The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 26: Professions and Occupations

Chapter 76: MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS

§ 4031. Definitions

As used in this chapter:

(1) "American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy" means a national professional association of marriage and family therapists that accredits marriage and family therapy academic programs and provides direction and leadership for marriage and family therapy practice, education, and research.

(2) "Board" means the board of allied mental health practitioners established under section 3262a of this title.

(3) "Licensed marriage and family therapist" means a person who is licensed under this chapter.

(4) "Commission" means the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, the committee of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy that reviews and accredits academic programs in marriage and family therapy that are offered at both regionally recognized colleges and universities and at independent post-graduate training institutes.

(5) "Disciplinary action" includes any action taken by the board against a licensed marriage and family therapist on a finding of unprofessional conduct by the licensed marriage and family therapist or an applicant. It includes all sanctions of any kind, such as refusing to license a person as a marriage and family therapist or to renew a licensure, suspension or revocation of the person's licensure, issuing warnings, and other such limitations.

(6) "Marriage and family services" means the diagnosis and treatment of nervous and mental disorders, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, from the context of marital and family systems. It further involves the professional application of psychotherapeutic and family systems theory and technique in the delivery of services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.

(7) "Marriage and family therapy" means the rendering of professional marriage and family services to individuals, family groups, couples; singly or in groups; whether such services are offered directly to the general public, or through organizations either private or public for compensation, monetary or otherwise. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1997, No. 40, § 59; 1999, No. 52, § 35.)

§ 4032. Disclosure of information

The board shall adopt rules requiring licensed marriage and family therapists to disclose to each client the marriage and family therapist's professional qualifications and experience, those actions that constitute unprofessional conduct, the method for filing a complaint or making a consumer inquiry, and provisions relating to the manner in which the information shall be displayed and signed by both the marriage and family therapist and the client. The rules may include provisions for applying or modifying these requirements in cases involving institutionalized clients, minors, and adults under the supervision of a guardian. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1997, No. 40, § 60; 1999, No. 52, § 35.)

§ 4033. Prohibition; penalty

(a) No person shall practice or attempt to practice marriage and family therapy, nor shall any person use in connection with the person's name any letters, words, or insignia indicating or implying that the person is a licensed marriage and family therapist unless licensed in accordance with this chapter.

(b) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be subject to the penalties provided in 3 V.S.A. § 127(c). (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1999, No. 52, § 31; 2007, No. 29, § 56.)

§ 4034. Board of allied mental health practitioners; duties

(a) The board shall:

(1) Provide general information to applicants for licensure as marriage and family therapists.

(2) Administer fees collected under this chapter.

(3) Explain appeal procedures to marriage and family therapists and applicants and complaint procedures to the public.

(4) Receive applications for licensure of applicants under this chapter, renew licensure, and revoke, suspend, reinstate, or condition licensure as ordered by the board.

(5) Refer all disciplinary matters to the board.

(b) The board may adopt rules necessary to perform its duties under this section. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1997, No. 40, §§ 61, 73(a), (b); 1999, No. 52, § 35.)

§ 4035. Repealed. 1997, No. 40, § 74.

§ 4036. Application

To apply for licensure as a marriage and family therapist, a person shall apply to the board on a form that the director shall furnish. The application shall be accompanied by payment of the specified fee and evidence of eligibility as requested by the board. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1997, No. 40, § 73(a); 1999, No. 52, § 35.)

§ 4037. Eligibility

To be eligible for licensure as a marriage and family therapist, an applicant:

(1) Shall have successfully:

(A)(i) completed a graduate degree program in marriage and family therapy at an institution that is accredited by both a regional educational accrediting body and the commission, or a post-graduate training institute that is accredited by the commission; or

(ii) obtained a graduate degree focusing on marriage and family therapy, as defined by the board by rule, at an institution that is accredited by a regional or national educational accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education and approved by the board; and

(B) met specific graduate credit and course requirements for licensure as set forth by the board by rule.

(2) [Deleted.]

(3) Shall have successfully completed a two-calendar-year work experience in marriage and family therapy under the supervision of either a licensed marriage and family therapist or licensed clinical social worker in this state or a marriage and family therapist or licensed clinical social worker in another state who would meet the license requirements. The board may, when a qualified marriage and family therapist is not reasonably available, permit a person licensed as a clinical mental health counselor, clinical social worker, psychologist, or licensed physician certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Medical Specialties, to serve as a supervisor. Persons engaged in the work experience shall be entered on the roster of psychotherapists who are nonlicensed and noncertified and shall comply with the laws of that profession. The board shall adopt rules establishing standards and procedures for satisfying the requirements of this subdivision.

(4) Shall have passed an examination as provided in section 4038 of this title. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1997, No. 40, § 62; 1997, No. 111 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1999, No. 52, §§ 32, 35; 2001, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 29a, eff. June 13, 2002; 2005, No. 27, § 97; 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 42.)

§ 4038. Examination

(a) A written examination shall be conducted under this chapter at least twice a year except that an examination need not be conducted when no one has applied to be examined.

(b) An examination administered and the procedures of administration shall be fair and reasonable and shall be designed and implemented to ensure that all applicants are granted licensure if they demonstrate that they possess the minimal occupational qualifications which are necessary for the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. The examination shall not be designed or implemented for the purpose of limiting the number of licensed marriage and family therapists. The board shall establish criteria for passing the examination that shall apply to all persons taking the examination.

(c) The board shall administer a written examination based on the applicant's marriage and family therapy educational and clinical background.

(d) The board may authorize the use of established marriage and family therapy tests as utilized by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1997, No. 40, § 63; 1999, No. 52, § 35.)

§ 4039. Certification without examination

The board may waive the examination requirement for licensure if the applicant is a marriage and family therapist regulated under the laws of another jurisdiction who is in good standing to practice marriage and family therapy in that jurisdiction and, in the opinion of the board, the standards and qualifications required for regulation of marriage and family therapy in that jurisdiction are substantially equivalent to those required by this chapter. The board may adopt by rule criteria for licensing marriage and family therapists who have five years' licensed or certified practice experience in another jurisdiction of the United States or Canada. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1997, No. 40, § 73; 1999, No. 52, § 35; 2003, No. 60, § 19; 2007, No. 29, § 57.)

§ 4040. Renewals

(a) Licenses shall be renewed every two years upon payment of the required fee provided the person applying for renewal has completed at least 20 hours of continuing education, approved by the Board, during the preceding two-year period. The Board shall establish, by rule, guidelines and criteria for continuing education credit. The continuing education requirement shall not apply for the first renewal period.

(b) Biennially, the Board shall forward a renewal form to each licensed marriage and family therapist. Upon receipt of the completed form and the renewal fee, the Board shall renew a license.

(c) Any application for renewal of a license which has expired shall be accompanied by the renewal fee and late fee. A person shall not be required to pay renewal fees for years during which the license was lapsed.

(d) [Repealed.]  (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1997, No. 40, §§ 64, 73(a); 1999, No. 52, § 33; 2013, No. 27, § 45.)

§ 4041. Repealed. 1997, No. 59, § 65(9), eff. June 30, 1997.

§ 4041a. Fees

Applicants and persons regulated under this chapter shall pay the

 following fees:

      (1) Application for licensure                                           $125.00

      (2) Biennial renewal                                                        $150.00

 (Added 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. April 29, 1998; amended 1999, No. 49, § 182; 2001, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 32, eff. June 21, 2002; 2005, No. 202 (Adj. Sess.), § 21.)

 

§ 4042. Unprofessional conduct

(a) Unprofessional conduct means the following conduct and the conduct set forth in 3 V.S.A. § 129a:

(1) Failing to use a complete title in professional activity.

(2) Conduct which evidences moral unfitness to practice marriage and family therapy.

(3) Engaging in any sexual conduct with a client, or with the immediate family member of a client, with whom the licensed marriage and family therapist has had a professional relationship within the previous two years.

(4) Harassing, intimidating, or abusing a client.

(5) Entering into an additional relationship with a client, supervisee, research participant, or student that might impair the marriage and family therapist's objectivity or otherwise interfere with the marriage and family therapist's professional obligations.

(6) Practicing outside or beyond a marriage and family therapist's area of training, experience, and competence without appropriate supervision.

(b) After hearing and upon a finding of unprofessional conduct, or upon approval of a negotiated agreement, the board may take disciplinary action against the licensed marriage and family therapist or applicant. That action may include any of the following conditions or restrictions which may be in addition to or in lieu of suspension:

(1) A requirement that the person submit to appropriate treatment.

(2) A restriction that a licensed marriage and family therapist practice only under the supervision of a named individual or an individual with specified credentials.

(3) A requirement that a licensed marriage and family therapist participate in continuing education as directed by the board in order to overcome specified deficiencies.

(4) A requirement that the licensed marriage and family therapist's scope of practice be restricted to a specified extent.

(c) The board may reinstate a revoked license on terms and conditions that the board deems to be proper. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1997, No. 40, § 65; 1997, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 59; 1999, No. 52, §§ 34, 35.)