Guidelines for Professional Services

Many professional organizations have worked countless hours to put together guidelines and standards of practice related to forensic mental health services. There are also a number of State statutes and administrative rules related to forensic services. If you see something missing from our listing please let us know and we’ll add it as soon as we can!

Texas Statutes And Procedural Rules:

Licensing Board Rules:

Professional Standards And Guidelines:

For other resources in professional standards, licensing guidelines, etc., please see the excellent webpage maintained by Ken Pope –

Service types

While the approach of the professionals listed on this site to services is individually varied, there are a number of basic categories we have organized services into:

  • Anger Management “Anger management is a process of learning to recognize signs that you’re becoming angry, and taking action to calm down and deal with the situation in a positive way. Anger management doesn’t try to keep you from feeling anger or encourage you to hold it in. Anger is a normal, healthy emotion when you know how to express it appropriately. Anger management is about learning how to do this.”[From the Mayo Clinic]
  • Basic Parent Education Parenting skills training, child development classes, and other resources for childrearing.
  • Child Custody Evaluation An evaluative process through which information and recommendations regarding conservatorship over, possession of, or access to a child may be made to the court, parties, and the parties’ attorneys. (Texas Family Code Ch. 107)
  • Co-Parenting Education Even when undertaken with the best intentions, co-parenting, an arrangement in a divorce or separation by which parents share in the care of a child or children, is often not an easy process for parents. Many courts require co-parenting classes to help parents jumpstart positive changes post-litigation.
  • Consultant/testifying expert Many mental health professionals with forensic experience assist attorneys and courts in understanding complicated case-related issues centered around parenting, mental health, and other specialty areas.
  • Counseling/therapy Generally, the provision of assistance, guidance and support in resolving personal, social, or behavioral health problems and difficulties, for individuals, families, and communities as they strive towards optimum wellness.
  • Divorce recovery/support groups There are many groups that offer assistance dealing with the emotional issues and practical adjustments commonly experienced with the end of a marriage.
  • Filial/play therapy Play has often been called the language of children. Play therapy has been used successfully to help children experiencing difficulties since the 1940s, and has been extensively studied in multiple research settings. Filial therapy is a special kind of play therapy that helps parents employ many of the skills that assist children in play therapy in their home lives to improve interactions with their children.
  • Forensic Specialist Some providers do more than the occasional court-connected case. This designation is designed for those providers who specialize in forensic issues, frequently testify, report back to the court, or otherwise conduct a significant portion of their services in this area.
  • Parenting Coordination (PC) “Parenting Coordination is a child-focused alternative dispute resolution process in which a trained mental health or legal professional with mediation training and expertise assists high conflict parents to implement their parenting plan by facilitating the resolution of their disputes in a timely manner, educating parents about children’s needs.”[From Guidelines for Parenting Coordination of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts]Texas is somewhat unique as our PC services are confidential under the same provisions as mediation and other alternative dispute procedures.
  • Parenting Facilitation (PF) In Texas, PF is a non-confidential service similar to parenting coordination. The added monitoring/reporting component in PF services are consistent with what is seen in PC services nationally.
  • Parenting Plan Development Called by many other names as well (access coordination, consultation, etc.) this is a process whereby attorneys refer clients who want to work together in creating a parenting plan to a trained mediator with experience in child development and parenting issues. Parents generally work together, rather than in separate sessions, to craft a plan that addresses the child(ren)’s needs while avoiding lengthy, expensive, and often unnecessary court hearings.
  • Psychological Evaluations Most commonly defined as a mental examination by a qualified psychologist, these evaluations can take many forms and serve many purposes. Texas licensing rules require psychologists to clearly describe the scope and purpose of evaluation, assessment, and testing to patients before they provide these psychological services.
  • Substance Abuse Counseling Substance Abuse refers to patterns of use of alcohol and/or other drugs which interfere with an individual’s social, occupational, legal, financial, emotional and physical functioning. SA counseling attempts to address these problems with clients and assist in maintaining sobriety.
  • Substance Abuse Evaluation Can range from brief assessments of client self-reports to detailed investigative reviews of client histories including collateral record reviews, and physiological testing. Make sure that the type of evaluation needed matches with the level of service offered by the provider, as the type of evaluation conducted with clients voluntarily seeking services is usually substantially different from that needed with clients involved in litigation.
  • Supervised Visitation “Supervised Visitation refers to contact between a non-custodial parent and one or more children in the presence of a third person responsible for observing and seeking to ensure the safety of those involved.”[From the Supervised Visitation Network’s “Information for Parents”]