.
With offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, we serve medical professional clients all over the state. Contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.