Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger Explains Most Common Ethical Violations for Psychologists

There are many ways that a psychologist can lose his or her license, including false claims, allegations of boundary violations, breaches of confidentiality, and many more. When psychologists come to my office because a state licensing board is investigating them, I often find myself providing them a laundry list of conduct that is viewed negatively by investigators. I have turned that overview into the following blog post.

If you are a psychologist in Kansas or Missouri facing an allegation of misconduct or an investigation, call attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation. Your career, reputation, and livelihood are at risk, and the challenge facing you is one you cannot work your way through alone.

Ethical Considerations for Psychologists

Psychologists are acutely aware of the sensitive nature of their profession.  I often find, however, that their instinct to help their clients overrides their survival instinct, meaning that psychologists too often ignore warning signs in their psychologist-patient relationship that could lead to licensing issues later.  When allegations arise, regardless of how serious they seem at the time, your best move is to contact a licensing attorney immediately to make sure that those concerns do not end up costing you your career.

Relationships with patients often doom a psychologist’s career. Providing psychological or counseling services to a romantic partner, business partner, or friend is the most common cause of allegations of misconduct, especially when the psychologist used the relationship with the client to better him or herself financially.  Refrain from any sexual conduct with clients, even after the psychologist-client relationship is terminated. While you may be able to compartmentalize different aspects of your relationship with a client, they are unlikely to see the relationship similarly.

Never breach a client’s confidentiality. Obviously, this means not sharing information from their session with third parties you bump into socially, but it also means only providing insurance companies, employers, and others with a “need to know” only the minimum amount of information.

Be very clear with clients about billing. I find that misconduct violations can arise from billing issues, as clients tend to view a psychologist negatively if he or she believes that the psychologist is stealing money from them.  Be clear about how billing will occur, what services will be billed for, and rates you charge.  A client should not be surprised when he or she receives your bill for services.

Stay within your area of expertise.  Do not let the prospect of a new client lure you into practicing outside your area of professional expertise.  If you are not familiar with the problems your client seeks help for, advise them of other psychologists in your community that can serve them. You are far more likely to make mistakes if you are practicing in an unfamiliar area of psychology.

Contact an Experienced Kansas and Missouri Licensing Attorney Now

Your life as a psychologist is not only a richly rewarding career, but it’s your identity in your community—you have worked too hard to attain your license to practice to lose it.  Contact an experienced licensing attorney to help you through the misconduct hearing process, explain the implications of any allegations against you—that call can mean the difference between getting back to helping your patients and losing your career forever. Don’t let claims of misconduct end your career as a psychologist prematurely.

Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger is prepared to advocate for your best interests and defend your psychology license. Call Attorney Sanger at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney experienced dealing with licensing issues.