Florida Laws and Rules for Mental Health Professionals

Course #71103 - $18 -


Florida mental health professionals are legally obligated to be aware of standards that govern professional accountability. As mental health professionals are affected by these rules and regulations, they have the responsibility to keep informed of regulatory changes and provide public comment regarding regulations. The laws and rules discussed in this course have been chosen because they are among the most pertinent and apply specifically to professionals renewing their license. In addition to the benefit to the public, periodically reviewing the laws and rules that govern the profession can help to safeguard against disciplinary action, litigation, and/or termination resulting from unauthorized, inappropriate, erroneous, unethical, or illegal behavior or practice. This course fulfills the requirement of the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling that board licensed professionals complete three hours of continuing education coursework regarding state laws and rules governing mental health care every third biennium after initial licensure.

Education Category: Management
Release Date: 09/01/2023
Expiration Date: 08/31/2026

Table of Contents


This course is designed for all mental health professionals in Florida, including social workers, therapists, and counselors.

Accreditations & Approvals

NetCE has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6361. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. NetCE is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. As a Jointly Accredited Organization, NetCE is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. NetCE is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). NetCE complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognized internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices. As a result of this accreditation, NetCE is authorized to issue the IACET CEU.

Designations of Credit

NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 1 NBCC clock hour(s). Social workers participating in this intermediate to advanced course will receive 3 Non-Clinical continuing education clock hours. NetCE is authorized by IACET to offer 0.3 CEU(s) for this program.

Individual State Behavioral Health Approvals

In addition to states that accept ASWB, NetCE is approved as a provider of continuing education by the following state boards: Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners, Provider #0515; Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling, CE Broker Provider #50-2405; Illinois Division of Professional Regulation for Social Workers, License #159.001094; Illinois Division of Professional Regulation for Licensed Professional and Clinical Counselors, License #197.000185; Illinois Division of Professional Regulation for Marriage and Family Therapists, License #168.000190;

Special Approvals

This course fulfills the Florida requirement for 3 hours of education on Laws and Rules.

Course Objective

The purpose of this course is to provide basic knowledge of the laws and rules governing the practice of mental health in Florida in order to increase compliance and improve client care.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Discuss the importance of confidentiality and record keeping for mental health professionals.
  2. Describe the legal and ethical boundaries established for supervision in the mental health professions.
  3. Identify issues that may arise in the psycho­therapist-client relationship.
  4. Outline the standards of practice for mental health professionals in Florida.
  5. Review disciplinary actions that may be taken against mental health professionals who violate state laws.


Dana Friedlander, Esq., PA, is a practicing attorney in Tampa, Florida. She completed her undergraduate education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, before completing her law studies at University of Florida, College of Law, in Gainesville, Florida. She worked as an Assistant State Attorney in the 13th Judicial District from 1995 to 2003, after which she entered into private practice. Ms. Friedlander is a member of the Florida Bar and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Faculty Disclosure

Contributing faculty, Dana Friedlander, Esq., PA, has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Division Planner

Alice Yick Flanagan, PhD, MSW

Division Planner Disclosure

The division planner has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Director of Development and Academic Affairs

Sarah Campbell

Director Disclosure Statement

The Director of Development and Academic Affairs has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

About the Sponsor

The purpose of NetCE is to provide challenging curricula to assist healthcare professionals to raise their levels of expertise while fulfilling their continuing education requirements, thereby improving the quality of healthcare.

Our contributing faculty members have taken care to ensure that the information and recommendations are accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The publisher disclaims any liability, loss or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents. Participants are cautioned about the potential risk of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into practice.

Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of NetCE not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

Technical Requirements

Supported browsers for Windows include Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 and up, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Supported browsers for Macintosh include Safari, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Other operating systems and browsers that include complete implementations of ECMAScript edition 3 and CSS 2.0 may work, but are not supported. Supported browsers must utilize the TLS encryption protocol v1.1 or v1.2 in order to connect to pages that require a secured HTTPS connection. TLS v1.0 is not supported.

Implicit Bias in Health Care

The role of implicit biases on healthcare outcomes has become a concern, as there is some evidence that implicit biases contribute to health disparities, professionals' attitudes toward and interactions with patients, quality of care, diagnoses, and treatment decisions. This may produce differences in help-seeking, diagnoses, and ultimately treatments and interventions. Implicit biases may also unwittingly produce professional behaviors, attitudes, and interactions that reduce patients' trust and comfort with their provider, leading to earlier termination of visits and/or reduced adherence and follow-up. Disadvantaged groups are marginalized in the healthcare system and vulnerable on multiple levels; health professionals' implicit biases can further exacerbate these existing disadvantages.

Interventions or strategies designed to reduce implicit bias may be categorized as change-based or control-based. Change-based interventions focus on reducing or changing cognitive associations underlying implicit biases. These interventions might include challenging stereotypes. Conversely, control-based interventions involve reducing the effects of the implicit bias on the individual's behaviors. These strategies include increasing awareness of biased thoughts and responses. The two types of interventions are not mutually exclusive and may be used synergistically.