Do you know what to look for in a therapist? What makes one professional more qualified than another? These are important factors to consider when choosing any mental health professional. Here are some basic guidelines to follow:
As in most states, Florida law requires any psychotherapist that practices independently (i.e., without a clinical supervisor) to be licensed as a Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT), Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Psychiatrist, or Psychologist. In demanding this level of credentialing, Florida attempts to preserve the quality assurance of these fields. These professionals must meet strict educational and clinical experience requirements before being eligible for licensure. Furthermore, each of these professionals has a specific area of expertise and training that differentiates them from each other. Ask your professional what their area of expertise is. Additionally, ask if he or she is licensed in Florida. You can verify this information by visiting the state-sponsored website, MyFlorida.com On this site, you can verify your professional's credentials and determine if he or she has been subject to state disciplinary action. Your professional should also display a copy of their license in the office in which they practice, as required by Florida law.
If you choose to work with a Mental Health Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist, or Social Worker that is not licensed, ensure that he or she is a Florida registered-intern and under the supervision of a state Qualified Supervisor. Although these professionals have not yet been licensed by the state, they have met a minimal level of education, training, and credentialing acceptable for providing counseling services under Florida law (e.g., these professionals must have a verifiable Masters degree in an accepted discipline). Please be aware that this type of professional must practice with an on-site, licensed supervisor at all times. Also note that non-profit organizations who provide counseling services are permitted to meet different requirements under Florida law. These non-profit counselors may be exempt from meeting the high standards required of professionals in a private practice. Again, check the level of experience and supervision of any non-profit counselor with whom you may decide to work.
All practitioners who work with United Therapists of South Florida, LLC are independently contracted and are not directly employed. Additionally, all practitioners are required to carry independent liability insurance. These practitioners are licensed in Florida, or are Registered with the state as Masters level interns. All Masters level, registered interns are under the consistent supervision of a licensed, Qualified Supervisor as required under Florida law. Proof of insurance and verification of credentials are kept on file.