Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Family therapist wasn't qualified to work alone

TAMPA — The man whose Web site claimed he was "one of the most well known child and family therapists in Florida" was labeled a fraud Monday by the head of the Tampa Bay Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Michael Anthony Holder, 39, faces charges of domestic battery on his 15-year-old stepson. Monday morning, he was fired from his job at the Agency for Community Treatment Services as counselor of a residential program.

Apart from his job as a counselor, Holder's Web site advertises his "Dynamic Parenting System," "a professional behavior management system proven highly effective at reducing or eliminating negative behaviors and problem attitudes from children."

But Bill Hogan, a licensed family therapist and president of the Tampa professional association, says Holder should not have been working alone or advertising as a "family therapist," since that title is protected and restricted to those with that license.

"Practicing without a license is the ultimate fraud," Hogan said.

State records show Holder is only licensed as a registered mental health counselor intern, which means he needs to work under the guidance of a superior.

"He was flying under the radar," Hogan says — until the St. Petersburg Times published a story about his arrest Saturday.

An arrest report from the Hills­borough County Sheriff's Office says Holder grabbed his 15-year-old stepson by the neck during a dispute, choking him.

He inflicted several cuts on the boy's arms and face and left a bruise on his left arm, the report says. Holder denied choking his stepson, but the report states he admitted touching the boy in an attempt to get the teen out of his living quarters.

Holder of Tampa was released from the Orient Road Jail on Monday evening.

Alexandra Zayas can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3354.

Update: Michael Anthony Holder was cleared of his charges by the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office. His state license as a registered mental health counselor intern is clear and active, with no discipline or public complaints on file.

Fast Facts

Your therapist

To verify the credentials of your family therapist, visit the Florida Department of Health's Web site at or call its Division of Medical Quality Assurance at (850) 488-0595.

Family therapist wasn't qualified to work alone 11/24/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 18, 2010 12:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida education news: Lawsuits, lawyers, school board pay and more


    IN COURT: A former Hillsborough County school district top administrator sues the School Board and its chief of staff, alleging board member corruption and …

    Hillsborough School Board member Susan Valdes is the subject of several allegations in a former employee's scathing lawsuit.
  2. Clearwater eyes hiring new downtown director within two months

    CLEARWATER — Now that the city director tasked with revitalizing downtown has resigned after his arrest on a battery charge during Oktoberfest, City Manager Bill Horne said the goal is to not leave the position vacant long.

    Clearwater Assistant City Manager  Micah Maxwell will oversee downtown until the city hires a replacement for Seth Taylor.
  3. Tampa Bay's Top 100 Workplaces deadline extended to Nov. 17


    Think you work at one of the best places in Tampa Bay? You've got a little more time to make a pitch.

    Penny Hoarder and Gregory, Sharer & Stuart were among those at an event in Tampa last May honoring winners of the Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces awards. Nominations are now open for this year.  
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Little separates McElwain and Muschamp eras of futility at Florida


     Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain watches the second quarter of the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville.
  5. Tampa-based Checkers testing delivery, aims for record expansion


    TAMPA — Tampa-based Checkers Drive-In Restaurants continues to fly under the radar compared to dominant burger chains like McDonald's and Burger King.

    Checkers Franchisee Shaji Joseph, of Tampa, hoses down the front walkway of his store at 6401 Park Boulevard, Pinellas Park. The business has a new look including signage and exterior tile. One drive through has been eliminated for an outdoor dining area, right. Joseph owns nine Checkers and is planning to open his tenth in Tampa.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times ]