Tennessee Division


Need ethics training or ethics hours for licensure? If so, look for courses listed under Ethics Education!

AAMFT's Ethical Practice Information Page

I am a licensed marriage and family therapist and AAMFT Approved Supervisor. One of my supervisees sees a family doing individual and family therapy with them. I do not do therapy with the family but have supervised the therapy. The supervisee wants me to sign the insurance form. What should I do?

It is clearly unethical and fradulent for someone who has only supervised therapy to sign as the primary therapist. It is wrong for anyone signing an insurance form to misrpresent facts regarding services rendered. Laws and regulations of each state should be consulted in regard to this.To avoid any charges of fraud or unethical conduct, the capacity of each person signing an insurance form should be clearly identified. The appropriate title should be written on the form such as "Supervising Therapist" and "Primary Therapist".
Source:"Guidelines for Billing Insurance Companies and Other Third Party Payor", American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

As the owner of a private practice, I contract with individuals who use my extra space. I charge them a percentage of their income for rent, and that works really well for both of us. I'm wondering if I can be held liable for any of their unethical actions under this arrangement.

1. Even if you have a contract with a person that states you aren't their employer or supervisor, you must avoid the "look" of practicing as a group. Things such as brochures with all therapists listed would be examples of "holding yourself out" to be a group practice.

2. Checks should be written directly to the therapist, rather than to the practice name. Nothing should be run through the central bookkeeping.


Recommended Articles from Ethics Education Committee

Dual Relationships Within Congregational Life
About the Author:  Barney Self, Ed.D. is a clinical member of AAMFT, serves as Pastoral Counseling Minister at Forest Hills Baptist Church, and is an adjunct teacher in Trevecca’s Family Therapy program.  He was formerly editor of the TAMFT newsletter and currently serves on the Ethics Committee.


 Smaller is Not Always Simpler
About the Author:  Robin Turnmire, Ph.D., LMFT is a clinical member of AAMFT.  She is a Treatment Specialist at Blount County Community Corrections Program in Alcoa, TN, and is pursuing credentialing as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor.



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