CHAPTER 83

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 215

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AND

SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each house thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Chapter 30, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking the Chapter in its entirety and substituting a new Chapter to read as follows:

“CHAPTER 30. MENTAL HEALTH AND CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY PROFESSIONALS

Subchapter 1. Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals

§ 3001. Objectives.

The primary objective of the Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals, to which all other objectives and purposes are secondary, is to protect the general public, specifically those persons who are the direct recipients of services regulated by this Chapter, from unsafe practices and from occupational practices which tend to reduce competition or fix the price of services rendered.

The secondary objectives of the Board are to maintain minimum standards of licensee competency and to maintain certain standards in the delivery of services to the public. In meeting these objectives, the Board shall develop standards assuring professional competence; monitor complaints brought against licensees regulated by the Board; adjudicate at formal hearings; promulgate rules and regulations; and impose sanctions where necessary.

§ 3002. Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this Chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them under this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(a) ‘Board’ means the Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals.

(b) ‘Division’ means the Division of Professional Regulation of the State of Delaware.

(c) ‘Excessive use or abuse of drugs’ means any use of narcotics, controlled substances or illegal drugs without a prescription from a licensed physician, or the abuse of alcoholic beverage such that it impairs a licensee’s ability to perform the work of a licensed mental health or chemical dependency professional.

(d) ‘Person’ means a corporation, company, association and partnership, as well as an individual.

(e) ‘Substantially related’ means the nature of the criminal conduct, for which a person was convicted, has a direct bearing on the fitness or ability of the person to perform one or more of the duties or responsibilities of a licensed mental health or chemical dependency professional.

§ 3003. Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals; appointments; composition; qualifications; terms; vacancies; suspension or removal; unexcused absences; compensation.

(a) There is created a Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals, which shall administer and enforce this Chapter.

(b) The Board shall consist of 13 members, appointed by the Governor, who are residents of this State. Three (3) members shall be licensed professional counselors of mental health; three (3) shall be licensed chemical dependency professionals; three (3) shall be licensed marriage and family therapists; and four (4) shall be members of the public. The public members shall not be, nor ever have been, a mental health or chemical dependency professional, employed by a mental health or chemical dependency professional, nor have been engaged in an activity directly related to the practice of a mental health or chemical dependency professional. The public members shall be accessible to inquiries, comments and suggestions from the public.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this Section, each member shall serve a term of three (3) years and may succeed himself or herself for one additional term; provided, however, that where a member was initially appointed to fill a vacancy, such member may succeed himself or herself for only one (1) additional full term. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term of the former member. A term of office expires on the date specified in the appointment; however, the Board member shall remain eligible to participate in Board proceedings unless and until replaced by the Governor.

(d) A person who has never served on the Board may be appointed to the Board for two (2) consecutive terms; but no such person shall thereafter be eligible for two (2) consecutive appointments. No person who has been twice appointed to the Board, or who has served on the Board for six (6) years within any nine-year period, shall again be appointed to the Board until an interim period of at least one (1) term has expired since such person last served.

(e) Any act or vote by a person appointed in violation of this Section shall be invalid. An amendment or revision of this Chapter is not sufficient cause for any appointment or attempted appointment in violation of subsection (d) of this Section, unless such an amendment or revision amends this Section to permit such an appointment.

(f) A member of the Board shall be suspended or removed by the Governor for misfeasance, nonfeasance, malfeasance, misconduct, incompetence or neglect of duty. A member subject to disciplinary hearing shall be disqualified from Board business until the charge is adjudicated or the matter is otherwise concluded. A Board member may appeal any suspension or removal to the Superior Court.

(g) No member of the Board, while serving on the Board, shall hold elective office in any association of mental health or chemical dependency professionals, nor serve as head of a professional association’s political action committee.

(h) The provisions of Chapter 58, Title 29 shall apply to members of the Board.

(i) A member who is absent without adequate reason for three (3) consecutive meetings or who fails to attend at least half of all regular business meetings during any calendar year shall be guilty of neglect of duty.

(j) Each member of the Board shall be reimbursed for all expenses involved in each meeting, including travel, according to Division policy; and in addition shall receive not more than $50 for each meeting attended, but not more than $500 in any calendar year. After the member has attended ten (10) meetings in any calendar year, the member may not be compensated for any subsequent meetings attended in that year.

§ 3004. Organization; Meetings; Officers; Quorum.

(a) The Board shall hold regularly scheduled business meetings at least once in each quarter of a calendar year, and at such times as the President deems necessary, or at the request of a majority of the Board members.

(b) The Board annually shall elect a president, vice-president and secretary. Each officer shall serve for one (1) year and shall not succeed himself or herself for more than two (2) consecutive terms. The office of president must rotate among the professions regulated and the public members.

(c) A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business and no action shall be taken without the affirmative vote of a majority of the quorum. No disciplinary action shall be taken without the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Board, at least one of whom must be of the same profession as the individual being disciplined.

(d) Minutes of all meetings shall be recorded and the Division shall maintain copies. At any hearing where evidence is presented, a record from which a verbatim transcript can be prepared shall be made. The expense of preparing any transcript shall be incurred by the person requesting it.

§ 3005. Records.

The Division shall keep a register of all approved applications for licenses under this Chapter and complete records relating to meetings of the Board, rosters, changes, and additions to the Board’s rules and regulations, complaints, hearings and such other matters as the Board shall determine. Such records are prima facie evidence of the proceedings of the Board.

§ 3006. Powers and Duties.

(a) The Board shall have the power to:

(1) Adopt rules and regulations, which shall be promulgated in accordance with the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 101 of Title 29.

(2) Designate an application form to be used by all applicants and process all applications.

(3) Evaluate the credentials of all applicants in order to determine whether the applicants meet the qualifications for licensing set forth in this Chapter.

(4) Grant licenses to and renew licenses of applicants who meet the qualifications for licensure.

(5) Establish by rule and regulation continuing education standards required for license renewal.

(6) Evaluate certified records to determine whether an applicant for license who previously has been licensed, certified or registered in another jurisdiction has engaged in any act or offense that would be grounds for disciplinary action under this Chapter and whether there are disciplinary proceedings or unresolved complaints pending against the applicant for such acts or offenses.

(7) Refer all complaints from licensees and the public concerning persons licensed under this Chapter, or concerning practices of the Board or of a profession regulated by the Board, to the Division for investigation pursuant to § 8807 of Title 29 and assign a member of the Board to assist the Division in an advisory capacity with the investigation of the technical aspects of the complaint.

(8) Conduct hearings and issue orders in accordance with procedures established pursuant to Chapter 101 of
Title 29.

(9) Where it has been determined after a hearing that penalties or sanctions should be imposed, designate and impose the appropriate sanction or penalty after time for appeal has lapsed.

(10) Adopt a Code of Ethics for each profession licensed by the Board, which Code may be a Code of Ethics adopted by a national organization which certifies members of the profession.

(b) The Board shall, by regulation, identify crimes which are substantially related to the practice of a mental health or chemical dependency professional.

§ 3007. Fees.

The amount charged for fees imposed under this Chapter shall approximate and reasonably reflect costs necessary to defray the expenses of the Board, as well as the proportional expenses incurred by the Division in its service on behalf of the Board. There shall be a separate fee charged for each service or activity, but no fee shall be charged for a purpose not specified in this Chapter. The application fee shall not be combined with any other fee or charge. At the beginning of each licensure period, the Division, or another State agency acting in its behalf, shall compute, for each separate service or activity, the appropriate fee for the period.

§ 3008. Issuance and Renewal of Licenses.

(a) The Board shall issue a license to an applicant who meets the requirements of this Chapter for licensure and who pays the fee established by the Board.

(b) A license must be renewed biennially, in such manner as is determined by the Division and upon payment of a renewal fee, submission of a renewal form provided by the Division, and proof that the licensee has met the continuing education requirements established by the Board. In addition each licensee shall submit proof of membership in good standing as of the date of licensure in a national certifying organization acceptable to the Board.

(c) A licensee who fails to renew a license on or before the renewal date shall be granted one year to renew the license. The Division shall set a fee for late renewal. An individual who fails to renew a license before the expiration of the one year period must reapply as a new applicant, pay a fee set by the Division, and submit proof of fulfillment of continuing education requirements and proof of membership in a national certifying organization acceptable to the Board.

(d) A person licensed pursuant to this Chapter, upon written request, may be placed on an inactive register. Provisions for resuming active status shall be established by the Board.

(e) It is the responsibility of a licensee to keep the Division informed of a change of address. Renewal applications will be sent to the last address on file with the Division.

§ 3009. Grounds for Discipline.

(a) A person licensed under this Chapter is subject to the disciplinary sanctions set forth in § 3011 of this Title if, after a hearing, the Board finds that the licensee has:

(1) Employed or knowingly cooperated in a fraud or material deception in order to acquire a license under this Chapter; has impersonated another person holding a license or allowed another person to use his or her license; or has aided or abetted a person not licensed to represent himself or herself as a person licensed under this Chapter.

(2) Been convicted of a crime that is substantially related to the practice of a mental health or chemical dependency professional. A certified copy of the record of conviction shall be conclusive evidence of a conviction.

(3) Excessively used or abused drugs in the past three years or currently.

(4) Engaged in an act which involved consumer fraud or deception, restraint of competition, or price fixing.

(5) Violated a provision of this Chapter or a regulation promulgated by the Board under this Chapter.

(6) Had his or her professional license under this Chapter suspended or revoked, or has been the subject of disciplinary action taken by the appropriate licensing authority of another jurisdiction; provided, that the grounds for the disciplinary action of the other jurisdiction have been presented to the Board by a certified record and the Board has determined that the facts found by the other jurisdiction constitute an act specified in this Section. A person licensed in this State pursuant to this Chapter is deemed to have given consent to the release of information by the Board or by a comparable agency in another jurisdiction and to waive all objections to the admissibility of evidence of a previously adjudicated act or offense.

(7) Failed to notify the Board that his or her license in another jurisdiction has been subject to discipline, or has been surrendered, suspended or revoked. A certified copy of the record of disciplinary action, surrender, suspension or revocation of a license shall be conclusive evidence thereof.

(b) Subject to the provisions of subchapter IV of Chapter 101 of Title 29, no license shall be restricted, suspended or revoked by the Board and no licensee’s right to hold himself or herself out as an individual licensed under this Chapter shall be limited by the Board until such licensee has been given notice and an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.

§ 3010. Complaints and Investigations.

(a) All complaints shall be received and investigated by the Division in accordance with § 8807 of Title 29 and the Division shall be responsible for issuing a final written report at the conclusion of the investigation.

(b) When it is determined that an individual who is not licensed under this Chapter is representing himself or herself as being so licensed, or is holding himself or herself out to the public as being licensed under this Chapter, the Board shall apply to the Office of the Attorney General to issue a cease and desist order.

§ 3011. Disciplinary Sanctions.

(a) The Board may impose any of the following sanctions, singly or in combination, when it finds that a condition or violation for discipline of a licensee regulated by this Chapter has been established under § 3009 of this Title:

(1) Issue a letter of reprimand.

(2) Censure a licensee.

(3) Place a licensee on probationary status and require the licensee to:

i. Report regularly to the Board upon the matters which are the basis of the probation; or

ii. Limit all professional activities to those areas prescribed by the Board.

(4) Suspend a licensee’s license.

(5) Revoke a licensee’s license.

(6) Impose a monetary penalty not to exceed $500 for each violation.

(b) The Board may withdraw or reduce conditions of probation when it finds that the deficiencies which required such action have been remedied.

(c) As a condition to reinstatement of a suspended license or removal from probationary status, the Board may impose such disciplinary or corrective measure as are authorized under this Chapter.

§ 3012. Hearing Procedures.

(a) If a complaint is filed with the Board pursuant to § 8807 of Title 29 alleging a violation of § 3009 of this Title, the Board shall set a time and place to conduct a hearing on the complaint. Notice of the hearing shall be given and the hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 101 of Title 29.

(b) All hearings shall be informal, without use of rules of evidence. If the Board finds, by a majority vote of all Board members, that the complaint has merit, the Board shall take such action permitted under this Chapter as it deems necessary. The Board’s decision shall be in writing and shall include its reasons for the decision. The decision shall be mailed immediately to the licensee.

(c) A licensee may appeal the Board’s decision to the Superior Court within thirty (30) days of the postmarked date of the copy of the decision mailed to the licensee. The appeal shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 101 of Title 29. A stay may be granted in accordance with that Act.

(d) All decisions of the Board regarding suspension or revocation of a license shall be made public by the Division in a news release to major media outlets in this State. The release may include any information deemed public under the Delaware Freedom of Information Act, Chapter 100 of Title 29, and shall include a telephone contact number for the Division for further information.

§ 3013. Reinstatement of a Suspended License, Removal from Probationary Status.

(a) As a condition to reinstatement of a suspended license or removal from probationary status, the Board may reinstate such license if after a hearing the Board is satisfied that the licensee has taken the prescribed corrective actions and otherwise satisfied all of the conditions of the suspension and/or probation.

(b) Applicants for reinstatement must pay the fees established by the Board and must submit evidence as required by the Board that all conditions of a suspension and/or probation have been met. Proof that the applicant has met any continuing education requirements of this Chapter is also required.

§ 3014. Issuance of Replacement License.

A new license to replace a lost, destroyed, or mutilated license may be issued, subject to the rules of the Board. The Division shall establish a charge for the issuance of a replacement license.

§ 3015. License Required.

No person shall hold himself or herself out to the public as a licensed mental health or chemical dependency professional unless the person is licensed in accordance with this Chapter. It shall be unlawful for a person who is not licensed under this Chapter, or the person’s employer, employees, agents or representatives, to use, in connection with the person’s name or business, any words, letters, abbreviations or insignia indicating or implying directly or indirectly that the person is licensed under this Chapter.

§ 3016. Penalty.

(a) A person not currently licensed under this Chapter who uses, in connection with his or her name or business, or otherwise assumes or uses any title or description conveying or tending to convey the impression that he or she is licensed under this Chapter, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) For the first offense, the court may impose a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000. For a second or subsequent conviction, the fine shall be not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000 for each offense.

(c) Justice of the Peace Courts shall have jurisdiction over violations of this Chapter.

§ 3017. Privileged Communications.

Communications between a mental health or chemical dependency professional licensed under this Chapter and a client of the professional shall be considered confidential to the same extent as provided by Rule 503 of the Delaware Rules of Evidence.

Subchapter II. Mental Health Professional Counselors and Associate Counselors.

§ 3030. License Required.

No person shall hold himself or herself out to the public as a licensed professional counselor of mental health or licensed associate counselor of mental health unless the person is licensed in accordance with this Chapter. It shall be unlawful for a person who is not licensed under this Chapter, or the person’s employees, agents or representatives, to use in connection with the person’s name or business the words ‘licensed professional counselor of mental health’, ‘licensed associate counselor of mental health’, or any other words, letters, abbreviations or insignia indicating or implying directly or indirectly that the person is licensed under this Chapter.

§ 3031. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter:

(a) ‘Direct supervision’ is face to face consultation, on a regularly scheduled basis, between a licensed associate counselor of mental health (LACMH) and a licensed professional counselor of mental health (LPCMH) as required by the nature of the work of the LACMH. The supervising LPCMH is responsible for insuring that the extent, kind and quality of the services rendered by the LACMH are consistent with the person’s education, training and experience.

(b) ‘Licensed Professional Counselor of Mental Health’ (LPCMH) is an individual licensed as a professional counselor of mental health under this Chapter who publicly offers to render to individuals, groups, organizations or the general public a service involving the application of clinical counseling principles, methods or procedures and the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders to assist individuals in achieving more effective personal and social adjustment.

(c) ‘Licensed Associate Counselor of Mental Health’ (LACMH) is an individual licensed as an associate counselor of mental health under this Chapter who is obtaining experience under the professional direct supervision of a LPCHM or other health professional approved by the Board for the purpose of becoming licensed as a professional counselor of mental health.

(d) ‘Professional direct supervision’ is supervision by a licensed professional counselor of mental health.

§ 3032. Qualifications of Applicant.

(a) An applicant who is applying for licensure under this subchapter shall complete a Board approved application, submit the application fee, and supply evidence verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board that the applicant:

(1) Is certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. (NBCC), or the Academy of Clinical Mental Health Counselors (ACMHC), or other national mental health specialty certifying organization acceptable to the Board.

(2) Has completed a master’s degree and subsequent to completing the degree has acquired the equivalent of two (2) years of experience in professional counseling acceptable to the Board. The professional counseling experience must consist of not less than 3,200 hours obtained over a period of not more than four (4) years, at least 1,600 hours of which shall have been under professional direct supervision acceptable to the Board. When such professional direct supervision is not available, a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed psychologist, a licensed marriage and family therapist or a licensed physician specializing in psychiatry may supervise the applicant. An applicant may substitute 30 graduate semester hours, or more, attained beyond the master’s degree, for up to 1,600 hours of the required experience, provided that such hours are clearly related to the field of counseling and are acceptable to the Board. In no case shall the applicant have less than 1,600 hours of required post master’s degree professional direct supervision.

(3) Has not received any administrative penalties regarding his or her actions as a licensed, registered or certified mental health provider, including but not limited to fines, formal reprimands, license suspensions or revocation (except for license revocations for nonpayment of license renewal fees), probationary limitations, and/or has not entered into any ‘consent agreement’ which contains conditions placed by a Board on his or her professional conduct, including any voluntary surrender of a license. The Board, after a hearing, may determine whether such administrative penalty is grounds to deny licensure.

(4) Does not have any impairment related to drugs or alcohol or a finding of mental incompetence by a physician that would limit the applicant’s ability to act as a professional counselor of mental health or associate counselor of mental health in a manner consistent with the safety of the public.

(5) Shall not have a criminal conviction nor pending criminal charge relating to an offense, the circumstances of which substantially relate to actions as a licensed professional counselor of mental health or associate counselor of mental health. Applicants who have a criminal conviction or pending criminal charge shall request appropriate authorities to provide information about the conviction or charge directly to the Board in sufficient specificity to enable the Board to make a determination whether the conviction or charge is substantially related to actions as a licensed professional counselor of mental health or associate counselor of mental health.

(6) Has not been penalized for any willful violation of the Code of Ethics adopted by the Board or the Code of Ethics of the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) or its successor or other similar professional mental health counseling standard.

(b) If the Board finds that an applicant has been intentionally fraudulent or has intentionally supplied false information, the Board shall report its findings to the Attorney General for further action.

(c) Where an application is refused or rejected and the applicant feels the Board has acted without justification, has imposed higher or different standards for him or her than for other applicants or licensees or has in some other manner contributed to or caused the failure of such application, the applicant may appeal to the Superior Court.

§ 3033. Qualifications of Applicant for Licensed Associate Counselor of Mental Health.

(a) An applicant who is applying for licensure as an associate counselor of mental health under this Chapter shall complete an application form, submit the required fee, and furnish evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board, that such person has met all the requirements established in this subchapter for licensed professional counselors of mental health, except the requirements dealing with required experience.

(b) A plan for professional direct supervision of the associate counselor of mental health shall be submitted to and approved by the Board prior to the applicant’s acquiring the professional counseling experience necessary for license as a professional counselor of mental health.

(c) The associate counselor of mental health license shall be effective for a period of two (2) years. The license may be renewed once.

(d) A LACMH may submit an application for LPCMH upon fulfillment of the experience requirements of this subchapter.

§ 3034. Reciprocity.

(a) Upon payment of the application fee and submission and acceptance of a written application on forms provided by the Board, the Board shall grant a license to each applicant who shall present proof of current licensure in good standing in another State, the District of Columbia or territory of the United States, whose standards for licensure are substantially similar to those of this State.

(b) An applicant who is licensed in a jurisdiction whose standards are not substantially similar to those of this State but who has held a license in good standing for a minimum of five (5) years in the jurisdiction from which he or she is applying for reciprocal licensure and who is certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors or the Academy of Clinical Mental Health Counselors, or other national mental health specialty certifying organization acceptable to the Board may be licensed by the Board, provided the applicant meets all other qualifications for reciprocity.

(c) An applicant who is licensed in a jurisdiction whose standards are not substantially similar to those of this State and who lacks the minimum years of licensure as defined in subsection (b) above may apply for licensure as an associate counselor of mental health, in order to obtain the experience necessary to fulfill the requirements of this subchapter.

(d) In lieu of the documentation required by subsection (a), an applicant may submit a certificate of professional qualification as a licensed professional counselor of mental health from a credential bank approved by the Board. The Board shall identify acceptable credentialing organizations in its rules and regulations. In addition, the Board may require the applicant to submit such supplemental information as it deems necessary to assure that the applicant meets the qualifications for licensure.

Subchapter III. Chemical Dependency Professionals.

§ 3040. License Required.

No person shall hold himself or herself out to the public as a licensed chemical dependency professional unless the person is licensed in accordance with this Chapter. It shall be unlawful for a person who is not licensed under this Chapter, or the person’s employees, agents or representatives, to use in connection with the person’s name or business’, the words ‘licensed chemical dependency professional’ or any other words, letters, abbreviations or insignia indicating or implying directly or indirectly that the person is licensed under this Chapter.

§ 3041. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter:

(a) ‘Chemical Dependency Professional’ is a person who uses addiction counseling methods to assist an individual or group to develop an understanding of alcohol and drug dependency problems, define goals, and plan action reflecting the individual’s or group’s interest, abilities and needs as affected by addiction problems.

(b) ‘Counseling experience’ is a formal, systematic process that focuses on skill development and integration of knowledge related to addiction counseling and reflects the accumulation of hours spent providing substance abuse counseling services while under the supervision of an approved clinical supervisor.

(c) ‘Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional’ is a person who holds a current, valid license issued pursuant to this Chapter.

(d) ‘Professional counseling experience’ is the accumulation of hours spent providing chemical dependency counseling services in a substance abuse counseling setting, including face to face interaction with clients and other services directly related to the treatment of clients.

(e) ‘Supervised counseling experience’ is the overseeing of a supervisee’s application of chemical dependency counseling principles, methods or procedures to assist clients in achieving more effective personal and social adjustment.

(f) ‘Uncompensated addictions services’ are services offered to chemical dependent individuals free of charge.

§ 3042. License Requirements, Professional Designation.

(a) No person shall hold himself or herself out to the public as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional or present, call or represent himself or herself as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional unless licensed under this Chapter.

(b) No person shall assume, represent himself or herself as or use the title of Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional, or any of the abbreviations of the above title unless licensed under this Chapter and unless the title of designation corresponds to the license held by the person pursuant to this Chapter.

(c) A Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter, or the Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional’s employee, shall not disclose any confidential information that the counselor or the counselor’s employee may have required while performing alcohol and drug counseling services for a patient unless in accordance with the federal regulation regarding the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records pursuant to 42 C.F.R. 2.1. et seq.

§ 3043. Applicability of Subchapter.

(a) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to prevent a person from engaging in or offering any addiction services such as self-help, sponsorship through Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or other uncompensated addictions services.

(b) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to apply to a designated employee or other agent of a private employer who has been designated to provide chemical dependency counseling under the jurisdiction of the company, or an employee or other agent of a recognized academic institution, a federal, State, county or local government institution, agency or facility, or school district, if the individual is performing solely with the company or the agency, as the case may be, or under the jurisdiction of that company or agency, and if a license granted under this Chapter is not a requirement for employment.

(c) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to apply to a rabbi, priest, minister, or clergy of any religious denomination or sect, when performing within the scope of the person’s regular or specialized ministerial duties and for which no separate charge is made, for or under the auspices or sponsorship, individually or in conjunction with others, of an established and legal cognizable church, denomination, or sect, and when the person rendering services remains accountable to the established authority thereof.

(d) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to apply to a student, intern or trainee in chemical dependency counseling pursuing a course of study in counseling in a regionally accredited institution, if performed under supervision and constituting a part of the supervised course of study.

(e) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to apply to a person licensed in the State to practice medicine and surgery, psychology, social work, clinical social work, licensed professional counselor of mental health or any other person’s profession or occupation and doing work of a nature consistent with a person’s training, if the person does not hold himself or herself out to the public as possessing a license issued pursuant to this Chapter.

(f) Nothing in this subchapter shall prevent the practice of healing by spiritual means in accordance with the tenets and practice of any church or religious denomination by a duly accredited practitioner thereof. In the practice of healing by spiritual means, no individual shall hold himself or herself out to the public as possessing a license issued pursuant to this subchapter.

§ 3044. Qualifications of applicant.

(a) Applicants for chemical dependency professional license by certification under this Chapter shall complete an application form, pay the required fee and provide evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board, that the applicant meets the following requirements:

(1) Received a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a minimum of 30 graduate semester hours in counseling or subjects closely related to counseling.

(2) Subsequent to receiving the master’s degree has acquired 3,200 hours of counseling experience, 1,600 hours of which must be under the supervision of a Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional. Where supervision by a Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional is not available, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, licensed psychologist, licensed professional counselor of mental health or a licensed physician specializing in chemical dependency may supervise the applicant. Of the 1,600 hours of supervised counseling experience, at least 100 hours must be face-to-face consultation between the supervisor and supervisee, which may take place in individual and/or in group settings, as follows:

(i) Individual supervision, which consists of one-to-one, face-to-face meetings between supervisor and supervisee, provided, the entire 100 hour requirement may be fulfilled by individual supervision.

(ii) Group supervision, which consists of face-to-face meetings between supervisor and no more than six (6) supervisees; provided, no more than 40 hours of group supervision shall be acceptable toward the 100 hour requirement.

(3) Is certified by the National Association for Addictions Professionals, (NAADAC) as a National Certified Addictions Counselor (NCAC or MAC), by the Delaware Certification Board (DCB Inc.) as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, or by a certifying organization acceptable to the Board.

(4) Has not received any administrative penalties regarding his or her actions as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional, including but not limited to fines, formal reprimands, license suspensions or revocation (except for license revocations for nonpayment of license renewal fees), probationary limitations, and and/or has not entered into any ‘consent agreement’ which contains conditions placed by a Board on his or her professional conduct, including any voluntary surrender of a license. The Board, after a hearing, may determine whether such administrative penalty is grounds to deny licensure.

(5) Does not have any impairment related to drugs or alcohol or a finding of mental incompetence by a physician that would limit the applicant’s ability to act as a chemical dependency professional in a manner consistent with the safety of the public.

(6) Does not have a criminal conviction nor pending criminal charge relating to an offense, the circumstances of which substantially relate to actions as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional. Applicants who have a criminal conviction or pending criminal charge shall request appropriate authorities to provide information about the conviction or charge directly to the Board in sufficient specificity to enable the Board to make a determination whether the conviction or charge is substantially related to actions as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional.

(7) Has not been penalized for any willful violation of the Code of Ethics adopted by the Board or the Code of Ethics of a professional organization of Chemical Dependency Professionals.

(b) If the Board finds that an applicant has been intentionally fraudulent or has intentionally supplied false information, the Board shall report its findings to the Attorney General for further action.

(c) Where an application is refused or rejected and the applicant feels the Board has acted without justification, has imposed higher or different standards for him or her than for other applicants or licensees or has in some other manner contributed to or caused the failure of such application, the applicant may appeal to the Superior Court.

Subchapter IV. Marriage and Family Therapists

§ 3050. License Required.

No person shall hold himself or herself out to the public as a licensed marriage and family therapist or a licensed associate marriage and family therapist unless the person is licensed in accordance with this Chapter. It shall be unlawful for any person who is not licensed under this Chapter, or the person’s employees, agents, or representatives to use in connection with the person’s name or business the words ‘licensed marriage and family therapist’, ‘licensed associate marriage and family therapist’, or any other words, letters, abbreviations or insignia indicating or implying directly or indirectly that such person is licensed.

§ 3051. Definitions.

(a) ‘Direct supervision’ is face to face consultation, on a regularly scheduled basis, between a licensed associate marriage and family therapist (LAMFT) and a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) as required by the nature of the work of the LAMFT. The supervising LMFT is responsible for insuring that the extent, kind and quality of the services rendered by the LAMFT are consistent with the person’s education, training and experience.

(b) ‘Licensed marriage and family therapist’ (LMFT) is an individual licensed as a marriage and family therapist under this Chapter who offers to individuals, couples, families or groups professional marriage and family services either directly to the general public or through public or private organizations.

(c) ‘Licensed associate marriage and family therapist’ (LAMFT) is an individual licensed as an associate marriage and family therapist under this Chapter who is obtaining experience under direct professional supervision for the purpose of becoming licensed as a marriage and family therapist (LMFT).

(d) ‘Marriage and family therapy services’ includes the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, within the context of interpersonal relationships, including marriage and family systems, and involves the professional application of psychotherapy, assessment instruments, counseling, consultation, treatment planning, and supervision in the delivery of services to individuals, couples and families.

(e)‘Professional direct supervision’ is supervision by a licensed marriage and family therapist, or an individual holding the ‘Approved Supervisor’ designation from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) or a candidate for the ‘Approved Supervisor’ designation who is acceptable to the Board.

§ 3052. Qualifications of Applicant.

(a) An applicant who is applying for licensure under this subchapter shall complete a Board-approved application, submit the application fee, and supply evidence verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board that the applicant:

(1) Has completed a master’s or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy from a recognized educational institution, or a graduate degree in an allied field from a recognized educational institution and graduate level work which is the equivalent to a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, as determined by the Board.

(2) Following completion of the master’s degree has successfully completed two (2) calendar years of work experience in Marriage and Family Therapy under professional direct supervision. The experience must consist of not less than 3,200 hours obtained over a period of not more than 4 consecutive years, at least 1,600 of which shall have been under direct professional supervision acceptable to the Board. When professional direct supervision is not available, a licensed clinical social worker, licensed psychologist, licensed professional counselor of mental health, or licensed physician specializing in psychiatry may supervise the applicant upon approval by the Board.

(3) Has passed the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) standardized examination or other examination acceptable to the Board.

(4) Has not been the recipient of any administrative penalties regarding his or her actions as a marriage and family therapist, including, but not limited to, fines, formal reprimands, license suspensions or revocations (except for license revocations for nonpayment of license renewal fees), probationary limitations, and/or has not entered into any ‘consent agreements’ which contain conditions placed by a Board on his or her professional conduct, including any voluntary surrender of a license. The Board, after a hearing, may determine whether such administrative penalty is grounds to deny a license.

(5) Does not have any impairment related to drugs, alcohol or a finding of mental incompetence by a physician that would limit the applicant’s ability to act as a licensed marriage and family therapist in a manner consistent with the safety of the public.

(6) Does not have a criminal conviction record, or pending criminal charge, relating to an offense the circumstances of which are substantially related to actions as a licensed marriage and family therapist. Applicants who have criminal conviction records or pending criminal charges shall request appropriate authorities to provide information about the conviction or charge directly to the Board in sufficient specificity to enable the Board to make a determination on whether the conviction or charge is substantially related to actions as a licensed marriage and family therapist.

(7) Has not been penalized for any willful violation of the Code of Ethics adopted by the Board or a Code of Ethics of a recognized professional marriage and family therapy organization.

(8) Meets all other additional requirements as may be required by the Board in its rules and regulations.

(b) If the Board finds that an applicant has been intentionally fraudulent or has intentionally supplied false information, the Board shall report its finding to the Attorney General for further action.

(c) Where an application has been refused or rejected and the applicant feels that the Board has acted without justification, has imposed higher or different standards for him or her than for other applicants or licensees or has in some other manner contributed to or caused the failure of such application, the applicants may appeal to the Superior Court.

§ 3053. Qualifications of Applicant for Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist.

(a) An applicant who is applying for licensure as an associate marriage and family therapist under this Chapter shall submit a completed application form, pay the required fee, and furnish evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board that such person has met all the requirements established in this subchapter for licensed marriage and family therapists, except the requirements dealing with required experience.

(b) A plan for professional direct supervision of the associate marriage and family therapist shall be submitted to and approved by the Board prior to the applicant’s acquiring the marriage and family therapy experience necessary for license as a marriage and family therapist.

(c) The associate marriage and family therapist license shall be effective for a period of two (2) years. The license may be renewed once.

(d) A LAMFT may submit an application for LMFT upon fulfillment of the experience requirements of this subchapter.

§ 3054. Reciprocity.

(a) Upon payment of the application fee and submission and acceptance of a written application on forms provided by the Board, the Board shall grant a license to each applicant who shall present proof of current licensure in good standing in another state, the District of Columbia or territory of the United States, whose standards for license are substantially similar to those of this State.

(b) An applicant who is licensed in a jurisdiction whose standards are not substantially similar to those of this State but who has held a license in good standing for a minimum of five (5) years in the jurisdiction from which he or she is applying for reciprocal license, and who is certified by the AAMFT or other national marriage and family therapist certifying organization acceptable to the Board may be licensed, provided the applicant meets all other qualifications for reciprocity.”.

Section 2. The Board is the successor to the Board of Professional Counselors of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals. Individuals who are members of the Board of Professional Counselors of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professions on the date on which this Act takes effect shall become members of the Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals and shall serve until the terms for which they were appointed have expired.

Approved June 30, 2005