HB 135: "An Act relating to marital and family therapists."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 135 01 "An Act relating to marital and family therapists." 02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 * Section 1. AS 08.01.050(d) is amended to read: 04 (d) At the request of one of the following boards, the department may contract 05 with public agencies and private professional organizations to provide assistance and 06 treatment to persons licensed by the board who abuse alcohol, other drugs, or other 07 substances: 08 (1) Board of Social Work Examiners; 09 (2) Board of Dental Examiners; 10 (3) Board of Dispensing Opticians; 11 (4) State Medical Board; 12 (5) Board of Nursing; 13 (6) Board of Examiners in Optometry; 14 (7) Board of Pharmacy; 15 (8) State Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Board;
01 (9) Board of Professional Counselors; 02 (10) Board of Psychologist and Psychological Associate Examiners; 03 [AND] 04 (11) Board of Veterinary Examiners; and 05 (12) Board of Marital and Family Therapy. 06 * Sec. 2. AS 08.63.050 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 07 (b) The board may order a licensed marital and family therapist to submit to a 08 reasonable physical or mental examination if the board has credible evidence 09 sufficient to conclude that the marital and family therapist's physical or mental 10 capacity to practice safely is at issue. 11 * Sec. 3. AS 08.63.100(a) is amended to read: 12 (a) The board shall issue a license to practice marital and family therapy to a 13 person who 14 (1) applies on a form provided by the board; 15 (2) pays the fee established under AS 08.01.065; 16 (3) furnishes evidence satisfactory to the board that the person 17 (A) has not engaged in conduct that is a ground for imposing 18 disciplinary sanctions under AS 08.63.210; 19 (B) holds a master's degree or doctorate in marital and family 20 therapy or allied mental health field from a regionally accredited educational 21 institution approved by the board for which the person completed a course of 22 study that included instruction substantially equivalent to the following: 23 (i) three courses or nine semester or 12 quarter hours of 24 course work in marital and family therapy; 25 (ii) three courses or nine semester or 12 quarter hours of 26 course work in marital and family studies; 27 (iii) three courses or nine semester or 12 quarter hours 28 of course work in human development; 29 (iv) one course or three semester or four quarter hours 30 of course work in professional studies or professional ethics and law; 31 (v) one course or three semester or four quarter hours of
01 course work in research; and 02 (vi) one year of supervised clinical practice in marital 03 and family therapy; 04 (C) after receiving a degree described in (B) of this paragraph, 05 has 06 (i) practiced marital and family therapy [WITHIN 07 THREE YEARS OF THE PERSON'S APPLICATION], including 08 1,500 hours of direct clinical contact with couples, individuals, and 09 families; and 10 (ii) been supervised in the clinical contact for at least 11 200 hours, including 100 hours of individual supervision and 100 hours 12 of group supervision approved by the board; 13 (D) has received training related to domestic violence; and 14 (E) has passed a written or oral examination administered by 15 the board. 16 * Sec. 4. AS 08.63.200(a) is amended to read: 17 (a) A person licensed under this chapter may not reveal to another person a 18 communication made to the licensee by a client about a matter concerning which the 19 client has employed the licensee in a professional capacity. This section does not 20 apply to 21 (1) a case conference or case consultation with other mental health 22 professionals at which the patient is not identified; 23 (2) the release of information that the client in writing authorized the 24 licensee to reveal; 25 (3) information released to the board as part of a disciplinary or other 26 proceeding; [OR] 27 (4) situations where the rules of evidence applicable to the 28 psychotherapist-patient privilege allow the release of the information; 29 (5) a communication to a potential victim or to law enforcement 30 officers where a threat of imminent serious physical harm to an identified victim 31 has been made by a client; or
01 (6) a disclosure revealing a communication about an act that the 02 licensee has reasonable cause to suspect constitutes unlawful or unethical conduct 03 that would be grounds for imposition of disciplinary sanctions by a person 04 licensed to provide health or mental health services, if the disclosure is made only 05 to the licensing board with jurisdiction over the person who allegedly committed 06 the act, and the disclosure is made in good faith. 07 * Sec. 5. AS 08.63.210 is amended to read: 08 Sec. 08.63.210. Grounds for imposition of disciplinary sanctions. After a 09 hearing, the board may impose a disciplinary sanction under AS 08.01.075 on a person 10 licensed under this chapter when the board finds that the person 11 (1) secured a license through deceit, fraud, or intentional 12 misrepresentation; 13 (2) engaged in deceit, fraud, or intentional misrepresentation in the 14 course of providing professional services or engaging in professional activities; 15 (3) advertised professional services in a false or misleading manner; 16 (4) has been convicted of a felony or of another crime that affects the 17 person's ability to practice competently and safely; 18 (5) failed to comply with a provision of this chapter or a regulation 19 adopted under this chapter, or an order of the board; 20 (6) continued to practice after becoming unfit due to 21 (A) professional incompetence; 22 (B) addiction or severe dependency on alcohol or another drug 23 that impairs the person's ability to practice safely; 24 (7) engaged in unethical conduct in connection with the delivery of 25 professional services to clients; 26 (8) engaged in sexual misconduct with a client during the course of 27 therapy, either within or outside the treatment setting, or within two years after 28 therapy or counseling with the client has terminated; in this paragraph, "sexual 29 misconduct" includes sexual contact, as defined in regulations adopted under this 30 chapter, or attempted sexual contact, regardless of the client's or former client's 31 consent or lack of consent.
01 * Sec. 6. AS 08.63.210 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 02 (b) The board may summarily suspend the license of a licensee who refuses to 03 submit to a physical or mental examination under AS 08.63.050(b). A person whose 04 license is suspended under this subsection is entitled to a hearing by the board within 05 seven days after the effective date of the order. If, after a hearing, the board upholds 06 the suspension, the licensee may appeal the suspension to a court of competent 07 jurisdiction. 08 * Sec. 7. AS 08.63 is amended by adding new sections to read: 09 Sec. 08.63.230. Disclosure statement. A client may not be charged a fee for 10 marital and family therapy services unless, before the performance of the services, the 11 client was furnished a copy of a professional disclosure statement that contained 12 (1) the name, title, business address, and business telephone number of 13 the marital and family therapist; 14 (2) a description of the formal professional education of the marital 15 and family therapist, including the institutions attended and the degrees received from 16 the institutions; 17 (3) the marital and family therapist's areas of specialization and the 18 services available; 19 (4) the marital and family therapist's fee schedule listed by type of 20 service or hourly rate; 21 (5) a description of the exception to confidentiality contained in 22 AS 08.63.200(a)(6); and 23 (6) at the bottom of the first page of the statement, the following 24 sentence: "This information is required by the Board of Marital and Family Therapy, 25 which regulates all licensed marital and family therapists," followed by the name, 26 address, and telephone number of the board's office. 27 Sec. 08.63.240. Limitation of practice. Notwithstanding that a specific act is 28 within the definition of the "practice of marital and family therapy," a person licensed 29 under this chapter may not perform the act if the person lacks the appropriate 30 education, training, and experience related to the act.