Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 405

February Session, 2018

 

LCO No. 1919

 

*01919_______PH_*

Referred to Committee on PUBLIC HEALTH

 

Introduced by:

 

(PH)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING LICENSURE OF PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR ASSOCIATES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subdivision (1) of section 20-195aa of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2019):

(1) "Licensed professional counselor", "licensed professional counselor associate" or "professional counselor" means a person who has been licensed as a professional counselor pursuant to this chapter;

Sec. 2. Section 20-195bb of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2019):

(a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, no person may practice professional counseling unless licensed pursuant to section 20-195cc, as amended by this act.

(b) No person may use the title "licensed professional counselor", "licensed professional counselor associate" or "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, as amended by this act.

(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 with a master's degree in a health-related or human services-related field employed by a hospital, as defined in subsection (b) of section 19a-490, performing services in accordance with section 20-195aa under the supervision of a person licensed by the state in one of the professions identified in subparagraphs (A) to (F), inclusive, of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 20-195dd; (6) a person licensed or certified by any agency of this state and performing services within the scope of practice for which licensed or certified; (7) 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; (8) a person employed by an institution of higher education to provide academic counseling in conjunction with the institution's programs and services; or (9) 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. [; or (10) a person who earned a degree in accordance with the requirements of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 20-195dd, provided (A) the activities performed and services provided by such person constitute part of the supervised experience required for licensure under subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of said section, and (B) the exemption to the licensure requirement shall cease upon notification that the person did not successfully complete the licensing examination, as required under subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of said section, or one year after completion of such supervised experience, whichever occurs first.]

Sec. 3. Section 20-195cc of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2019):

(a) The Commissioner of Public Health shall grant a license (1) as a professional counselor to any applicant who furnishes evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that such applicant has met the requirements of section 20-195dd, and (2) as a professional counselor associate to any applicant who furnishes evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that such applicant has met the requirements of section 4 of this act. The commissioner shall develop and provide application forms. The application fee shall be three hundred fifteen dollars.

(b) Licenses issued to professional counselors and professional counselor associates under this section may be renewed annually pursuant to section 19a-88. The fee for such renewal shall be one hundred ninety-five dollars. Each licensed professional counselor and professional counselor associate 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 that shall include (A) not less than one contact hour of training or education each registration period on the topic of cultural competency, (B) on and after January 1, 2016, not less than two contact hours of training or education during the first renewal period in which continuing education is required and not less than once every six years thereafter on the topic of mental health conditions common to veterans and family members of veterans, including (i) determining whether a patient is a veteran or family member of a veteran, (ii) screening for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, risk of suicide, depression and grief, and (iii) suicide prevention training, and (C) on and after January 1, 2018, not less than three contact hours of training or education each registration period on the topic of professional ethics, (2) delineate qualifying programs, (3) establish a system of control and reporting, and (4) provide for a waiver of the continuing education requirement for good cause. Each licensed professional counselor associate applying for license renewal shall furnish evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of receiving the supervised postgraduate experience required for licensure as a professional counselor under subparagraphs (A)(ii)(III), (A)(ii)(IV) and (B) of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 20-195dd.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2019) Each applicant for a license as a professional counselor associate shall submit to the Commissioner of Public Health (1) evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of having (A) earned a graduate degree in clinical mental health counseling as part of a program of higher learning accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, or a successor organization, or (B) (i) completed at least sixty graduate semester hours in counseling or a related mental health field at a regionally accredited institution of higher education that included coursework in each of the following areas: Human growth and development; social and cultural foundations; counseling theories; counseling techniques; group counseling; career counseling; appraisals or tests and measurements to individuals and groups; research and evaluation; professional orientation to mental health counseling; addiction and substance abuse counseling; trauma and crisis counseling; and diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders, and (ii) earned from a regionally accredited institution of higher education a graduate degree in counseling or a related mental health field, (2) evidence of having passed an examination prescribed by the commissioner, and (3) verification from a supervising professional that the applicant is working toward completing the postgraduate experience required for licensure as a professional counselor under subparagraphs (A)(ii)(III), (A)(ii)(IV) and (B) of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 20-195dd of the general statutes.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

January 1, 2019

20-195aa(1)

Sec. 2

January 1, 2019

20-195bb

Sec. 3

January 1, 2019

20-195cc

Sec. 4

January 1, 2019

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To require licensure of professional counselor associates.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]