WSR 01-17-113

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH


[ Filed August 22, 2001, 10:28 a.m. ]

Date of Adoption: July 27, 2001.

Purpose: The 2001 legislature (chapter 251, Laws of 2001) mandated the Department of Health establish education, experience, examination, AIDS/HIV, and fee requirements for licensed mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and social workers. This law was effective July 22, 2001. At that time certification was repealed and licensure became effective. The statute does not provide sufficient information and requires further definitions through rule making.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: WAC 246-809-080, 246-809-120, 246-809-121, 246-809-130, 246-809-140, 246-809-220, 246-809-221, 246-809-230, 246-809-240, 246-809-320, 246-809-321, 246-809-340, and 246-809-990. Licensure for mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and social workers.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 251, Laws of 2001, RCW 43.70.250.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 01-13-118 on June 20, 2001.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 13, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 13, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

August 21, 2001

M. C. Selecky

Secretary

OTS-4929.4

LICENSED COUNSELORS -- GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-080   AIDS prevention and information education requirements.   Applicants must complete four clock hours of AIDS education as required in chapter 246-12 WAC, Part 8.

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LICENSED MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS
NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-120   Education requirements -- Degree equivalents.   (1) To meet the education requirement of chapter 251, Laws of 2001, an applicant must possess a master's or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy or a behavioral science master's or doctoral degree with equivalent coursework from an approved school. An official transcript must be provided as evidence of fulfillment of the coursework required.

(2) The following are considered to be equivalent to a master's or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy from an approved school:

(a) A doctoral or master's degree from an approved school in any of the behavioral sciences that shows evidence of fulfillment of the coursework requirements set out in WAC 246-809-121; or

(b) A doctoral or master's degree in any of the behavioral sciences from an approved school that shows evidence of partial fulfillment of the equivalent coursework requirements set out in WAC 246-809-121, plus supplemental coursework from an approved school to satisfy the remaining equivalent coursework requirements set out in WAC 246-809-121.

(3) Applicants who held a behavioral science master's or doctoral degree and are completing supplemental coursework through an approved school to satisfy any missing program equivalencies may count any postgraduate experience hours acquired concurrently with the additional coursework.

(4) Anyone who has obtained American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) clinical membership status is considered to have met the education requirements of this chapter. Verification must be sent directly to the department from the AAMFT.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-121   Program equivalency.   Coursework equivalent to a master's or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy shall include graduate level courses in marital and family systems, marital and family therapy, individual development psychopathology, human sexuality, research, professional ethics and law, and supervised clinical practice and electives.

A total of forty-five semester credits and sixty quarter credits are required in all nine areas of study. A minimum of twenty-seven semester credits or thirty-six quarter credits are required in the first five areas of study: Marital and family systems, marital and family therapy, individual development psychopathology, human sexuality, and research. Distribution of the coursework is as follows:

(1) Marital and family systems.

(a) An applicant must have taken at least two courses in marital and family systems. Coursework required is a minimum of six semester credits or eight quarter credits.

(b) Marital and family systems is a fundamental introduction to the systems approach to intervention. The student should learn to think in systems terms on a number of levels across a wide variety of family structures, and regarding a diverse range of presenting problems. While the most intense focus may be on the nuclear family (in both its traditional and alternative forms), models should be taught which integrate information regarding the marital, sibling, and individual subsystems, as well as the family of origin and external societal influences. Developmental aspects of family functioning should also be considered of the family system; it also provides a theoretical basis for treatment strategy. Some material may be drawn from familiar sources such as family sociology, but it should be integrated with recent clinically oriented systems concepts. Supplemental studies may include family simulation, the observation of well families, and study of the student's family of origin.

(2) Marital and family therapy.

(a) An applicant must have taken at least two courses in marital and family therapy. Coursework required is a minimum of six semester credits or eight quarter credits.

(b) Marital and family therapy is intended to provide a substantive understanding of the major theories of systems change and the applied practices evolving from each orientation. Major theoretical approaches to be surveyed might include strategic, structural, experiential, neoanalytical (e.g., object relations), communications, and behavioral. Applied studies should consider the range of technique associated with each orientation, as well as a variety of treatment structures, including individual, concurrent, collaborative, conjoint marital, marital group, transgenerational, and network therapies.

(3) Individual development.

(a) An applicant must have taken at least one course in individual development. Coursework required is a minimum of two semester credits or three quarter credits.

(b) A course in this area is intended to provide a knowledge of individual personality development and its normal and abnormal manifestations. The student should have relevant coursework in human development across the life span, and in personality theory. An attempt should be made to integrate this material with systems concepts. Several of the courses in this category may be required as prerequisites for some degree programs.

(4) Psychopathology.

(a) An applicant must have taken at least one course in psychopathology. Coursework required is a minimum of two semester credits or three quarter credits.

(b) Psychopathology is the assessment and diagnosis including familiarity with current diagnostic nomenclature, diagnostic categories and the development of treatment strategies.

(5) Human sexuality.

(a) An applicant must have taken at least one course in human sexuality. Coursework required is a minimum of two semester credits or three quarter credits.

(b) Human sexuality includes normal psycho-sexual development, sexual functioning and its physiological aspects and sexual dysfunction and its treatment.

(6) Research.

(a) An applicant must have taken at least one course in research methods. Coursework required is a minimum of three semester credits or four quarter credits.

(b) The research area is intended to provide assistance to students in becoming informed consumers of research in the marital and family therapy field. Familiarity with substantive findings, together with the ability to make critical judgments as to the adequacy of research reports, is expected.

(7) Professional ethics and law.

(a) An applicant must have taken at least one course in professional ethics and law. Coursework required is a minimum of three semester credits or four quarter credits.

(b) This area is intended to contribute to the development of a professional attitude and identity. Areas of study will include professional socialization and the role of the professional organization, licensure or certification legislation, legal responsibilities and liabilities, ethics and family law, confidentiality, independent practice and interprofessional cooperation.

(8) Electives.

(a) An individual must take one course in an elective area. Coursework required is a minimum of three semester credits and four quarter credits.

(b) This area will vary with different institutions but is intended to provide supplemental and/or specialized supporting areas.

(9) Supervised clinical practice.

(a) An applicant may acquire up to nine semester credits or twelve quarter credits through supervised clinical practice in marriage and family therapy under the supervision of a qualified marriage and family therapist as determined by the school;

(b) If an applicant completed a master's or doctoral degree program in marriage and family therapy, or a behavioral science master's or doctoral degree with equivalent coursework, prior to January 1, 1997; and if that degree did not include a supervised clinical practice component, the applicant may substitute the clinical practice component with proof of a minimum of three years postgraduate experience in marriage and family therapy, in addition to the two years supervised postgraduate experience required under section 9(1), chapter 251, Laws of 2001.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-130   Supervised postgraduate experience.   The following are experience requirements for the applicant's practice area:

(1) Successful completion of a supervised experience requirement. The experience requirement consists of a minimum of two calendar years of full-time marriage and family therapy. Of the total supervision, one hundred hours must be with a licensed marriage and family therapist with at least five years' clinical experience; the other one hundred hours may be with an equally qualified licensed mental health practitioner. Total experience requirements include:

(a) A minimum of three thousand hours of experience, one thousand hours of which must be direct client contact; at least five hundred hours must be gained in diagnosing and treating couples and families; plus

(b) At least two hundred hours of qualified supervision with a supervisor. At least one hundred of the two hundred hours must be one-on-one supervision, and the remaining hours may be in one-on-one or group supervision.

(2) Applicants who have completed a master's program accredited by the commission on accreditation for marriage and family therapy education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy may be credited with five hundred hours of direct client contact and one hundred hours of formal meetings with an approved supervisor.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-140   Examination.   Examination required. Applicant must take and pass the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) examination. The passing score on the examination shall be that established by the testing company in conjunction with the AMFTRB.

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LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS
NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-220   Education requirements.   (1) To meet the education requirement imposed by section 9 (1)(b)(i), chapter 251, Laws of 2001, an applicant must possess a master's or doctoral degree in mental health counseling or a behavioral science master's or doctoral degree in a field relating to mental health counseling from an approved school. Fields recognized as relating to mental health counseling may include counseling, psychology, social work, nursing, education, pastoral counseling, rehabilitation counseling, or social sciences. Any field of study qualifying as related to mental health counseling must satisfy coursework equivalency requirements included in WAC 246-809-221. An official transcript must be provided as evidence of fulfillment of the coursework required.

(2) Any supplemental coursework required must be from an approved school.

(3) Applicants who held a behavioral science master's or doctoral degree and are completing supplemental coursework through an approved school to satisfy any missing program equivalencies may count any postgraduate experience hours acquired concurrently with the additional coursework.

(4) A person who is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) or a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) through the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) is considered to have met the education requirements of this chapter. Verification must be sent directly to the department from NBCC.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-221   Behavioral sciences -- Program equivalency.   Behavioral science in a field relating to mental health counseling includes a core of study relating to counseling theory and counseling philosophy. Either a counseling practicum, or a counseling internship, or both, must be included in the core of study. Exclusive use of an internship or practicum used for qualification must have incorporated supervised direct client contact. This core of study must include seven content areas from the entire list in subsections (1) through (17) of this section, five of which must be from content areas in subsections (1) through (8) of this subsection:

(1) Assessment/diagnosis.

(2) Ethics/law.

(3) Counseling individuals.

(4) Counseling groups.

(5) Counseling couples and families.

(6) Developmental psychology (may be child, adolescent, adult or life span).

(7) Psychopathology/abnormal psychology.

(8) Research and evaluation.

(9) Career development counseling.

(10) Multicultural concerns.

(11) Substance/chemical abuse.

(12) Physiological psychology.

(13) Organizational psychology.

(14) Mental health consultation.

(15) Developmentally disabled persons.

(16) Abusive relationships.

(17) Chronically mentally ill.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-230   Supervised postgraduate experience.   The following are experience requirements for the applicant's practice area:

Successful completion of a supervised experience requirement. The experience requirement consists of a minimum of thirty-six months full-time counseling or three thousand hours of postgraduate mental health counseling under the supervision of a qualified licensed mental health counselor in an approved setting. The three thousand hours of required experience includes a minimum of one hundred hours spent in immediate supervision with the qualified licensed mental health counselor, and includes a minimum of one thousand two hundred hours of direct counseling with individuals, couples, families, or groups.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-240   Examination for licensed mental health counselors.   (1) Testing companies must administer a written licensure examination on knowledge and application of mental health counseling at least once a year. The applicant must submit a completed application and application fee to the department at least ninety days prior to the scheduled examination date. All other supporting documents, including verification of supervised postgraduate experience, must be submitted sixty days prior to the examination date.

(2) Applicants who take and pass the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), National Certification Examination (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE) have met the examination requirement of chapter 251, Laws of 2001. Verification of successful completion and passage of the NBCC examination is to be provided directly to the department of health by NBCC at the request of the applicant for Washington state mental health counselor.

(3) The passing score established by the testing company is the passing score accepted by the department of health.

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LICENSED SOCIAL WORKERS
NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-320   Education requirements and supervised postgraduate experience.   The following are education and experience requirements for the applicant's practice area:

(1) Licensed advanced social worker.

(a) Graduation from a master's or doctoral social work educational program accredited by the council on social work education and approved by the secretary based upon nationally recognized standards; and

(b) Successful completion of a supervised experience requirement. The experience requirement consists of a minimum of three thousand two hundred hours with ninety hours of supervision by a licensed independent clinical social worker or a licensed advanced social worker who has been licensed or certified for at least two years. Of those hours, fifty hours must include direct supervision by a licensed advanced social worker or licensed independent clinical social worker; the other forty hours may be with an equally qualified licensed mental health practitioner. Forty hours must be in one-to-one supervision and fifty hours may be in one-to-one supervision or group supervision. Distance supervision is limited to forty supervision hours. Eight hundred hours must be in direct client contact.

(2) Licensed independent clinical social worker.

(a) Graduation from a master's or doctorate level social work educational program accredited by the council on social work education and approved by the secretary based upon nationally recognized standards; and

(b) Successful completion of a supervised experience requirement. The experience requirement consists of a minimum of four thousand hours of experience, of which one thousand hours must be direct client contact, over a three-year period supervised by a licensed independent clinical social worker, with supervision of at least one hundred thirty hours by a licensed mental health practitioner. Of the total supervision, seventy hours must be with an independent clinical social worker; the other sixty hours may be with an equally qualified licensed mental health practitioner. Sixty hours must be in one-to-one supervision and seventy hours may be in one-to-one supervision or group supervision. Distance supervision is limited to sixty supervision hours.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-321   Education and experience equivalency.   (1)(a) Persons who obtained the Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work from the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work (ABECSW) shall be considered to have met the education and postgraduate experience requirements to be eligible for Washington state licensure examination.

(b) Documentation of ABECSW Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work must be sent directly to the department from the ABECSW.

(2)(a) Persons who obtained the Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (DCSW) or Qualified Clinical Social Work (QCSW) from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) shall be considered to have met the education and postgraduate experience requirements to be eligible for Washington state licensure examination.

(b) Documentation of DCSW or QCSW must be sent directly to the department from NASW.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-340   Examination required.   (1) Either the American Association of State Social Work Board's advanced or clinical examination is approved for use as the state examination for licensure of social workers.

(2) The passing score established by the testing company is the passing score accepted by the department of health.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-809-990   Fees and renewal cycle.   (1) Licenses must be renewed every year on the practitioner's birthday as provided in chapter 246-12 WAC, Part 2.


Title Fee
(2) The following nonrefundable fees will be charged for licensed marriage and family therapist:
Application $50.00
Initial license 25.00
Renewal 83.00
Late renewal penalty 50.00
Expired license reissuance 50.00
Duplicate license 10.00
Certification of license 10.00
(3) The following nonrefundable fees will be charged for licensed mental health counselor:
Application 25.00
Initial license 25.00
Renewal 29.00
Late renewal penalty 29.00
Expired license reissuance 29.00
Duplicate license 10.00
Certification of license 10.00
(4) The following nonrefundable fees will be charged for licensed advanced social worker and licensed independent clinical social worker:
Application 25.00
Initial license 25.00
Renewal 42.00
Late renewal penalty 42.00
Expired license reissuance 42.00
Duplicate license 10.00
Certification of license 10.00

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office