CHAPTER 383a*

MARITAL AND FAMILY THERAPISTS

*See Sec. 19a-88b re renewal of certain professional and occupational licenses, certificates, permits or registrations which become void while the holder is on active duty in the armed forces of the United States.

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-195a. Definitions.

Sec. 20-195b. Practice restricted to licensed persons. Title protection.

Sec. 20-195c. Qualification for licensure. Fees.

Sec. 20-195d. Disciplinary action. Grounds.

Sec. 20-195e. Persons deemed qualified for certification.

Sec. 20-195f. When license as marital and family therapist not required. Advertising.

Secs. 20-195g to 20-195l. Reserved


Sec. 20-195a. Definitions. For purposes of this chapter:

(1) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Public Health;

(2) “Department” means the Department of Public Health;

(3) “Marital and family therapy” means the evaluation, assessment, diagnosis, counseling, management and treatment of emotional disorders, whether cognitive, affective or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems, through the professional application of individual psychotherapeutic and family-systems theories and techniques in the delivery of services to individuals, couples and families.

(P.A. 83-352, S. 1, 5; P.A. 85-507, S. 1, 5; P.A. 86-403, S. 43, 132; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; 95-289, S. 1; P.A. 10-117, S. 28.)

History: P.A. 85-507 deleted clinical membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy as a requirement for certification and added provisions re examinations administered by department; P.A. 86-403 made technical changes; P.A. 93-381 replaced department of health services with department of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 95-289 deleted former Subsec. (a) re definition of certified marital and family therapists and Subsec. (b) re examination for certification and substituted new definitions; P.A. 10-117 redefined “marital and family therapy” in Subdiv. (3).

Sec. 20-195b. Practice restricted to licensed persons. Title protection. (a) Except as provided in section 20-195f, no person shall practice marital and family therapy unless licensed in accordance with section 20-195c.

(b) No person shall use the title “licensed marital and family therapist” unless he is licensed in accordance with the provisions of section 20-195c.

(P.A. 83-352, S. 2, 5; P.A. 95-289, S. 2; P.A. 97-213, S. 1, 13; P.A. 98-36, S. 1.)

History: P.A. 95-289 changed “certified” to “licensed”; P.A. 97-213 divided section into Subsecs., adding new provisions requiring license to practice as Subsec. (a) and making technical changes in Subsec. (b), effective June 26, 1997; P.A. 98-36 made a technical correction to the statutory reference in Subsec. (b).

Sec. 20-195c. Qualification for licensure. Fees. (a) Each applicant for licensure as a marital and family therapist shall present to the department satisfactory evidence that such applicant has: (1) Completed a graduate degree program specializing in marital and family therapy from a regionally accredited college or university or an accredited postgraduate clinical training program approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education and recognized by the United States Department of Education; (2) completed a supervised practicum or internship with emphasis in marital and family therapy supervised by the program granting the requisite degree or by an accredited postgraduate clinical training program, approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education recognized by the United States Department of Education in which the student received a minimum of five hundred direct clinical hours that included one hundred hours of clinical supervision; (3) completed a minimum of twelve months of relevant postgraduate experience, including at least (A) one thousand hours of direct client contact offering marital and family therapy services subsequent to being awarded a master’s degree or doctorate or subsequent to the training year specified in subdivision (2) of this subsection, and (B) one hundred hours of postgraduate clinical supervision provided by a licensed marital and family therapist; and (4) passed an examination prescribed by the department. The fee shall be three hundred fifteen dollars for each initial application.

(b) The department may grant licensure without examination, subject to payment of fees with respect to the initial application, to any applicant who is currently licensed or certified as a marital or marriage and family therapist in another state, territory or commonwealth of the United States, provided such state, territory or commonwealth maintains licensure or certification standards which, in the opinion of the department, are equivalent to or higher than the standards of this state. No license shall be issued under this section to any applicant against whom professional disciplinary action is pending or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint.

(c) Licenses issued under this section may be renewed annually in accordance with the provisions of section 19a-88. The fee for such renewal shall be three hundred fifteen dollars. Each licensed marital and family therapist applying for license renewal shall furnish evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of having participated in continuing education programs. The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to (1) define basic requirements for continuing education programs, (2) delineate qualifying programs, (3) establish a system of control and reporting, and (4) provide for waiver of the continuing education requirement for good cause.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, an applicant who is currently licensed or certified as a marital or marriage and family therapist in another state, territory or commonwealth of the United States that does not maintain standards for licensure or certification that are equivalent to or higher than the standards in this state may substitute five years of licensed or certified work experience in the practice of marital and family therapy, as defined in section 20-195a, in lieu of the requirements of subdivisions (2) and (3) of subsection (a) of this section.

(P.A. 85-507, S. 2, 5; P.A. 87-212, S. 1, 4; P.A. 89-251, S. 104, 203; P.A. 95-289, S. 3; P.A. 97-213, S. 2, 13; 97-311, S. 18; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 99-2, S. 53, 72; P.A. 00-135, S. 8, 21; P.A. 02-89, S. 46; P.A. 07-252, S. 76; P.A. 09-232, S. 44; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 212; P.A. 10-117, S. 67.)

History: P.A. 87-212 added provision that the degree program in a related mental health field be approved by a certifying authority for the profession in which the degree is offered and made a technical change; P.A. 89-251 increased the fee from $150 to $450; P.A. 95-289 amended Subsec. (a), changing certification to licensure and increasing requirements, grandfathering in those certified as of the effective date of the act i.e. October 1, 1995, and reducing application fee from $450 to $250, and amended Subsec. (b), changing certification to licensure and eliminating the requirement that an out-of-state applicant be currently practicing; P.A. 97-213 amended Subsec. (a)(1) to allow licensure if applicant has completed an accredited postgraduate clinical program and to delete provision that any person certified under chapter shall be deemed licensed, amended Subsec. (a)(2) to substitute “twenty-four consecutive months” for “eighteen consecutive months”, amended Subsec. (a)(3) to insert Subpara. designators, added new Subsec. (c) re requirements for licensure in effect prior to January 1, 1998, and made technical changes, effective June 26, 1997; P.A. 97-311 added provisions as Subsec. (c) substantially similar to those added by P.A. 97-213, except that in P.A. 97-213 the word “and” appeared before “(2) successfully completed” whereas in P.A. 97-311, which passed the second house after P.A. 97-213, the word “or” appeared before “(2) successfully completed”; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 99-2 amended Subsec. (c) by extending from 1998 to 2000 the time for application for and granting of a license and by making a technical change, effective July 1, 1999; P.A. 00-135 made technical changes and added new Subsec. (d) re continuing education, effective May 26, 2000; P.A. 02-89 deleted as obsolete Subsec. (c) requiring the commissioner to grant a license not later than February 6, 2000, to any person who applies for licensure prior to January 1, 2000, and submits satisfactory evidence of certain relevant experience or successful completion of certain educational programs and redesignated Subsec. (d) as Subsec. (c); P.A. 07-252 amended Subsec. (a)(2) to delete minimum number of months required for supervised practicum or internship and time period within which to complete such practicum or internship, effective July 12, 2007; P.A. 09-232 amended Subsec. (a)(3)(B) by deleting language re licensed marital and family therapist not being directly compensated by applicant for providing required supervision; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 amended Subsecs. (a) and (c) to increase fees from $250 to $315; P.A. 10-117 amended Subsec. (b) by permitting licensure of applicant who is licensed in another state, territory or commonwealth of the United States provided such state, territory or commonwealth maintains licensure or certification standards that are equivalent to or higher than the standards of this state and added Subsec. (d) re substitution of 5 years of licensed or certified work experience in lieu of requirements of Subsec. (a)(2) and (3).

Sec. 20-195d. Disciplinary action. Grounds. The department is authorized to conduct investigations and take disciplinary actions as set forth in section 19a-17 for any of the following reasons: (1) Fraud or material deception in procuring or attempting to procure licensure; (2) illegal conduct, incompetence or negligence in carrying out professional functions; (3) any occupationally disabling emotional disorder or mental illness; (4) physical illness including, but not limited to, deterioration through the aging process; (5) abuse or excessive use of drugs, including alcohol, narcotics or chemicals; (6) fraud or material deception in the course of professional activities; (7) wilful and significant falsification of entries in any hospital, patient or other record; and (8) violation of any provision of this chapter, any regulation adopted pursuant to this chapter, or any provisions of subdivision (6) of subsection (a) of section 19a-14. 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 section 19a-17.

(P.A. 85-507, S. 3, 5; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4–6; 95-271, S. 13, 40; 95-289, S. 4; P.A. 03-118, S. 5; 03-252, S. 12.)

History: P.A. 95-271 authorized the commissioner to order physical or mental examination and to petition superior court for enforcement, effective July 6, 1995 (Revisor’s note: 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 1995 public and special acts, effective September 1, 1998); P.A. 95-289 added reference to Sec. 19a-17, changed the Subdiv. indicators from letters to numbers, added Subdiv. (4) re physical illness and aging and Subdiv. (8) re violation of Sec. 19a-14, renumbering the remaining Subdivs. accordingly, and authorized the commissioner to order a reasonable physical or mental examination and to petition Superior Court for enforcement; P.A. 03-118 and P.A. 03-252 added identical language making violation of provision of chapter or of regulations ground for disciplinary action.

Sec. 20-195e. Persons deemed qualified for certification. Section 20-195e is repealed.

(P.A. 85-507, S. 4, 5; P.A. 87-212, S. 2, 4; P.A. 89-94, S. 1, 2; P.A. 94-210, S. 27, 30; P.A. 95-289, S. 12.)

Sec. 20-195f. When license as marital and family therapist not required. Advertising. (a) No license as a marital and family therapist shall be required of: (1) A student pursuing a course of study in an educational institution meeting the requirements of section 20-195c if such activities constitute a part of his supervised course of study; (2) a faculty member within an institution of higher learning performing duties consistent with his position; (3) a person holding a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy or a certificate of completion of a postdegree program for marriage and family therapy education, provided such activities and services constitute a part of his supervised work experience required for licensure; or (4) a person licensed or certified in this state in a field other than marital and family therapy practicing within the scope of such license or certification.

(b) A person practicing marriage and family therapy pursuant to subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of this section may advertise or present himself as practicing marriage and family therapy provided he clearly sets forth, in his advertisement or presentation, the type of license pursuant to which he is practicing.

(P.A. 95-289, S. 5; P.A. 97-213, S. 3, 13.)

History: P.A. 97-213 designated existing language as Subsec. (a) and made technical changes and added Subsec. (b) allowing marriage and family therapy practitioners to advertise, effective June 26, 1997.

Secs. 20-195g to 20-195l. Reserved for future use.