(HB 1056)

The practice of counseling revised.

         ENTITLED, An Act to  revise certain provisions relating to the practice of counseling.


     Section  1.  That § 36-32-1 be amended to read as follows:

     36-32-1.   Terms as used in this chapter mean:

             (1)      "Board," the Board of Counselor Examiners established under this chapter;

             (2)      "Counseling," rendering or offering to render to any person, group, organization, or the general public, a counseling service involving the application of clinical counseling principles, methods, or procedures to assist any person in achieving more effective personal, social, educational, or career development and adjustment;

             (3)      "Counseling principles, methods, or procedures," an approach to counseling that emphasizes the counselor's role in systematically assisting any client through all of the following: assessing and analyzing background and current information, formulating a conceptual understanding of the problem, exploring possible solutions, and developing and providing a treatment plan for mental and emotional adjustment or development "Counseling treatment interventions," the application of cognitive, affective, behavioral,

and systemic counseling strategies which include principles of development, wellness, and pathology implemented in the context of a professional counseling relationship ;

             (4) (3)      "Doctorate or master's degree in counseling," completion of study following a bachelor's degree in a clearly identified counseling program which stands as a recognizable organizational entity within an accredited institution of higher learning and which includes participation in a supervised practicum and internship in counseling;

             (5) (4)      "Postgraduate," following completion of study for a master's or doctoral degree;

             (5)    "Practice of professional counseling," application of mental health, psychological, and human development principles in order to:

             (a)    Facilitate human development and adjustment throughout the life span;

             (b)    Prevent, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders and associated distresses which interfere with mental health;

             (c)    Conduct assessments and diagnoses for the purpose of establishing treatment goals and objectives; and

             (d)    Plan, implement, and evaluate treatment plans using counseling treatment interventions;

             (6)      "Supervised internship," an actual on-the-job-experience in professional counseling under the supervision of an on-site supervisor who is a licensed professional counselor or related mental health professional or who is eligible to be licensed;

             (7)      "Supervised practicum," the providing of counseling to any bona fide client or group seeking services from a counselor. This supervised practicum shall be under the direction of a qualified graduate faculty member and includes critiquing of counseling, either observed or recorded on audio or video tape.

     Section  2.  That § 36-32-9 be amended to read as follows:

     36-32-9.   It is a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person to engage in the practice, or attempt to practice, counseling as a licensed professional counselor without a license, or licensed professional counselor--mental health without a certificate, professional counseling as defined in subdivision 36-32-1(5) and collect a fee for the service without a license issued pursuant to this chapter.

     Section  3.  That § 36-32-12 be amended to read as follows:

     36-32-12.   Nothing in this chapter may be construed to prevent anyone from doing work within the standards and ethics of the person's respective profession or calling, provided the person does not hold himself or herself out to the public as a counselor by using the title "licensed professional counselor," "licensed counselor" or "licensed professional counselor--mental health" unless the person is licensed or certified under this chapter. This chapter does not apply to the activities and services of a person practicing professional counseling as defined in subdivision 36-32-1(5) as part of that person's duties as a:

             (1)    Professional licensed or certified under this title acting in a manner consistent with state law regarding the scope of practice;

             (2)    Person employed by a school, college, university, or other institution of higher learning;

             (3)    Person employed by a federal, state, county, or local governmental institution or agency while performing those duties for which the person was employed by such institution, agency, or facility;

             (4)    Person who is employed by a licensed health care facility, an accredited prevention or treatment facility, an adjustment training center, a nonprofit mental health center, or a licensed or registered child welfare agency;

             (5)    Member of the clergy while acting in a ministerial capacity if the activity is within the scope of performance of regular or specialized duties;

             (6)    Post-graduate supervised trainee who has an approved plan of supervision on file with the board;

             (7)    Mental health practitioner who has a minimum of a master's degree in counseling or a related mental health field with a plan of supervision and original transcripts on file with the board before July 1, 2008; or

             (8)     Students enrolled in recognized programs of study leading to counseling degrees may practice only under the direct supervision of a counselor educator or counselor licensed under this chapter.

     Section  4.  That chapter 36-32 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:

     The requirements of subdivisions 36-32-13(5), (6) and (7) are waived if the applicant:

             (1)    Has a master's degree in counseling or a related mental health field;

             (2)    Has completed an application for licensure before January 1, 2008; and

             (3)    Submits three letters of verification on forms provided by the board documenting a minimum of ten years of at least half-time professional counseling as defined in subdivision 36-32-1(5) in the immediate preceding fifteen years.

     Signed March 2, 2007