Drafting Your Complaint Response Letter
For Those Having Just Received A Notice of Complaint From The State
Got, “the letter”, today, huh? Before we go any further let us make you aware of something most counselors don’t know.
You have 15 days to respond to that letter, you knew that. But that’s calendar days, not business days, and the clock started ticking from the date that letter was mailed/post-marked to you, not from the date you received it!
It gets worse, though. This isn’t like mailing your tax return at the last moment with an April 15 post-mark, your response letter must be IN THE BOARDS MAILBOX on or before that 15th calendar day no matter how long it’s been sitting on your desk.
Okay, now that we have your attention, see below for the details about this consultation.
Having a complaint filed against you is probably the most frightening event that can occur to a mental health professional. You need to take this very seriously and know that whether you feel it's an unjustified claim or not you need to approach it as if you were about to lose everything.
Fact: The average length of time it's taking the Board to process a single complaint right now is over (3) years. Yes, this is likely going to be a part of your life for the next (3) years and the burden is on you to know what to do and when, beginning with your complaint response letter. Know that the Board extends very little mercy to the unprepared, and the uninformed.
Your Pre-Response Counseling Options
You're going to want to talk to someone and you have (2) options: a lawyer or someone who's been through the complaint process before and knows the ins and outs.
- Find an attorney. You'll be hard-pressed to find one who knows the mental health professionals' complaint process, or the voluminous set of board regulations that govern it. There are a few out there, but only a few, and chances are they'll be very expensive, and you'll have to travel to see them.
- Your second option is to counsel with someone who's been through the process before. Preferably someone who knows the code backwards and forwards, knows the timeline without having to research it, and has helped many others in your situation already. In fact, our very own legal counsel endorses our program saying that the service we're providing here only helps the client (you!) should they need to seek legal counsel later in the process, because we're so familiar with the complaint process. We actually make the attorney's job easier!
If you've ever taken our, "Defending Your License", workshop you learned how to go about properly drafting your response letter. Nevertheless, you may still feel the need to talk to someone who's, "been there and done that", to help you work through the process and feel more confident about handling things properly. That's why we offer this consult program. We want to help.
Just Do It!
Complaints are a part of the territory, a very dangerous and slippery part. The good news is that the advantage definitely goes to the prepared but the clock is ticking as you read this. Why not go ahead and schedule some time with Kathleen Mills and let's get you on the right path to a favorable complaint resolution.
Pay for the time and Kathleen will call you back, usually same day, and schedule some time with you. This can be done face-to-face in her office in Addison, TX, or we can do it via phone.
Just Not Sure?
To help you make your decision, Kathleen will be happy to speak with you on a :10 minute call prior to scheduling/purchasing time with her. Call (972) 234-6634 ext 101, leave a message and she’ll call you back within a couple of hours to talk with you. We're here to help.
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