TMA: Marriage, Family Therapists Can't Diagnose

On Dec. 31, 2015, TMA filed a response brief with the Supreme Court of Texas in regard to Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists and Texas Association of Marriage and Family Therapy v. Texas Medical Association. The brief argues that the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists' (MFT's) rule authorizing marriage and family therapists to diagnose any and all known mental disorders is not within the scope of practice set forth in state law. In the brief, TMA argues the plain meaning of the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Act doesn't include diagnosis.

"The common, ordinary meaning of the words used in the statute and the accepted definition of diagnosis do not provide authority for marriage and family therapists to diagnose mental disorders or for MFT board to adopt a rule authorizing them to do so," TMA's brief states.

Previously, the Third Court of Appeals ruled the MFT board's diagnostic assessment rule exceeds the scope of marriage and family therapy "because it authorizes marriage and family therapists to diagnose all known mental disorders, not just evaluate and remediate dysfunction in marriage and family systems." In the brief, TMA states that the expansive authority given to marriage and family therapists via the rule "authorizes marriage and family therapists to engage unlawfully in the practice of medicine." 

TMA says the Court of Appeals ruled correctly, making the MFT board's statute void. TMA requests the MFT board's petition for review be denied.

Action, Jan. 18, 2016

Last Updated On

October 11, 2016

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