This is my final post regarding how to defend your therapy license before the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health (the Board) after you have been accused of inappropriate contact with a client. I understand this can be embarrassing and frightening and that protecting your means of supporting yourself and your family is of paramount concern.
Over this series I covered the following topics:
- Why therapists face claims of inappropriate contact
- What to expect at a behavioral health licensing hearing
- Appealing the suspension of your behavioral health license
Early intervention after a complaint is filed against you is key. If you are aware that a complaint has been or will be filed then you should hire an attorney familiar with the Board’s rules and complaint process to protect your livelihood. Lawyers who focus on this as part of their practice may have good working relationships that may facilitate a favorable resolution in your case. The Board will first initiate an investigation after a complaint is lodged. It is helpful for you if your lawyer is prepared to begin discussions with the Board as soon as possible after this happens. The investigation may involve an examination of you, the licensee, so it is important that you have counsel with you.
After the investigation is complete the Board utilizes either informal or formal hearing processes to render a decision. Your lawyer may facilitate an acceptable resolution with the board before formal proceedings begin, which can save you time, money and further embarrassment. Any agreements may include hours of continuing education or training targeted to creating and maintaining boundaries with clients. If your attorney is unable to resolve your case before the Board in a way you accept then you may appeal to the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings.
Of course, your attorney will independently investigate the claim against you, including verifying the background and motives of the client who complained. I understand that your license is a matter of pride and your primary means of support. As an experienced Phoenix licensing attorney, I can help you navigate the process. Contact my office today for more information. In also represent those in other Maricopa County cities such as Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert. I also assist Pima County residents in Tucson.