National Board 

of Forensic 

Evaluators

Articles of Interest

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  • 11 Sep 2018 11:25 PM | Aaron Norton (Administrator)


    NBFE President and Founder Dr. Norman Hoffman and Vice-President Dr. Valerie Watt were published in the latest issue of Counselor Magazine: The Magazine for Addiction and Behavioral Health Professionals for a feature on "Interviewing the Psychopath."  Read it by clicking here.
  • 27 Aug 2018 3:21 PM | Aaron Norton (Administrator)


    Joel Miller, the Executive Director of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), wrote a letter to Dr. Norman Hoffman, President and Founder of the National Board of Forensic Evaluators, on 8/27/18 thanking Dr. Hoffman and NBFE for its contributions to the "Forensic Activity" section of the 2015 revision of AMHCA's Code of Ethics, as NBFE played a vital role in revising section content.  Additionally, Miller recognized NBFE's Executive Director, Aaron Norton, for his keynote presentation at AMHCA's 2018 annual conference.  Click here to read the letter.


    NBFE Founder & President, Dr. Norman Hoffman, contributed substantially to revisions of forensic section of AMHCA Code of Ethics


    Attendees at Keynote Address, AMHCA Annual Conference, 8/2/18


    NBFE E.D. Aaron Norton Presenting Keynote Address

  • 01 Jun 2018 7:51 PM | Aaron Norton (Administrator)


    The Florida Mental Health Counselors Association (FMHCA) published an article entitled "What LMHCs in Florida Should Know About Requests for Emotional Support Animals" written by NBFE Executive Director Aaron Norton in its June 2018 newsletter.  Click here to read the article.

  • 01 Feb 2018 7:35 PM | Aaron Norton (Administrator)


    NBFE Executive Director Aaron Norton, who was recently elected as the Southern Regional Director of the American Mental Health Counselors Association, was published in The Advocate Magazine, outlining the professional journey of clinical mental health counselors and drawing attention to the importance of professional advocacy.

    Click here to read more.

  • 01 Nov 2017 7:06 PM | Aaron Norton (Administrator)


    Dr. Norman Hoffman, the Founder and President of NBFE, developed the Hoffman Organicity Test (HOT), which aids clinicians in differentiating between organic brain disorders and psychotic disorders.  Counselor Magazine published a two-part article series on this helpful clinical tool.  Click on either link below to read the articles:

    A Test to Differentiate Between Organic Brain Disorder, Nonorganic Brain Disorder, and Schizophrenia, Part I (October 2017)

    A Test to Differentiate Between Organic Brain Disorder, Nonorganic Brain Disorder, and Schizophrenia, Part II (December 2017)

  • 21 Oct 2016 4:02 PM | Aaron Norton (Administrator)


    The National Board of Forensic Evaluators (NBFE) is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Stephen Giunta as Co-Chair of our Marketing & Development Committee.  Dr. Giunta is the Past President of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) and the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association (FMHCA).  Dr. Giunta is the Clinical Supervisor for Troy University's Tampa Bay campus.  He maintains a private practice in Clearwater, Florida, where he provides clinical supervision for registered mental health counselor interns, custody evaluations, and post-divorce family counseling.

    Dr. Giunta will work with our other Co-Chair of Marketing & Development, Gale Macke.  Gale is the CEO and Executive Director of the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia.


  • 21 Oct 2016 2:35 PM | Aaron Norton (Administrator)


    On 9/26/16, the Social Security Administration (SSA) released a revision to their public rules that goes into effect 1/17/17. In this revision, SSA clarifies that counselors and social workers are qualified to provide diagnostic records to SSA related to disability cases.  These additions and revisions include:

    (1) SSA rejected comments from medical organizations that sought to clarify that counselors, social workers, and other non-physician healthcare providers should not be able to provide diagnostic records for disability.  SSA clarified, "We did not adopt the recommendations. Our recognition of non-physician health care providers as other medical sources of evidence is not a new rule; see §§ 404.1513(d) and 416.913(d). The list of these other medical sources in our regulations is not all-inclusive, and our mention of licensed clinical social workers and clinical mental health counselors in final 12.00C2 is appropriate, given their roles in the treatment of people with mental disorders in both private and public settings. We believe that these other medical professionals—because they typically see patients regularly—are important sources of the evidence we need to assess the severity of a person’s mental disorder and the resulting limitations in the person’s mental disorder and the resulting limitations in the person’s functioning" (p. 66142).

    (2) SSA clarified that social workers and counselors can provide diagnostic records relevant to mental disorders: 

    "Evidence from medical sources. We will consider all relevant medical evidence about your disorder from your physician, psychologist, and other medical sources, which include health care providers such as physician assistants, psychiatric nurse practitioners, licensed clinical social workers, and clinical mental health counselors. Evidence from your medical sources may include: 

    a. Your reported symptoms. 

    b. Your medical, psychiatric, and psychological history. 

    c. The results of physical or mental status examinations, structured clinical interviews, psychiatric or psychological rating scales, measures of adaptive functioning, or other clinical findings. 

    d. Psychological testing, imaging results, or other laboratory findings. 

    e. Your diagnosis. 

    f. The type, dosage, and beneficial effects of medications you take. 

    g. The type, frequency, duration, and beneficial effects of therapy you receive. 

    h. Side effects of medication or other treatment that limit your ability to function. 

    i. Your clinical course, including changes in your medication, therapy, or other treatment, and the time required for therapeutic effectiveness. 

    j. Observations and descriptions of how you function during examinations or therapy. 

    k. Information about sensory, motor, or speech abnormalities, or about your cultural background (for example, language or customs) that may affect an evaluation of your mental disorder. 

     l. The expected duration of your symptoms and signs and their effects on your functioning, both currently and in the future.

    A statement from the American Mental Health Counselors Association focused on the ability of mental health counselors to test for and diagnose intellectual disorders: "The ability to diagnosis someone with an intellectual disability (IQ, learning etc.) is within the purview of a licensed clinical mental health counselor, if they may administer intellectual aptitude exams. Manyclinical mental health counselors have been trained or can be trained to administer and interpret such exams, as it is usually a course of psychological tests and assessments specific to clinical mental health counseling. Ethically, it is incumbent upon a licensed professional who administers the test that he or she is trained and received supervision in their use."



  • 28 Sep 2016 7:33 PM | Aaron Norton (Administrator)

    Lisa Taylor Austin-Smith, a CFMHE known for her expertise in street gangs, was recently quoted in an article on the street gang recruitment of youth who immigrate illegally into the United States.  Read the article here.


    Lisa Taylor-Austin, LPC, LMHC, CFMHE

  • 28 Sep 2016 7:26 PM | Aaron Norton (Administrator)

    NBFE is pleased to announce that the Honorable Judge Daniel Wilensky has been named the newest member of NBFE's advisory board.  Judge Wilensky serves in the 4th Judicial Circuit in Florida.  Read more about him here.


    The Honorable Judge Daniel Wilensky receiving his "Advocate of the Year" award in 2010.

  • 07 Sep 2016 7:42 PM | Aaron Norton (Administrator)

    The National Board of Forensic Evaluators (NBFE) commends Michael Holler, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Florida, for his successful advocacy for fair access to psychological tests in Florida.  

    Michael and his attorney filed a petition for a declaratory statement to Florida's Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, & Clinical Social Work (a.k.a. the "491 board") on 6/24/16.  The petition asked the board to clarify whether Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs) can administer psychological tests.  

    The board denied Michael's request on 9/6/16.  At first glance, this would seem to be a defeat for those advocating for fair access to tests, but an exploration of the board's reason for the denial reveals an important success for counselors, social workers, and marriage and family therapists who conduct forensic mental health evlauations.  

    The Board reasoned that Florida statutes clearly indicate that the practice of mental health counseling in Florida "includes methods of a psychological nature used to evaluate, assess, diagnose, and treat emotional and mental dysfunctions or disorders..."  In other words, because the law is already clear on the ability of LMHCs to conduct psychological tests, there is no need for a declaratory statement.



    Michael Holler, LMHC, CFMHE, CCCE

    Michael is the Past President of the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association (FMHCA), and was the 49th evaluator to earn the Certified Forensic Mental Health Evaluator (CFMHE) credential in the U.S.  He was also among the first group of CFMHEs to earn NBFE's Certified Child Custody Evaluator (CCCE) credential.  He took it upon himself to advocate successfully for fair access to tests in Florida, and we commend him for it. 

    Thanks, Michael!

    Read the details of the Board's declaration here.

    View NBFE's analysis and position paper on the question of whether or not licensed counselors can administer and interpret psychological tests here.

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