WEST virginia legislature
2017 regular session
Senate Bill 350
By Senator Blair
20, 2017; Referred
to the Committee on Government Organization]
A BILL to amend and reenact §30-31-3, §30-31-6 and §30-31-11 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to licenses, temporary permits and exemptions from licensure for professional counselors, marriage and family therapists.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §30-31-3, §30-31-6 and §30-31-11 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 31. LICENSED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS.
As used in this article, the following words and terms have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Applicant" means a person making an application for a license or renewal under the provisions of this article.
(b) "Board" means the West Virginia Board of Examiners in Counseling.
(c) "Clinical counseling procedures" means an approach to counseling that emphasizes the counselor's role in systematically assisting clients through all of the following including, but are not limited to, observing, assessing and analyzing background and current information; utilizing assessment techniques useful in appraising aptitudes, abilities, achievements, interests or attitudes; diagnosing; and developing a treatment plan. The goal of these procedures is the prevention or elimination of symptomatic, maladaptive, or undesired behavior, cognitions, or emotions in order to integrate a wellness, preventative, pathology and multicultural model of human behavior to assist an individual, couple, family, group of individuals, organization, institution or community to achieve mental, emotional, physical, social, moral, educational, spiritual, vocational or career development and adjustment through the life span of the individual, couple, family, group of individuals, organization, institution or community.
(d) "Licensed professional counselor" means a person licensed under the provisions of this article to practice professional counseling.
(e) "Licensee" means a person holding a license issued under the provisions of this article.
(f) "Licensed marriage and family therapist" means a person licensed under the provisions of this article to practice marriage and family therapy.
(g) "Marriage and family therapy" means the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders whether cognitive, affective or behavioral, specifically within the context of marriage and family systems, that involve the professional application of theories and techniques to individuals, couples and families, singly or in groups.
(h) “Permit” means a temporary permit to practice professional counseling or marriage and family therapy issued by the board under the provisions of this article.
(i) “Permittee” means a person holding a temporary permit under the provisions of this article.
(h) (j) "Professional counseling" means
the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional or
addiction disorders through the application of clinical counseling procedures.
Professional counseling includes the use of psychotherapy, assessment instruments,
counseling, consultation, treatment planning, and supervision in the delivery
of services to individuals, couples, families and groups.
(a) The board shall propose rules for legislative approval, in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to implement the provisions of this article, including:
(1) Standards and requirements for licenses to practice professional counseling and marriage and family therapy;
(2) Procedures for examinations and reexaminations;
(3) Requirements for third parties to prepare and/or administer examinations and reexaminations;
(4) Educational and experience requirements;
(5) The passing grade on the examination;
(6) Standards for approval of courses;
(7) Procedures for the issuance and renewal of a license or permit;
(8) A fee schedule;
(9) Continuing education requirements for licensees;
(10) The procedures for denying, suspending, revoking, reinstating or limiting the practice of a licensee;
(11) Requirements to reinstate a revoked license;
(12) Specific master's and doctoral degree programs considered to be equivalent to a master's or doctoral degree program required under this article;
(13) The nature of supervised professional experience approved by the board for the purposes of licensure of this article;
(14) A code of ethics; and
(15) Any other rules necessary to effectuate the provisions of this article.
(b) All of the board's rules in effect on July 1, 2009, shall remain in effect until they are amended or repealed, and references to provisions of former enactments of this article are interpreted to mean provisions of this article.
§30-31-11. Persons exempted from licensure.
(a) The following activities are exempt from the provisions of this article:
(1) Teaching, lecturing or engaging in research in professional counseling or marriage and family therapy so long as such activities do not otherwise involve the practice of professional counseling or marriage and family therapy directly affecting the welfare of the person counseled;
(2) The official duties of persons employed as professional counselors or marriage and family therapists by the State of West Virginia or any of its departments, agencies, divisions, bureaus or political subdivisions, counties, county boards of education, regional education service agencies, municipalities or any other facilities or programs established, supported or funded, in whole or in part, by the governmental entity;
(3) The official duties of persons employed as professional counselors or marriage and family therapists by any department, agency, division or bureau of the United States of America;
(4) The official duties of persons serving as professional counselors or marriage and family therapists, whether as volunteers or for compensation or other personal gain, in any public or private nonprofit corporations, organizations, associations or charities;
(5) The official duties of persons serving as professional counselors or marriage and family therapists, whether as volunteers or for compensation or other personal gain, in any for-profit organizations, organizations, associations or charities: Provided, That the person shall apply for licensure with the board and elect for a temporary permit to utilize during the application process until a provisional license can be obtained. The permittee shall be supervised by an approved licensed professional supervisor while practicing under the temporary permit. Supervision hours completed under the temporary permit do not count as supervised professional experience as required for licensure under sections eight and nine of this article. The temporary permit shall be valid for a period of six months. If the permittee receives a failing score on the required examination, the applicant may apply for a one-time renewal for a period not to exceed six months. The temporary permit may be revoked by a majority vote of the board;
(5) (6) The official duties of persons who are
employed by a licensed professional counselor or licensed marriage and family
therapist, whose duties are supervised by a licensed professional counselor or
licensed marriage and family therapists and who represent themselves by the
title provisionally licensed counselor or provisionally licensed marriage and
family therapist, and do not represent themselves as licensed professional
counselors or licensed marriage and family therapists as defined in this
article; (6) (7) The activities of a student of
professional counseling or marriage and family therapy which are part of the
prescribed course of study at an accredited educational institution and are
supervised by a licensed professional counselor, licensed marriage and family
therapist or by a teacher, instructor or professor of counseling or marriage
and family therapy acting within the official duties or scope of activities
exempted by this section; or (7) (8) The activities and services of qualified
members of other recognized professions such as physicians, psychologists,
psychoanalysts, social workers, lawyers, clergy, nurses or teachers performing
counseling or marriage and family therapy consistent with the laws of this
state, their training and any code of ethics of their professions so long as
such persons do not represent themselves as licensed professional counselors or
licensed marriage and family therapists as defined by section three of this
(b) Nothing in the article requires licensing of the following persons pursuant to this article:
(1) A school counselor who holds a school counseling certificate issued by the West Virginia Department of Education and who is engaged in counseling solely within the scope of his or her employment with the department, a county board of education or a regional education service agency; or
(2) A nonresident professional counselor or marriage and family therapist who holds a license or other authorization to engage in the practice of professional counseling or marriage and family therapy issued by another state, the qualifications for which in the opinion of the board are at least as stringent as those provided in section eight and section nine of this article, and who renders counseling services in this state for no more than thirty days in any calendar year.
(c) Nothing in this article permits a licensed professional counselor or licensed marriage and family therapist to administer or prescribe drugs or otherwise engage in the practice of medicine as defined in articles three and fourteen of chapter thirty of this code.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow certain licensed professional counselor and marriage and family therapist applicants to be issued a temporary permit so the applicant can practice during the application and testing process.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.