§ 4081. Legislative intent
It is the intent of this chapter:
(1) To ensure that consumers of psychotherapy services are provided with the information relating to the training and qualification of nonlicensed and noncertified providers of psychotherapy necessary to enable them to make informed decisions concerning their choice of providers.
(2) That psychotherapists who are nonlicensed and noncertified are entered on a roster and practice according to established standards of professional conduct and be subject to disciplinary procedures if they fail to adhere to those standards.
(3) That the term psychotherapy as used in this chapter be narrowly interpreted to ensure that only those persons who provide services that clearly fall within the definition of psychotherapy are subject to the provisions of this chapter. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 17.)
§ 4082. Definitions
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Board" means the allied mental health practitioners board established under section 3262a of this title.
(2) "Disciplinary action" includes any action taken by the board against a person who is entered on the roster or who applies for entry on the roster, premised on a finding of unprofessional conduct. It includes all sanctions of any kind, such as refusal to enter a person on the roster or to renew a roster entry, suspension or revocation of the person's right to be entered on the roster, issuing warnings, limitations on a person's right to practice, and other similar sanctions.
(3) "Psychotherapist who is nonlicensed and noncertified" means a person who practices psychotherapy and is neither a licensed psychologist, clinical social worker, or mental health counselor, nor a certified marriage and family therapist or a psychoanalyst.
(4) "Psychotherapy" means the provision of treatment, diagnosis, evaluation, or counseling services to individuals or groups, for a consideration, for the purpose of alleviating mental disorders. "Psychotherapy" involves the application of therapeutic techniques to understand unconscious or conscious motivation, resolve emotional, relationship, or attitudinal conflicts, or modify behavior which interferes with effective emotional, social, or mental functioning. "Psychotherapy" follows a systematic procedure of psychotherapeutic intervention which takes place on a regular basis over a period of time, or, in the case of evaluation and brief psychotherapies, in a single or limited number of interventions. If a person is employed by or under contract with the agency of human services, this definition does not apply to persons with less than a master's degree, to persons providing life skills training or instruction, such as learning to make friends, to handle social situations, to do laundry, and to develop community awareness, or interactions of employees or contracted individuals with clients whose job description or contract specifications do not specifically mention "psychotherapy" as a job responsibility or duty.
(5) "Roster" means the list of psychotherapists who are nonlicensed and noncertified that is maintained by the office of professional regulation in the office of the secretary of state. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 17; amended 1997, No. 40, § 66; 1997, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 26; 2005, No. 27, § 98.)
§ 4083. Prohibitions; penalties
(a) No person shall practice psychotherapy unless the person is entered on the roster of psychotherapists who are nonlicensed and noncertified.
(b) A person entered on the roster shall not use the terms certified, clinical, licensed, registered, or state-approved, or any other term that would give the impression that the psychotherapist or the service which is being provided is recommended or approved by the state based solely on inclusion on the roster.
(c) A person who violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to the penalties provided in 3 V.S.A. § 127(c). (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 17; amended 2007, No. 29, § 60.)
§ 4084. Unauthorized practice
The provisions of 3 V.S.A. § 127, relating to unauthorized practice, shall apply to a psychotherapist who practices without being entered on the roster. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 17.)
§ 4085. Exemptions
(a) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to persons while engaged in the course of their customary duties as clergy, licensed physicians, nurses, osteopaths, optometrists, dentists, lawyers, psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors, certified marriage and family therapists, licensed alcohol and drug counselors, and psychoanalysts or licensed educators when performing their duties consistent with the accepted standards of their respective professions.
(b) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to persons while engaged in the course of their duties:
(1) In the activities and services of the clergy or leader of any religious denomination or sect or a Christian Science practitioner when engaging in activities that are within the scope of the performance of the person's regular or specialized ministerial duties and for which no separate charge is made, or when these activities are performed, with or without charge, for or under the auspices of sponsorship, individually or in conjunction with others, of an established and legally recognizable church, denomination, or sect, and when the person rendering services remains accountable to the established authority of that church, denomination, or sect.
(2) In employment or rehabilitation counseling.
(3) As an employee of, or under contract with, the agency of human services, provided the person is not covered by the definition of psychotherapy in section 4082 of this title.
(4) As a mediator.
(5) In an official evaluation for court purposes.
(6) As a volunteer for, or a member of, a self-help group such as Alcoholics Anonymous and peer counseling or domestic violence groups whether or not the person is serving for a consideration.
(7) As a respite caregiver, foster care worker, or hospice worker.
(c) The prohibitions of this chapter shall not apply to practices in the fields of:
(1) Body work education and healing, including massage therapy, stress reduction, physical fitness, or yoga.
(2) Energy-related therapy, including kinesiology, crystology, and sound therapy.
(3) Psychic reading and healing arts, including astrology, channeling, and palmistry.
(4) Social science research and education, including sociology and educational tutoring.
(5) Human resource development, including personnel management, career development, and business consultants.
(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section, the provisions of this chapter shall apply to any person entered on the roster as a nonlicensed and noncertified psychotherapist under this chapter. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 17; amended 1995, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 1997, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 27; 1999, No. 52, § 36; 2011, No. 66, § 12, eff. June 1, 2011.)
§ 4086. Roster of psychotherapists who are nonlicensed and noncertified
(a) A roster of psychotherapists who are nonlicensed and noncertified is created. The roster shall include all nonlicensed and noncertified psychotherapists who practice in this state.
(b) Any psychologist, clinical social worker, clinical mental health counselor, marriage and family therapist, psychoanalyst, or any other allied mental health practitioner whose license, certification, registration, or state endorsement is suspended or has been permanently revoked by Vermont or any other jurisdiction shall be ineligible for entry on the roster. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 17; amended 2005, No. 27, § 99.)
§ 4087. Entry on the roster; procedure
(a) A psychotherapist who is nonlicensed and noncertified shall apply for entry on the roster. Applications shall be made on the form provided by the director, shall contain such information and professional data as the director may require, and shall be accompanied by payment of the specified fee.
(b) Each psychotherapist whose name appears on the roster shall notify the director, in writing, of any change in the information previously provided to the director. Notifications of changes of information shall be made within 30 days of the date the change occurred.
(c) [Repealed.] (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 17; amended 1997, No. 40, § 67; 2003, No. 60, § 20.)
§ 4088. Renewal
Entries on the roster shall be renewed every two years by submission of a new, completed roster form and shall be accompanied by payment of the specified fee. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 17.)
§ 4089. Repealed. 1997, No. 59, § 65(11), eff. June 30, 1997.
§ 4089a. Fees
A person who seeks entry on the roster shall pay the following fees:
(1) Initial roster entry $75.00
(2) Biennial roster reentry $90.00
(Added 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. April 29, 1998; amended 1999, No. 49, § 184; 2001, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 33, eff. June 21, 2002; 2005, No. 202 (Adj. Sess.), § 22.)
§ 4090. Disclosure of information
The board shall adopt rules requiring persons entered on the roster to disclose to each client the psychotherapist's professional qualifications and experience, those actions that constitute unprofessional conduct, and 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 rostered psychotherapist 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.), § 17; amended 1997, No. 40, § 69.)
§ 4091. Board; duties
(a) The board shall:
(1) Provide general information to applicants for entry on the roster.
(2) Explain appeal procedures to persons entered on the roster and complaint procedures to the public.
(3) Administer fees collected under this chapter.
(4) Receive applications for entry on the roster, enter applicants, renew entries on the roster, and revoke, reinstate, or condition entry on the roster as ordered by the board.
(5) Refer all complaints and disciplinary matters to the board.
(b) The board may adopt rules necessary to perform its duties under subsection (a) of this section. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 17; amended 1997, No. 40, §§ 70, 73(a), (b).)
§ 4092. Repealed. 1997, No. 40, § 74.
§ 4093. Unprofessional conduct
(a) Unprofessional conduct means the following conduct and conduct set forth in 3 V.S.A. § 129a:
(1) Providing fraudulent or deceptive information in an application for entry on the roster.
(2) Conviction of a crime that evinces an unfitness to practice psychotherapy.
(3) Unauthorized use of a protected title in professional activity.
(4) Conduct which evidences moral unfitness to practice psychotherapy.
(5) Engaging in any sexual conduct with a client, or with the immediate family member of a client, with whom the psychotherapist has had a professional relationship within the previous two years.
(6) Harassing, intimidating, or abusing a client.
(7) Entering into an additional relationship with a client, supervisee, research participant, or student that might impair the psychotherapist's objectivity or otherwise interfere with his or her professional obligations.
(8) Practicing outside or beyond a psychotherapist's area of training, experience, or competence without appropriate supervision.
(b) After hearing, and upon a finding of unprofessional conduct, the board may take disciplinary action against a rostered psychotherapist or an applicant. (Added 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 17; amended 1997, No. 40, § 71; 1997, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 61; 1999, No. 52, § 37.)