This filing was published in the 06/15/2009, issue, Vol. 2009, No. 12, of the Utah State Bulletin.
Commerce, Occupational and Professional Licensing
Professional Counselor Licensing Act Rules
NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE
DAR File No.: 32690
Filed: 05/26/2009, 09:08
Received by: NL
Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:
The Division and the Professional Counselor Licensing Board reviewed this rule and determined that changes needed to be made.
Summary of the rule or change:
Throughout the rule the term "rules" has been changed to "rule" where applicable. Also, some minor grammatical changes are made throughout the rule. In Section R156-60c-102, the proposed amendment clarifies the setting where supervision in an internship can occur and clarifies the type of site supervisor that a student in an internship course must have. The proposed amendment makes requirements in the school internship experience consistent with those for the 4,000 hours of supervised experience requirement and deletes outdated language. In Subsection R156-60c-302a(1), by adding the words "or an equivalent degree", the Division and Board wish to clarify the fact that the literal title of the degree is not required to be "Mental Health Counseling". Titles of the degree could vary. It is the coursework required to complete the degree that is important. Reference to the "Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling or Mental Health Counseling degree" is deleted because it is redundant. Also, adding the Council for Higher Education Accreditation of the American Council on Education (CHEA) as a possible accreditation of an acceptable degree is needed to allow for consistency with requirements in other states. In Subsection R156-60c-302a(2)(a), the proposed change specifies the standards upon which an acceptable ethical standards course should be based. The Board and Division have always upheld the expectation that the course would be based on the standards of the American Counseling Association (ACA), American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), or the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) because these are relevant to the practice of a professional counselor. In Subsection R156-60c-302a(2)(b), the addition of the phrase "of a mental health counselor" is needed to clarify the emphasis needed in a course meeting this requirement. Without the language, some assume the course can be specific to the roles of an art therapist, community counselor, or school counselor rather than those of a mental health counselor. In Subsection R156-60c-302a(2)(c), the proposed change is needed to specify that the course must review several predominant theories of "individual therapy", rather than just one or two. Humanistic, behavioral, and cognitive theories are given as examples to help the public understand what is expected to be reviewed in the course. In Subsection R156-60c-302a(2)(d), the purpose of this change is to identify group development and theories regarding group therapy as required elements of any course that meets this requirement. In Subsections R156-60c-302a(2)(e), (f), and (g), the current rule includes courses in career development as part of the human growth and development category. However, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accreditation separates them into separate categories. The proposed amendments makes the requirement in rule consistent with CACREP accreditation. The number of credit hours needed in the human growth and development category is decreased due to career development becoming its own category. Also, the proposed change deletes some of the examples of subjects that fall within requirements (e) and (g) because they are covered within the scope of other examples. In Subsection R156-60c-302a(2)(h), the language "lab not to exceed four semester or six quarter hours" is removed because work in a lab would count toward the practicum or internship course, not a course in individual and group therapy. The reference to a lab in this section is confusing. In Subsection R156-60c-302a(2)(i), the addition of "multi-axial diagnosis" is needed to more accurately identify what is expected to be in the course. In Subsection R156-60c-302a(2)(k), the proposed change is needed to identify content that has always been expected to be a part of the test and measurement theory course. Including this language helps applicants better understand what is expected. In Subsection R156-60c-302a(2)(l), the proposed change is needed to specify content that is expected be in a course that meets this requirement. In Subsection R156-60c-302a(4), the phrase "subsequently return to college and" is deleted because if someone with one of the degrees identified in this section completed coursework in mental health counseling while completing their degree, that coursework would count toward the requirement. Reference to the Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling/Therapy degree should be deleted because someone with that degree should be pursuing licensure as a marriage and family therapist and not as a professional counselor. The word "substantially" is being added to emphasize the fact that a degree is one of the related fields is not required to be literally equivalent to a degree in mental health counseling. Reference to the temporary professional counselor license at the end of the section is deleted because the extern license is addressed in Subsection R156-60c-302a(5). In Subsection R156-60c-302a(5), the purpose of this change is to communicate a precedent that the Board and Division have upheld regarding approval of certified professional counselor extern licenses. If an application includes education deficiencies in ethics, psychopathology, advanced mental status, practicum or internship, the Board and Division have not issued a license. In Section R156-60c-302b, including a reference to the definition of an employee found in a separate administrative rule is needed because some licensees are not aware of how the definition requires that certified professional counselor interns had to be W-2 employees rather than contract employees. In Section R156-60c-304, the proposed amendments clarify continuing education requirements for professional counselors. One proposed change will require the completion of a minimum of 6 hours of continuing education in ethics/law out of the 40 continuing education hours already required. In Subsection R156-60c-401(2), clarified mental health licensees. Subsection R156-60c-401(3) is being added to prohibit a conflict of interest that arises in some mental health agencies.
State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:
Section 58-60-401 and Subsections 58-1-106(1)(a) and 58-1-202(1)(a)
Anticipated cost or savings to:
the state budget:
The Division will incur minimal costs of approximately $100 to print and distribute the rule once the proposed amendments are made effective. The addition of CHEA as an acceptable type of education accreditation may lead to a minimal increase in the number of applicants and licensees requiring action and regulation by the Division, which will cause a minimal increase in workload. Any costs incurred will be absorbed in the Division's current budget.
There could be a few employees of local government working in the mental health field that will pursue licensure as a professional counselor now that CHEA is an acceptable type of education accreditation. Once licensed, these employees may seek promotions or employment elsewhere in positions where they could practice mental health therapy. This is expected to have little, if any, impact on local government.
small businesses and persons other than businesses:
The proposed amendments only apply to licensed professional counselor classifications and applicants for licensure in those professional counselor classifications. Licensees and applicants for licensure may work in a small business; however, the proposed amendments would not directly affect the business. There could be a few employees of small mental health agencies that will pursue licensure as a professional counselor now that CHEA is an acceptable type of education accreditation. Once licensed, these employees may seek promotions or employment elsewhere in positions where they could practice mental health therapy. This is expected to have little, if any, cost or saving impact on small businesses. The inclusion of CHEA as an acceptable type of education accreditation will result in additional people applying for and obtaining a professional counselor license. As a result, the number of therapists in the state that will be available to provide mental health therapy to the public may increase. However, the increase, if any, is expected to be minimal. As a result of the proposed amendment requiring that licensed professional counselors complete a minimum of six hours of continuing education in ethics/law, licensees may see minimal costs or savings as courses on this subject may cost more or less than current continuing education courses.
Compliance costs for affected persons:
The proposed amendments only apply to licensed professional counselor classifications and applicants for licensure in those professional counselor classifications. The inclusion of CHEA as an acceptable type of education accreditation will result in additional people applying for and obtaining a professional counselor license. As a result, the number of therapists in the state that will be available to provide mental health therapy to the public may increase. However, the increase, if any, is expected to be minimal. As a result of the proposed amendment requiring that licensed professional counselors complete a minimum of six hours of continuing education in ethics/law, licensees may see minimal costs or savings as courses on this subject may cost more or less than current continuing education courses.
Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:
This rule filing clarifies definitions and adopts standards for education, continuing education, and supervisor requirements. No fiscal impact to businesses is anticipated from such clarification and adoption of standards. To meet national standards, this rule filing expands acceptable degree programs to include equivalent degrees from programs accredited by the CHEA. This change could be a cost savings to potential license applicants. Francine A. Giani, Executive Director
The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:Commerce
Occupational and Professional Licensing
HEBER M WELLS BLDG
160 E 300 S
SALT LAKE CITY UT 84111-2316
Direct questions regarding this rule to:
Rich Oborn at the above address, by phone at 801-530-6767, by FAX at 801-530-6511, or by Internet E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:
Interested persons may attend a public hearing regarding this rule:
6/22/2009 at 10:30 AM, Heber Wells Bldg, 160 E 300 S, Conference Room 474 (fourth floor), Salt Lake City, UT
This rule may become effective on:
Thad LeVar, Deputy Director
R156. Commerce, Occupational and Professional Licensing.
R156-60c. Professional Counselor Licensing Act Rule[
These rules are] known as
the "Professional Counselor Licensing Act Rule[ s]".
In addition to the definitions in Title 58, Chapters
1 and 60, as used in Title 58, Chapters 1 and 60, or th[
(1) "Internship" means:
(a) 900 clock
hours of supervised counseling experience of which 360 hours must be in the
provision of mental health therapy[
. If an applicant completed the internship prior to October 31,
2003, the 600 hour internship under the prior rule shall be acceptable.]
(2) "Practicum" means a supervised counseling experience in an appropriate setting of at least three semester or four and 1/2 quarter hours duration for academic credit.
(3) "Unprofessional conduct" as defined in Title 58, Chapters 1 and 60 is further defined, in accordance with Subsection 58-1-203(5), in Section R156-60c-502.
R156-60c-103. Authority - Purpose.
These rules are] adopted
by the division under the authority of Subsection 58-1-106(1) to enable the
division to administer Title 58, Chapter 60, Part 4.
R156-60c-302a. Qualifications for Licensure - Education Requirements.
to Subsection 58-60-405(1)(d)(i), the degree and educational program which
prepares one to competently engage in mental health therapy is established and
clarified to be a masters or doctorate degree in Mental Health Counseling [
with the classification of a Marriage, Couple and
Family Counseling/Therapy degree or Mental Health Counseling degree, which
degree is received] from an institution accredited by the Council for
Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), at the time the applicant obtained the education, which includes a
minimum of 60 semester (90 quarter) hours of graduate studies and includes the
specific course requirements as specified in Subsection (2).
(2) The core curriculum in Subsection 58-60-405(1)(d) shall consist of the following courses:
(a) a minimum of two semester or three quarter hours shall be in ethical standards, issues, behavior and decision-making;
(b) a minimum of two semester or three quarter hours shall be in professional roles and functions, trends and history, professional preparation standards and credentialing;
(c) a minimum of two semester or three quarter hours shall be in individual theory;
(d) a minimum of two semester or three quarter hours shall be in group theory;
(e) a minimum
six] semester or [ nine]
quarter hours shall be in human growth and development[ . Examples are]:
(i) physical, social and psychosocial development;
(ii) personality development;
(iii) learning theory and cognitive development;
(iv) emotional development;[
(v) life-span development; (vi) enhancing wellness; (vii) human sexuality; and (viii) career development;]
a minimum of three semester or four and 1/2 quarter hours shall be in
cultural foundations. Examples are:
(i) human diversity;
(ii) multicultural issues and trends;
(iii) gender issues;
and (vii) discrimination;]
a minimum of six semester or nine quarter hours shall be in the
application of individual and group therapy and other therapeutic methods and
interventions. Examples are:
(i) building, maintaining and terminating relationships;
(ii) solution-focused and brief therapy;
(iii) crisis intervention;
(iv) prevention of mental illness;
(v) treatment of specific syndromes;
(vi) case conceptualization;
supportive and follow-up services;[
and (viii) lab not to exceed four semester or six quarter hours;]
a minimum of two semester or three quarter hours shall be in
psychopathology and DSM classification;
a minimum of two semester or three quarter hours shall be in
dysfunctional behaviors. Examples are:
(ii) substance abuse;
(iii) cognitive dysfunction;
(iv) sexual dysfunction; and
(v) abuse and violence;
a minimum of two semester or three quarter hours shall be in a
foundation course in test and measurement theory;
a minimum of two semester or three quarter hours shall be in an advanced
course in assessment of mental status;
a minimum of three semester or four and 1/2 quarter hours shall be in
research and evaluation. This shall not include a thesis, dissertation, or
project, but may include:
(ii) research methods, qualitative and quantitative;
(iii) use and interpretation of research data;
(iv) evaluation of client change; and
(v) program evaluation;
a minimum of three semester or four and 1/2 quarter hours of practicum
as defined in Subsection R156-60c-102(2);
a minimum of six semester or nine quarter hours of internship as defined
in Subsection R156-60c-102(1); and
a minimum of 17 semester or 25.5 quarter hours of course work in the
behavioral sciences. No more than six
semester or nine quarter hours of credit for thesis, dissertation or project
hours shall be counted toward the required core curriculum hours in this subsection.
(3) The supplemental course work shall consist of formal graduate level work meeting the requirements of Subsections (1) and (2) in regularly offered and scheduled classes. University based directed reading courses may be approved at the discretion of the board.
following degrees do not prepare a person to competently engage in mental
health therapy: Career Counseling, College Counseling, Community Counseling,
Gerontological Counseling, School Counseling, Student Affairs, Rehabilitation
Counseling, Music Therapy, Art Therapy, or Dance Therapy. Applicants who have one of these degrees or
comparable degrees and who [
subsequently return to college and ]complete
the classes which have been included in the [ Marriage, Couple and Family
Counseling/Therapy degree or the ]Mental Health Counseling degree and as
outlined in Subsection (1) and (2), may request the Division and the Board to
consider their education as equivalent to the requirements for licensure. Upon completion of this equivalent
education requirement, the applicant may be granted a license as a certified
professional counselor intern under Subsection 58-60-405(2)[ or a temporary
professional counselor license under Section 58-60-117].
applicant who has met the degree requirements under Subsection (1) which prepares one to competently
engage in mental health therapy, but who is [
one or more of the courses provided in
Subsection (2) may be granted a temporary professional counselor
license under Section
R156-60c-302b. Qualifications for Licensure - Experience Requirements.
(1) The professional counselor and mental health therapy training qualifying an applicant for licensure as a professional counselor under Subsections 58-60-405(1)(e) and (f) shall:
(a) be completed in not less than two years;
(b) be completed while the applicant is an employee of a public or private agency engaged in mental health therapy under the supervision of a qualified professional counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical social worker, registered psychiatric mental health nurse specialist, or marriage and family therapist; and
(c) be completed under a program of supervision by a mental health therapist meeting the requirements under Sections R156-60c-401 and R156-60c-402.
(2) An applicant for licensure as a professional counselor, who is not seeking licensure by endorsement based upon licensure in another jurisdiction, who has completed all or part of the professional counselor and mental health therapy training requirements under Subsection (1) outside the state may receive credit for that training completed outside of the state if it is demonstrated by the applicant that the training completed outside the state is equivalent to and in all respects meets the requirements for training under Subsections 58-60-405(1)(e) and (f), and Subsections R156-60c-302b(1). The applicant shall have the burden of demonstrating by evidence satisfactory to the division and board that the training completed outside the state is equivalent to and in all respects meets the requirements under this Subsection.
R156-60c-302c. Qualifications for Licensure - Examination Requirements.
An] applicant for licensure as a professional
counselor [ under Subsection 58-60-405(1)(g) ]must pass the following
(a) the Utah Professional Counselor Law, Rules and Ethics Examination;
(b) the National Counseling Examination of the National Board for Certified Counselors; and
(c) the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination of the National Board of Certified Counselors.
R156-60c-303. Renewal Cycle - Procedures.
(1) In accordance with Subsection 58-1-308(1), the renewal date for the two-year renewal cycle applicable to licenses under Title 58, Chapter 60, is established by rule in Section R156-1-308.
(2) Renewal procedures shall be in accordance with Section R156-1-308.
R156-60c-304. Continuing Education.
(1) There is
hereby established a continuing [
professional ]education requirement for
all individuals licensed under Title 58, Chapter 60, Part 4, as a professional
counselor and certified professional counselor intern.
each two year period commencing September 30th of each even numbered year, a
professional counselor or certified professional counselor intern shall be
required to complete not less than 40 hours of [
education directly related to the licensee's professional practice.
required number of hours of [
for an individual who first becomes licensed during the two year period shall
be decreased in a pro-rata amount equal to any part of that two year period
preceding the date on which that individual first became licensed.
professional] education under this [ S]ection
(a) have an identifiable clear statement of purpose and defined
objective for the educational program directly related to the practice of a
mental health therapist professional counselor; (b) be relevant to the licensee's professional practice; (c) be presented in a competent, well organized, and sequential
manner consistent with the stated purpose and objective of the program; (d) be prepared and presented by individuals who are qualified by
education, training, and experience; and (e) have associated with it a competent method of registration of
individuals who actually completed the professional education program and
records of that registration and completion are available for review.
professional] education shall be recognized in
accordance with the following:
hours shall be recognized for [
completed in blocks of time of not less than one hour in formally established
classroom courses, seminars, or conferences;
(b) a maximum
of 10 hours per two year period may be recognized for teaching in a college or
university, teaching qualified continuing [
courses in the field of mental health therapy professional counseling, or
supervision of an individual completing his experience requirement for
licensure in a mental health therapist license classification; and
(c) a maximum of six hours per two year period may be recognized for clinical readings directly related to practice as a mental health therapist professional counselor.
licensee shall be responsible for maintaining competent records of completed [
professional education for a period of four years after close of the two year
period to which the records pertain. It
is the responsibility of the licensee to maintain such information with respect
to [ qualified professional] education to demonstrate it
meets the requirements under this [ S]ection.
licensee who documents he is engaged in fulltime activities
or is subjected to circumstances which prevent that licensee from meeting the
professional ]education requirements established under this
Section may be excused from the requirement for a period of up to three
years. However, it is the
responsibility of the licensee to document the reasons and justify why the
requirement could not be met.
R156-60c-401. Requirements to be Qualified as a Professional Counselor Training Supervisor and Mental Health Therapist Training Supervisor.
In accordance with Subsections 58-60-405(1)(e) and (f), in order for an individual to be qualified as a professional counselor training supervisor or mental health therapist trainer, the individual shall have the following qualifications:
currently licensed in good standing in a profession set forth for a supervisor
under Subsection 58-60-405(1)(e) in the state in which the supervised training
is being performed; [
engaged in lawful practice as a [
[ engaged in the practice of mental health therapy] for not less than
4,000 hours in a period of not less than two years prior to beginning
R156-60c-502. Unprofessional Conduct.
"Unprofessional conduct" includes:
(1) acting as a supervisor or accepting supervision of a supervisor without complying with or ensuring the compliance with the requirements of Sections R156-60c-401 and R156-60c-402;
(2) engaging in the supervised practice of mental health therapy when not in compliance with Subsections R156-60c-302b(3) and R156-60c-402(7);
(3) engaging in and aiding or abetting conduct or practices which are dishonest, deceptive or fraudulent;
(4) engaging in or aiding or abetting deceptive or fraudulent billing practices;
(5) failing to establish and maintain appropriate professional boundaries with a client or former client;
(6) engaging in dual or multiple relationships with a client or former client in which there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the client;
(7) engaging in sexual activities or sexual contact with a client with or without client consent;
(8) engaging in sexual activities or sexual contact with a former client within two years of documented termination of services;
(9) engaging in sexual activities or sexual contact at any time with a former client who is especially vulnerable or susceptible to being disadvantaged because of the client's personal history, current mental status, or any condition which could reasonably be expected to place the client at a disadvantage recognizing the power imbalance which exists or may exist between the professional counselor and the client;
(10) engaging in sexual activities or sexual contact with client's relatives or other individuals with whom the client maintains a relationship when that individual is especially vulnerable or susceptible to being disadvantaged because of his personal history, current mental status, or any condition which could reasonably be expected to place that individual at a disadvantage recognizing the power imbalance which exists or may exist between the professional counselor and that individual;
(11) physical contact with a client when there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the client resulting from the contact;
(12) engaging in or aiding or abetting sexual harassment or any conduct which is exploitive or abusive with respect to a student, trainee, employee, or colleague with whom the licensee has supervisory or management responsibility;
(13) failing to render impartial, objective, and informed services, recommendations or opinions with respect to custodial or parental rights, divorce, domestic relationships, adoptions, sanity, competency, mental health or any other determination concerning an individual's civil or legal rights;
(14) exploiting a client for personal gain;
of] a professional client relationship to exploit a person that
is known to have a personal relationship with a client for personal gain;
(16) failing to maintain appropriate client records for a period of not less than ten years from the documented termination of services to the client;
(17) failing to obtain informed consent from the client or legal guardian before taping, recording or permitting third party observations of client care or records;
to cooperate with the Division during an investigation; and
to abide by the provisions of the American Counseling Association's Code of
Ethics, 2005, which is adopted and incorporated by reference.
KEY: licensing, counselors, mental health, professional counselors
Date of Enactment or
Last Substantive Amendment: [
Notice of Continuation: March 14, 2005
Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 58-60-401; 58-1-106(1)(a); 58-1-202(1)(a)
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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Rich Oborn at the above address, by phone at 801-530-6767, by FAX at 801-530-6511, or by Internet E-mail at email@example.com
For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Division of Administrative Rules (801-538-3764). Please Note: The Division of Administrative Rules is NOT able to answer questions about the content or application of these administrative rules.
Last modified: 07/14/2009 8:03 PM