This video was posted to YouTube in 2009. It investigates how negligent Florida’s Dept. of Health has been in reporting crimes by mental health professionals.
At that time, a spokesperson for the Department of Health assured viewers they were implementing “systems” so this lack of follow-through would stop, the law would be upheld, and unethical mental health professionals would be better held accountable for their actions.
It’s 2013. Is Florida Doing Any Better?
If my case is representative, the answer is, “No. They aren’t.”
My improperly licensed therapist, Terry Ganaway, was reported to the Florida’s Department of Health at the end of June or early July of 2012 for sexual misconduct, improper licensing, practicing without supervision, and fraudulent advertising.
In the subsequent 15 months (it is now mid-September 2013), it has been investigated, a report has been filed, and Terry has requested a hearing.
In the meantime, he is still practicing. Not only that, he has expanded his practice.
The State of Florida knows he has been practicing illegally. His intern license does not allow him to be in private practice, yet he advertises his private practice and referred to himself as a “licensed therapist”. The law is that he requires supervision and must state he is a “Social Worker Intern” on his website and in all advertising.
Although he recently changed his website to specify “coaching”, many of his advertisements on the Internet have him in the category of “counselor” or “therapist”. In some, he actually claims to be an Alcohol and Drug “Program” or “Facility”. You can see some of those ads here (all images accurate as of September 15, 2013). In his Yellow Pages ads, he is categorized under “Counselor — Licensed”. The word “intern” appears nowhere.
Florida’s Dept. of Health, nearly 15 months later, has not even sent him a “Cease and Desist” letter, despite knowing he is improperly licensed and in private practice illegally.
This video states that the Dept. of Health is required to refer crimes committed by mental health professionals to law enforcement. When I asked about whether or not this had been done, the person I spoke with at the Dept. of Health did not even know it was required and told me I was wrong.
How is this acceptable? Where are you, State of Florida?
Is the Florida Dept. of Health continuing to protect unethical mental health professionals?
It sure seems that way.
Update — September 2014
I finally received a call September 17, 2014 from the State of Florida — two years, two months, and two weeks after Terry Ganaway was reported. During all that time, he has been practicing unencumbered.
I explained the bulk of what happened to the woman on the phone, although I did forget several things I think are important, as I was caught off-guard by the out-of-the-blue phone call.
More updates to come….