TITLE 24

Professions and Occupations

CHAPTER 30. MENTAL HEALTH AND CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY PROFESSIONALS

Subchapter II. Mental Health Professional Counselors and Associate Counselors


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.

74 Del. Laws, c. 355, § 12; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 83, § 1.;

As used in this subchapter:

(1) "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.

(2) "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.

(3) "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.

(4) "Professional direct supervision" is supervision by a licensed professional counselor of mental health.

75 Del. Laws, c. 83, § 1.;

(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 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 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 the applicant's 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 the applicant's 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. However, after a hearing or review of documentation demonstrating that the applicant meets the specified criteria for a waiver, the Board, by an affirmative vote of a majority of the quorum, may waive this paragraph (a)(5), if it finds all of the following:

a. For waiver of a felony conviction, more than 5 years have elapsed since the date of the conviction. At the time of the application the applicant may not be incarcerated, on work release, on probation, on parole or serving any part of a suspended sentence and must be in substantial compliance with all court orders pertaining to fines, restitution and community service.

b. For waiver of a misdemeanor conviction or violation, at the time of the application the applicant may not be incarcerated, on work release, on probation, on parole or serving any part of a suspended sentence and must be in substantial compliance with all court orders pertaining to fines, restitution and community service.

c. The applicant is capable of practicing licensed professional counselor of mental health or associate counselor of mental health in a competent and professional manner.

d. The granting of the waiver will not endanger the public health, safety or welfare.

e. The applicant has not been convicted of a felony sexual offense.

(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.

(7) Has not been convicted of a felony sexual offense.

(8) Has submitted, at the applicant's expense, fingerprints and other necessary information in order to obtain the following:

a. A report of the applicant's entire criminal history record from the State Bureau of Identification or a statement from the State Bureau of Identification that the State Central Repository contains no such information relating to that person.

b. A report of the applicant's entire federal criminal history record pursuant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation appropriation of Title II of Public Law 92-544 (28 U.S.C. § 534). The State Bureau of Identification shall be the intermediary for purposes of this section and the Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals shall be the screening point for the receipt of said federal criminal history records.

An applicant may not be licensed as a licensed professional counselor of mental health until the applicant's criminal history reports have been produced. An applicant whose record shows a prior criminal conviction may not be certified by the Board unless a waiver is granted pursuant to paragraph (a)(5) of this section. The State Bureau of Identification may release any subsequent criminal history to the Board.

(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 the applicant 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.

(d) All individuals licensed as a licensed professional counselor of mental health in this State shall be required to be fingerprinted by the State Bureau of Identification, at the licensee's expense, for the purposes of performing subsequent criminal background checks. Licensees shall submit by January 1, 2013, at the applicant's expense, fingerprints and other necessary information in order to obtain a criminal background check.

66 Del. Laws, c. 128, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 200, § 3; 68 Del. Laws, c. 52, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 535, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 267, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 262, § 61; 75 Del. Laws, c. 83, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 436, § 32; 77 Del. Laws, c. 199, § 23; 78 Del. Laws, c. 31, §§ 3-5; 78 Del. Laws, c. 44, §§ 44, 45; 79 Del. Laws, c. 277, § 10.;

(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 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.

66 Del. Laws, c. 128, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 52, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 267, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 83, § 1.;

(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. A "license in good standing" is defined in § 3032(a)(3)-(6) of this title.

(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 5 years in the jurisdiction from which the applicant 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) of this section 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) of this section, 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.

66 Del. Laws, c. 128, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 52, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 267, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 293, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 83, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 393, § 2.;