Alabama mental health counselor's license suspended for standard of care and ethics vioaltions

May 14, 2008

The Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling suspended licensed professional counselor Noble L. McKnight, effective July 1, 2008. In January 2008, the Board charged Mr. McKnight with several violations of both the Code of Alabama and the Code of Ethics and Standards of the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling. The Board’s charges against Mr. McKnight involve his treatment of a young man and his adoptive family. The Board charged specifically that though McKnight determined that he was unable to be of professional assistance to the young man, he failed to formally terminate the counselor-client relationship and continued to counsel the young man even after referring him to appropriate professionals for treatment; When McKnight finally did terminate the relationship, it was with a letter and no formal notice that such termination was planned or pending and without making appropriate arrangements for the continuation of treatment after termination. The Board’s Summon and Complaint states that requests for follow-up discussions with the young man and McKnight concerning the termination decision were refused by McKnight and that the young man died of an accidental drug overdose approximately four months later. In addition to suspension, Mr. McKnight was ordered to pay $2,000 in administrative fines.1

1 Summons and Complaint, Before the State of Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling, In the Matter of the Complaint Against Noble L. McKnight, Respondent, LPC license number 595, 23 Jan. 2008 and Final Order, Before the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling, In the Matter of Noble L. McKnight, License No. 595, 14 May 2008.


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