CHAPTER 383c
PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-195aa. Definitions.
Sec. 20-195bb. Practice restricted to licensed persons. Exceptions. Title protection.
Sec. 20-195cc. Licensure application. Renewal. Fees.
Sec. 20-195dd. Qualifications.
Sec. 20-195ee. Disciplinary action. Grounds.
Sec. 20-195ff. Regulations.


Sec. 20-195aa. Definitions. As used in sections 20-195aa to 20-195ee, inclusive: "Professional counseling" means the application, by persons trained in counseling, of established principles of psycho-social development and behavioral science to the evaluation, assessment, analysis and treatment of emotional, behavioral or interpersonal dysfunction or difficulties that interfere with mental health and human development. "Professional counseling" includes, but is not limited to, individual, group, marriage and family counseling, functional assessments for persons adjusting to a disability, appraisal, crisis intervention and consultation with individuals or groups.
(P.A. 97-311, S. 1.)

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Sec. 20-195bb. Practice restricted to licensed persons. Exceptions. Title protection. (a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, no person may practice professional counseling unless licensed pursuant to section 20-195cc.
(b) No person may use the title "licensed professional counselor" or make use of any title, words, letters or abbreviations that may reasonably be confused with licensure as a professional counselor unless licensed pursuant to section 20-195cc.
(c) No license as a professional counselor shall be required of the following: (1) A person who furnishes uncompensated assistance in an emergency; (2) a clergyman, priest, minister, rabbi or practitioner of any religious denomination accredited by the religious body to which the person belongs and settled in the work of the ministry, provided the activities that would otherwise require a license as a professional counselor are within the scope of ministerial duties; (3) a sexual assault counselor, as defined in section 52-146k; (4) a person participating in uncompensated group or individual counseling; (5) a person licensed or certified by any agency of this state and performing services within the scope of practice for which licensed or certified; (6) a student, intern or trainee pursuing a course of study in counseling in a regionally accredited institution of higher education, provided the activities that would otherwise require a license as a professional counselor are performed under supervision and constitute a part of a supervised course of study; (7) a person employed by an institution of higher education to provide academic counseling in conjunction with the institution's programs and services; or (8) a vocational rehabilitation counselor, job counselor, credit counselor, consumer counselor or any other counselor or psychoanalyst who does not purport to be a counselor whose primary service is the application of established principles of psycho- social development and behavioral science to the evaluation, assessment, analysis and treatment of emotional, behavioral or interpersonal dysfunction or difficulties that interfere with mental health and human development.
(P.A. 97-311, S. 2; P.A. 98-43, S. 1.)
History: P.A. 98-43 replaced "self-help group counseling or peer" counseling with "group or individual" counseling in Subsec. (c)(4), replaced "hold himself out as" with "purport to be" in Subsec. (c)(8) and made gender-neutral technical changes in Subsecs. (a), (b) and (c).

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Sec. 20-195cc. Licensure application. Renewal. Fees. (a) The Commissioner of Public Health shall grant a license as a professional counselor to any applicant who furnishes evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that he has met the requirements of section 20-195dd. The commissioner shall develop and provide application forms. The application fee shall be two hundred fifty dollars.
(b) The license may be renewed annually pursuant to section 19a-88 for a fee of one hundred fifty dollars.
(P.A. 97-311, S. 3.)

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Sec. 20-195dd. Qualifications. (a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, an applicant for a license as a professional counselor shall submit evidence satisfactory to the Commissioner of Public Health of having: (1) Completed sixty graduate semester hours deemed to be in or related to the discipline of professional counseling by the National Board for Certified Counselors, or its successor organization, at a regionally accredited institution of higher education, which included the core and clinical curriculum of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs and preparation in principles of etiology, diagnosis, treatment planning and prevention of mental and emotional disorders and dysfunctional behavior, and has earned, from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a major deemed to be in the discipline of professional counseling by the National Board for Certified Counselors or its successor organization, either (A) a master's degree of at least forty- two graduate semester hours or a master's degree and a sixth-year degree, or (B) a doctoral degree; (2) acquired three thousand hours of postgraduate-degree-supervised experience in the practice of professional counseling, performed over a period of not less than one year, that included a minimum of one hundred hours of direct supervision by (A) a physician licensed pursuant to chapter 370 who has obtained certification in psychiatry from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, (B) a psychologist licensed pursuant to chapter 383, (C) an advanced practice registered nurse licensed pursuant to chapter 378 and certified as a clinical specialist in adult psychiatric and mental health nursing with the American Nurses Credentialing Center, (D) a marital and family therapist licensed pursuant to chapter 383a, (E) a clinical social worker licensed pursuant to chapter 383b, (F) a professional counselor licensed, or prior to October 1, 1998, eligible for licensure, pursuant to section 20-195cc, or (G) a physician certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, psychologist, advanced practice registered nurse certified as a clinical specialist in adult psychiatric and mental health nursing with the American Nurses Credentialing Center, marital and family therapist, clinical social worker or professional counselor licensed or certified as such or as a person entitled to perform similar services, under a different designation, in another state or jurisdiction whose requirements for practicing in such capacity are substantially similar to or higher than those of this state; and (3) passed an examination prescribed by the commissioner.
(b) Prior to July 1, 1999, an applicant for a license as a professional counselor may, in lieu of the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of this section, submit evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of having: (1) Earned a master's degree, sixth-year degree or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a major the National Board for Certified Counselors or its successor organization deems to be in the discipline of professional counseling; and (2) practiced professional counseling for a minimum of two years within a five-year period immediately preceding application.
(c) An applicant for licensure by endorsement shall present evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that the applicant is licensed or certified as a professional counselor, or as a person entitled to perform similar services under a different designation, in another state or jurisdiction whose requirements for practicing in such capacity are substantially similar to or higher than those of this state and that there are no disciplinary actions or unresolved complaints pending.
(P.A. 97-311, S. 4; P.A. 98-43, S. 2; P.A. 99-126, S. 4, 5.)
History: P.A. 98-43 inserted reference to subsection (b) in Subsec. (a) and deleted reference to "January 1, 1999", modified degree requirements in Subsec. (a)(1)(A), divided Subsec. (a)(2) into subparagraphs, added Subparas. (C) and (G), added "or prior to October 1, 1998, eligible for licensure" in new Subpara. (F), changed "Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, prior to January 1, 1999" to "Prior to July 1, 1999" in Subsec. (b), changed "shall" to "may, in lieu of the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of this section" in Subsec. (b), changed practice requirement in Subsec. (b)(2) from two years "immediately preceding October 1, 1997" to two years "within a five-year period immediately preceding application" and made gender-neutral technical changes in Subsecs. (a),(b) and (c); P.A. 99-126 amended Subsec. (b) by deleting requirement of completion of an examination prescribed by the Commissioner of Public Health, effective June 8, 1999.

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Sec. 20-195ee. Disciplinary action. Grounds. The Commissioner of Public Health may take any disciplinary action set forth in section 19a-17 against a professional counselor for any of the following reasons: (1) Failure to conform to the accepted standards of the profession; (2) conviction of a felony; (3) fraud or deceit in obtaining or seeking reinstatement of a license to practice professional counseling; (4) fraud or deceit in the practice of professional counseling; (5) negligent, incompetent or wrongful conduct in professional activities; (6) physical, mental or emotional illness or disorder resulting in an inability to conform to the accepted standards of the profession; (7) alcohol or substance abuse; (8) wilful falsification of entries in any hospital, patient or other record pertaining to professional counseling; or (9) violation of any provision of sections 20-195aa to 20-195dd, inclusive, or any regulation adopted pursuant to section 20-195ff. The commissioner may order a license holder to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if his physical or mental capacity to practice safely is the subject of an investigation. The commissioner may petition the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to enforce such order or any action taken pursuant to said section 19a-17. The commissioner shall give notice and an opportunity to be heard on any contemplated action under said section 19a-17.
(P.A. 88-230, S. 10, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4−6; P.A. 97-311, S. 5.)
History: P.A. 88-230, 90-98, 93-142 and 95-220 authorized substitution of "judicial district of Hartford" for "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" in public and special acts of 1997, effective September 1, 1998.

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Sec. 20-195ff. Regulations. The Commissioner of Public Health may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to further the purposes of subdivision (18) of subsection (c) of section 19a-14, subsection (e) of section 19a-88, subdivision (15) of section 19a-175, subsection (b) of section 20-9, subsection (c) of section 20-195c, sections 20-195aa to 20-195ff, inclusive, and sections 20-206jj to 20-206oo, inclusive.
(P.A. 97-311, S. 6.)


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