CHAPTER 380

FORMERLY SENATE SUBSTITUTE NO.

I FOR SENATE BILL NO. 185 AS

AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT

NOS. 1 & 4 AND

SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 2

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 35, TITLE 24, OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PSYCHOLOGISTS; PROVIDING FOR A BOARD OF EXAMINERS OF PSYCHOLOGISTS; LICENSE REQUIRED TO PRACTICE PSYCHOLOGY; AND PROHIBITION AGAINST THE USE OF THE TITLE "PSYCHOLOGIST"; AND THE GRANTING OF THE PRIVILEGE OF WITHHOLDING CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-third of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Chapter 35, Title 24, of the Delaware Code, by striking said Chapter 35 in its entirety and substituting in lieu there of a new Chapter 35 which shall read as follows:

CHAPTER 35. PSYCHOLOGY SUBCHAPTER 1 — DEFINITIONS

§ 3501. Definitions

For purposes of this Act, the following words unless otherwise indicated, shall be deemed to have the following meanings:

(a) "Board" means State Board of Examiners of Psychologists.

() ^ "Person" means corporations, companies and partnerships, 'as well as individuals.

() "Psychologist" means a person who represents himself to the public by any title or description of services incorporating

the words "psychology", "psychological", "psychologist", and/or one who offers to render, or does render, psychological services and/or treatment to persons, groups, organizations, or the public for a fee, monetary or otherwise.

§ 3502. Board of Examiners of Psychologists; appointments; qualifications; term; vacancies; oath

(a) There is created a State Board of Examiners of Psychologists who shall administer the provisions of this Chapter.

(b) The Board shall consist of five members, residents of this State and citizens of the United States, who shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of names submitted by the Delaware Psychological Association.

(c) All of the members of the Board shall be licensed to practice psychology under the provisions of this Chapter. At least three members of the board shall be engaged in the practice of an applied field of psychology.

(d) Persons appointed to the Board initially shall serve for the following terms: two members for two years each and three members for three years each. Thereafter, all members shall be appointed for terms of three years, except that appointments to fill a vacancy occurring otherwise than through the expiration of a term shall be for the unexpired term.

§ 3503. Compensation; expenses

The members of the Board shall receive $20 for each day actually engaged in service and shall be reimbursed for all proper and necessary expenses.

§ 3504. Organization; meetings; officers, quorum

(a) The Board shall hold regular meetings at least twice each year, and no more than ten other special meetings at such times and at such places within the State as the Board or the President shall determine.

(b) The Board shall elect annually a President, a Vice-President, and a Secretary-Treasurer. A quorum of the Board shall consists of three members.

The Board shall keep a register of all applications for licenses and a record of its proceedings. Such records shall be prima facie evidence of the proceedings of the Board.

SUBCHAPTER II. LICENSE TO PRACTICE PSYCHOLOGY

§ 3506. License required for the practice of psychology

No person shall hold himself out to the public in this State as being qualified to practice psychology or use in connection with his name or otherwise assume or use any title or description tending to convey the impression that he is qualified to practice psychology unless such person has been duly licensed under the provisions of this Subchapter.

§ 3507. General requirements for licensing

Any applicant for a license to practice psychology shall submit evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board, that he/she:

(a) Has been a resident of this State for ninety days; or, for a period of ninety days within this State, has been a student of psychology, a psychological intern, or has otherwise been preparing to become a professional psychologist.

(b) Has received a doctoral degree based in part upon a psychological dissertation and on a program of studies, the content of which was primarily psychological, from an accredited college or university having a graduate program in psychology, and who;

(c) Has had, after receiving the doctoral degree, at least two years of supervised experience in psychological work of a type satisfactory to the Board, or;

(d) Has had, after receiving the master's degree, at least five years of supervised experience in psychological work of a type satisfactory to the Board as qualifying in nature.

(e) Is competent in the practice of psychology, as shown by passing such examination, written or oral, or both, as the Board deems necessary.

(f) Has not, within the preceding six months, failed an examination given by the Board or a comparable agency of another state.

§ 3508. Licensing under special conditions

(a) For a period of six months from the effective date of this Act, the Board may waive the requirements of Section 3507 (b), Section 3507 (e), or both.

(b) The Board may, at its discretion, qualify for licensing without examination any person who is a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology.

(c) The provision of Section 3508 shall apply only to those psychologists who have been employed in the State of Delaware for a period of at least one year prior to the date of this Act. Any person currently certified by the Board on the effective date of this Act shall be issued a license in place of the certificate which he or she presently holds without the necessity of any formal application on his or her part.

§ 3509. Reciprocity

The Board may, upon proper application, and upon payment of the required fees, issue a license to any person who holds a license or a certificate of registration issued to him by the proper authorities of any state, district, commonwealth, or territory of the United States, provided that the requirements for the license or certificate do not conflict with the provisions of this Chapter and are of a standard not lower than those specified in this Chapter in the opinion of the Board.

§ 3510. Licensing fees

(a) The Board shall be empowered to set and collect reasonable fees to be deposited in the General Fund, not to exceed the amounts hereinafter tabulated:

   

License applications

$50.00

Examinations

25.00

License renewals

10.00

Delinquency of payment

5.00

License replacement

5.00

(b) The application fee shall not be returnable under any circumstances. If an applicant fails to appear for a scheduled examination, the examination fee may be forfeited at the discretion of the Board.

§ 3511. Licenses

The Board shall issue a license to any applicant who has satisfactorily complied with the requirements of Section 3507, Section 3508, if applicable, and Section 3510 of this Chapter.

§ 3512. Expirations and Renewals

Each year, following the issuance of a license, the holder of such license shall be required to pay a license renewal fee on or before July 31. Failure to renew the license shall provide grounds for suspension of the license. The license may be reinstated at the discretion of the Board, after payment of the regular renewal fee plus a delinquent fee.

§ 3513. Revocation of license

(a) The Board may revoke or suspend the license of anyone who is found guilty of:

(1) The practice of any fraud or deceit in obtaining a license; impersonating another person holding a license or allowing another person to use his license; or, aiding or abetting a person, not licensed to practice psychology, in representing himself as a psychologist.

(2) Any offense involving moral turpitude.

(3) Using any chemical, drug, or alcoholic beverage to the extent that such use impairs his ability to perform the work of a psychologist.

(4) Advertising in a way that may deceive the public or that may be harmful to public morals or safety.

(5) Making public claims of superiority in training or skill as a psychologist or in the performance of professional service.

(6) The use of psychological techniques for entertainment only, or other purposes not as a profession, as a science, and as a means of promoting human welfare.

(7) Engaging in an area of psychological practice in which he is, in the opinion of the Board, grossly incompetent.

(8) Any form of unethical conduct as defined in "Ethical Standards for Psychologists" as adopted and published by the American Psychological Association, 1953, and as revised.

(b) The Board, or any aggrieved person, may prefer charges of fraud, deceit, gross negligence, or misconduct against anyone licensed to practice psychology in this State. Such charges shall be in writing and shall be filed with the Secretary-Treasurer of the Board. The Board shall have the right to investigate complaints. Findings resulting from the Board's investigation may constitute sufficient reason to hold a hearing.

() All charges, unless dismissed by the Board as unfounded or trivial, shall be heard by the Board within three months after the date on which they shall have been preferred, unless the President of the Board grants an extension of one month for the date of such hearing.

(a) The time and place for such hearing shall be fixed by the Board and a copy of the charges, together with a notice of the time and place of hearing, shall be personally served on or mailed to the last known address of the licensee at least 30 days before the date fixed for the hearing. At such hearing, the accused licensee shall have the right to appear personally and to be represented by counsel, to cross-examine witnesses appearing against him, and to produce evidence and witnesses in his own

defense. If, after such a hearing, three or more members of the Board vote in favor of finding the accused guilty, the Board shall revoke or suspend his license or take such other action as the Board deems appropriate.

§ 3514. Reissuance of revoked license; replacement of license

(a) One whose License has been revoked may reapply for a new license after one year from the date of its revocation. At the discretion of the Board, and upon the applicant's meeting all the requirements of this Chapter, a written or oral examination, or both, may be required. Fees, as prescribed in Section'3510, shall be applicable.

(b) A new license to replace any license lost, destroyed, or mutilated may be issued subject to the rules of the Board. A charge shall be made for such issuance.

SUBCHAPTER 41. OTHER PROVISIONS

§ 3515. Appeals

Any person who feels aggrieved by any action of the Board in denying, revoking, suspending, or failing to reissue his license may appeal therefrom to the Superior Court of the county in which such person resides. The decision of the Board shall be prima facie correct, and the burden of proof shall be on the appellant to show that the Board acted contrary to law, fraudulently, arbitrarily, or capriciously. The appellant shall be heard on the records and proceedings of the Board, which shall be certified to the Court by the Board within 15 days after service on the Board of a notice of appeal.

§ 3616. Use of title

(a) It is specifically prohibited that any individual present himself or that any organization present itself, or be presented to the public, by any title incorporating the name "psychological", "psychology", or "psychologist", unless licensed in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter, except as follows:

(1) Persons employed as psychologists by recognized academic institutions, agencies of the State, or research laboratories

may represent themselves by the title conferred upon them by the administration of such academic institutions, agencies of the State, or laboratories. Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed as permitting such persons or organizations to act as consultants or to accept renuneration for any psychological services other than those rendered during performance of their official duties unless they have been licensed under this Act.

(2) Visiting lecturers from recognized colleges or universities, laboratories and business corporations are exempt from the provisions of this Section and may utilize their academic or research title when presenting lectures or offering their research findings or providing scientific information to similar institutions Or organizations.

(3) Students of psychology, psychological interns, and other persons preparing to become professional psychologists and who will be under qualified supervision in recognized training institutions or facilities may be designated by such titles as "psychological intern", "psychological trainee", or other titles clearly indicating such training status. In no instance shall students or interns offer psychological services to the public for remuneration, monetary or otherwise.

(b) Persons employed as psychologists by organizations that sell psychological services to the public in the State of Delaware shall not be exempted.

§ 3517. Limitations on the scope of chapter 35

(a) The provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to the activities and services of a student, intern, or a resident in psychology, pursuing a course of study approved as qualifying training and experience under the terms of this Chapter.

(b) The provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to those psychologists employed by recognized academic institutions, agencies of the State, or research laboratories, unless such research laboratories sell psychological services to the public.

(c) Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed as permitting the use of those forms of psychotherapy which involve the administration or prescription of drugs or electroshock therapy or

in anyway infringing upon the practice of medicine as defined by the laws of this State.

(d) Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to prevent qualified members of other professional groups, such as physicians, osteopaths, optometrists, chiropractors, members of the clergy, attorneys at law, social workers, marriage counselors, or guidance counselors from doing work of a psychological nature consistent with the accepted standards of their respective professions; provided, however, that they do not hold themselves out to the public by any title or description stating or implying that they are psychologists or are licensed to practice psychology.

(e) The provision of this Chapter shall not apply to those psychologists not residents of this State and who render professional services in this State for less than six days in any calendar year.

3518. Privileged communication

The confidential relations and communications between a psychologist licensed under provisions of this Chapter and his client are placed on the same basis as those provided by law between attorney and client. Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to require any such privilege communications to be disclosed except as provided by law.

§ 3519. Separability

If any Section this Chapter, or any part thereof, shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof or any other Section of this Chapter.

§ 3520. Violations and penalty

(a) The Courts of Common Pleas or the Magistrates Courts of the State of Delaware shall have jurisdiction over offenses committed under this Chapter.

(b) Whoever violates the provisions of this Chapter shall upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $500 and/or be imprisoned for not more than one year.

Section 2. The effective date of this Act shall be July 1, 1972, and a maximum of $720 is hereby appropriated for the calendar year ending June 30, 1973, from the General Fund, to cover the Board's per diem allowances hereinabove provided.

Approved April 28, 1972.