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.
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.