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Licensing Issues: Facing Disciplinary Action in the Psychology Field

Professionals in the mental health field are held to a variety of standards due to the very nature of their work. Studying and diagnosing an array of intangible concepts like anxiety and phobia, while treating problems like mood disorders, is a delicate process. These are not conditions that can be diagnosed with a scan or blood panel, but have to be explored and monitored over a period of time with each patient.

As a result, clinicians and patients often develop a relationship of trust, which is bound to strict guidelines and must not be crossed. It is one of many guidelines and high, specific standards that must be met and adhered to. Failure to do so can result in the loss of professional licensing, and therefore the ability to practice.


Forms of Misconduct

All it takes is one complaint against you to put your license at risk – and your career in jeopardy. Here are ten common complaints that may cause you to face license suspension or revocation:

  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Criminal activity
  • Failure to properly maintain records
  • Failure to report abuse of minor
  • False advertising
  • Impairment (mental or physical) that prevents proper patient care
  • Inappropriate conduct/relationships
  • Insurance/Medicaid fraud
  • Negligent patient care

Disciplinary Actions

As soon as you receive notice of an investigation or complaint being made against you, the first thing you should do is contact an experienced Illinois state licensing attorney. This can cause unimaginable stress and you will need to have the support of your attorney to guide you through the process to keep your license.

Typically, depending on the type and severity of the complaint, the levels of disciplinary action include four basic steps, beginning with a letter of investigation. From there, your license may potentially be temporarily suspended or permanently revoked.

How Can an Attorney Help?

A professional license defense attorney will work with you to build your defense case, and give you the necessary tools to fight against the prosecution. If given the chance to present your side of the story, you will do so in an informal hearing. Should the charges be substantial, they may warrant an evidentiary hearing, which is similar to a trial with the judge acting as the jury, and where specific rules and statutes must be followed. Your license defense attorney is familiar with these, and will be able to help you through that process.

In the event disciplinary action – as opposed to license revocation – is in your best interest, your attorney can discuss the options with you and together you can decide how to proceed.

If you are in need of an experienced license defense attorney in the Chicago area, feel free to call us for a free consultation.


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