§ 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 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).
(c) "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.
(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 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 the applicant's 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 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 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. 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)(6), 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 marriage and family therapy services 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.
(7) Has not been penalized for any wilful 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.
(9) Has not been convicted of a felony sexual offense.
(10) 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 marriage and family therapist 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)(6) 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 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 the applicant 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.
(d) All individuals licensed as marriage and family therapists 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 pursuant to paragraph (a)(10) of this section.
§ 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 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. A license in good standing is defined in § 3052(a)(4)-(8) 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 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.