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The Florida Statutes

The 2016 Florida Statutes

Title XXXII
REGULATION OF PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
Chapter 491
CLINICAL, COUNSELING, AND PSYCHOTHERAPY SERVICES
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CHAPTER 491
CHAPTER 491
CLINICAL, COUNSELING, AND PSYCHOTHERAPY SERVICES
491.002 Intent.
491.003 Definitions.
491.004 Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling.
491.0045 Intern registration; requirements.
491.0046 Provisional license; requirements.
491.005 Licensure by examination.
491.0057 Dual licensure as a marriage and family therapist.
491.006 Licensure or certification by endorsement.
491.0065 Requirement for instruction on HIV and AIDS.
491.007 Renewal of license, registration, or certificate.
491.008 Inactive status; reactivation of licenses; fees.
491.0085 Continuing education and laws and rules courses; approval of providers, programs, and courses; proof of completion.
491.009 Discipline.
491.0111 Sexual misconduct.
491.0112 Sexual misconduct by a psychotherapist; penalties.
491.012 Violations; penalty; injunction.
491.014 Exemptions.
491.0141 Practice of hypnosis.
491.0143 Practice of sex therapy.
491.0144 The practice of juvenile sexual offender therapy.
491.0145 Certified master social worker.
491.0147 Confidentiality and privileged communications.
491.0148 Records.
491.0149 Display of license; use of professional title on promotional materials.
491.015 Duties of the department as to certified master social workers.
491.016 Social work; use of title.
491.002 Intent.The Legislature finds that as society becomes increasingly complex, emotional survival is equal in importance to physical survival. Therefore, in order to preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the public, the Legislature must provide privileged communication for members of the public or those acting on their behalf to encourage needed or desired counseling, clinical and psychotherapy services, or certain other services of a psychological nature to be sought out. The Legislature further finds that, since such services assist the public primarily with emotional survival, which in turn affects physical and psychophysical survival, the practice of clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, and mental health counseling by persons not qualified to practice such professions presents a danger to public health, safety, and welfare. The Legislature finds that, to further secure the health, safety, and welfare of the public and also to encourage professional cooperation among all qualified professionals, the Legislature must assist the public in making informed choices of such services by establishing minimum qualifications for entering into and remaining in the respective professions.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; ss. 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
491.003 Definitions.As used in this chapter:
(1) “Board” means the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling.
(2) “Clinical social worker” means a person licensed under this chapter to practice clinical social work.
(3) “Clinical social work experience” is defined as a period during which the applicant provides clinical social work services, including assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of clients; provided that at least 50 percent of the hours worked consist of providing psychotherapy and counseling services directly to clients.
(4) “Department” means the Department of Health.
(5) “Marriage and family therapist” means a person licensed under this chapter to practice marriage and family therapy.
(6) “Mental health counselor” means a person licensed under this chapter to practice mental health counseling.
(7) The “practice of clinical social work” is defined as the use of scientific and applied knowledge, theories, and methods for the purpose of describing, preventing, evaluating, and treating individual, couple, marital, family, or group behavior, based on the person-in-situation perspective of psychosocial development, normal and abnormal behavior, psychopathology, unconscious motivation, interpersonal relationships, environmental stress, differential assessment, differential planning, and data gathering. The purpose of such services is the prevention and treatment of undesired behavior and enhancement of mental health. The practice of clinical social work includes methods of a psychological nature used to evaluate, assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent emotional and mental disorders and dysfunctions (whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral), sexual dysfunction, behavioral disorders, alcoholism, and substance abuse. The practice of clinical social work includes, but is not limited to, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and sex therapy. The practice of clinical social work also includes counseling, behavior modification, consultation, client-centered advocacy, crisis intervention, and the provision of needed information and education to clients, when using methods of a psychological nature to evaluate, assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent emotional and mental disorders and dysfunctions (whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral), sexual dysfunction, behavioral disorders, alcoholism, or substance abuse. The practice of clinical social work may also include clinical research into more effective psychotherapeutic modalities for the treatment and prevention of such conditions.
(a) Clinical social work may be rendered to individuals, including individuals affected by the termination of marriage, and to marriages, couples, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
(b) The use of specific methods, techniques, or modalities within the practice of clinical social work is restricted to clinical social workers appropriately trained in the use of such methods, techniques, or modalities.
(c) The terms “diagnose” and “treat,” as used in this chapter, when considered in isolation or in conjunction with any provision of the rules of the board, shall not be construed to permit the performance of any act which clinical social workers are not educated and trained to perform, including, but not limited to, admitting persons to hospitals for treatment of the foregoing conditions, treating persons in hospitals without medical supervision, prescribing medicinal drugs as defined in chapter 465, authorizing clinical laboratory procedures pursuant to chapter 483, or radiological procedures, or use of electroconvulsive therapy. In addition, this definition shall not be construed to permit any person licensed, provisionally licensed, registered, or certified pursuant to this chapter to describe or label any test, report, or procedure as “psychological,” except to relate specifically to the definition of practice authorized in this subsection.
(d) The definition of “clinical social work” contained in this subsection includes all services offered directly to the general public or through organizations, whether public or private, and applies whether payment is requested or received for services rendered.
(8) The “practice of marriage and family therapy” is defined as the use of scientific and applied marriage and family theories, methods, and procedures for the purpose of describing, evaluating, and modifying marital, family, and individual behavior, within the context of marital and family systems, including the context of marital formation and dissolution, and is based on marriage and family systems theory, marriage and family development, human development, normal and abnormal behavior, psychopathology, human sexuality, psychotherapeutic and marriage and family therapy theories and techniques. The practice of marriage and family therapy includes methods of a psychological nature used to evaluate, assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent emotional and mental disorders or dysfunctions (whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral), sexual dysfunction, behavioral disorders, alcoholism, and substance abuse. The practice of marriage and family therapy includes, but is not limited to, marriage and family therapy, psychotherapy, including behavioral family therapy, hypnotherapy, and sex therapy. The practice of marriage and family therapy also includes counseling, behavior modification, consultation, client-centered advocacy, crisis intervention, and the provision of needed information and education to clients, when using methods of a psychological nature to evaluate, assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent emotional and mental disorders and dysfunctions (whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral), sexual dysfunction, behavioral disorders, alcoholism, or substance abuse. The practice of marriage and family therapy may also include clinical research into more effective psychotherapeutic modalities for the treatment and prevention of such conditions.
(a) Marriage and family therapy may be rendered to individuals, including individuals affected by termination of marriage, to couples, whether married or unmarried, to families, or to groups.
(b) The use of specific methods, techniques, or modalities within the practice of marriage and family therapy is restricted to marriage and family therapists appropriately trained in the use of such methods, techniques, or modalities.
(c) The terms “diagnose” and “treat,” as used in this chapter, when considered in isolation or in conjunction with any provision of the rules of the board, shall not be construed to permit the performance of any act which marriage and family therapists are not educated and trained to perform, including, but not limited to, admitting persons to hospitals for treatment of the foregoing conditions, treating persons in hospitals without medical supervision, prescribing medicinal drugs as defined in chapter 465, authorizing clinical laboratory procedures pursuant to chapter 483, or radiological procedures, or use of electroconvulsive therapy. In addition, this definition shall not be construed to permit any person licensed, provisionally licensed, registered, or certified pursuant to this chapter to describe or label any test, report, or procedure as “psychological,” except to relate specifically to the definition of practice authorized in this subsection.
(d) The definition of “marriage and family therapy” contained in this subsection includes all services offered directly to the general public or through organizations, whether public or private, and applies whether payment is requested or received for services rendered.
(9) The “practice of mental health counseling” is defined as the use of scientific and applied behavioral science theories, methods, and techniques for the purpose of describing, preventing, and treating undesired behavior and enhancing mental health and human development and is based on the person-in-situation perspectives derived from research and theory in personality, family, group, and organizational dynamics and development, career planning, cultural diversity, human growth and development, human sexuality, normal and abnormal behavior, psychopathology, psychotherapy, and rehabilitation. The practice of mental health counseling includes methods of a psychological nature used to evaluate, assess, diagnose, and treat emotional and mental dysfunctions or disorders (whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral), behavioral disorders, interpersonal relationships, sexual dysfunction, alcoholism, and substance abuse. The practice of mental health counseling includes, but is not limited to, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and sex therapy. The practice of mental health counseling also includes counseling, behavior modification, consultation, client-centered advocacy, crisis intervention, and the provision of needed information and education to clients, when using methods of a psychological nature to evaluate, assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent emotional and mental disorders and dysfunctions (whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral), behavioral disorders, sexual dysfunction, alcoholism, or substance abuse. The practice of mental health counseling may also include clinical research into more effective psychotherapeutic modalities for the treatment and prevention of such conditions.
(a) Mental health counseling may be rendered to individuals, including individuals affected by the termination of marriage, and to couples, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
(b) The use of specific methods, techniques, or modalities within the practice of mental health counseling is restricted to mental health counselors appropriately trained in the use of such methods, techniques, or modalities.
(c) The terms “diagnose” and “treat,” as used in this chapter, when considered in isolation or in conjunction with any provision of the rules of the board, shall not be construed to permit the performance of any act which mental health counselors are not educated and trained to perform, including, but not limited to, admitting persons to hospitals for treatment of the foregoing conditions, treating persons in hospitals without medical supervision, prescribing medicinal drugs as defined in chapter 465, authorizing clinical laboratory procedures pursuant to chapter 483, or radiological procedures, or use of electroconvulsive therapy. In addition, this definition shall not be construed to permit any person licensed, provisionally licensed, registered, or certified pursuant to this chapter to describe or label any test, report, or procedure as “psychological,” except to relate specifically to the definition of practice authorized in this subsection.
(d) The definition of “mental health counseling” contained in this subsection includes all services offered directly to the general public or through organizations, whether public or private, and applies whether payment is requested or received for services rendered.
(10) “Provisional clinical social worker licensee” means a person provisionally licensed under this chapter to provide clinical social work services under supervision.
(11) “Provisional marriage and family therapist licensee” means a person provisionally licensed under this chapter to provide marriage and family therapy services under supervision.
(12) “Provisional mental health counselor licensee” means a person provisionally licensed under this chapter to provide mental health counseling services under supervision.
(13) “Psychotherapist” means a clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, or mental health counselor licensed pursuant to this chapter.
(14) “Registered clinical social worker intern” means a person registered under this chapter who is completing the postgraduate clinical social work experience requirement specified in s. 491.005(1)(c).
(15) “Registered marriage and family therapist intern” means a person registered under this chapter who is completing the post-master’s clinical experience requirement specified in s. 491.005(3)(c).
(16) “Registered mental health counselor intern” means a person registered under this chapter who is completing the post-master’s clinical experience requirement specified in s. 491.005(4)(c).
(17) “Social worker” means a person who has a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in social work.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; s. 10, ch. 89-70; ss. 5, 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 192, ch. 94-218; s. 9, ch. 97-198; s. 201, ch. 97-264; s. 2, ch. 2008-154.
491.004 Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling.
(1) There is created within the department the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling composed of nine members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.
(2)(a) Six members of the board shall be persons licensed under this chapter as follows:
1. Two members shall be licensed practicing clinical social workers.
2. Two members shall be licensed practicing marriage and family therapists.
3. Two members shall be licensed practicing mental health counselors.
(b) Three members shall be citizens of the state who are not and have never been licensed in a mental health-related profession and who are in no way connected with the practice of any such profession.
(3) No later than January 1, 1988, the Governor shall appoint nine members of the board as follows:
(a) Three members for terms of 2 years each.
(b) Three members for terms of 3 years each.
(c) Three members for terms of 4 years each.
(4) As the terms of the initial members expire, the Governor shall appoint successors for terms of 4 years; and those members shall serve until their successors are appointed.
(5) The board shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
(6) All applicable provisions of chapter 456 relating to activities of regulatory boards shall apply to the board.
(7) The board shall maintain its official headquarters in the City of Tallahassee.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; ss. 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 193, ch. 94-218; s. 152, ch. 98-166; s. 163, ch. 98-200; s. 212, ch. 2000-160.
491.0045 Intern registration; requirements.
(1) An individual who has not satisfied the postgraduate or post-master’s level experience requirements, as specified in s. 491.005(1)(c), (3)(c), or (4)(c), must register as an intern in the profession for which he or she is seeking licensure before commencing the post-master’s experience requirement or an individual who intends to satisfy part of the required graduate-level practicum, internship, or field experience, outside the academic arena for any profession, and must register as an intern in the profession for which he or she is seeking licensure before commencing the practicum, internship, or field experience.
(2) The department shall register as a clinical social worker intern, marriage and family therapist intern, or mental health counselor intern each applicant who the board certifies has:
(a) Completed the application form and remitted a nonrefundable application fee not to exceed $200, as set by board rule;
(b)1. Completed the education requirements as specified in s. 491.005(1)(c), (3)(c), or (4)(c) for the profession for which he or she is applying for licensure, if needed; and
2. Submitted an acceptable supervision plan, as determined by the board, for meeting the practicum, internship, or field work required for licensure that was not satisfied in his or her graduate program.
(c) Identified a qualified supervisor.
(3) An individual registered under this section must remain under supervision while practicing under registered intern status.
(4) An individual who fails to comply with this section may not be granted a license under this chapter, and any time spent by the individual completing the experience requirement as specified in s. 491.005(1)(c), (3)(c), or (4)(c) before registering as an intern does not count toward completion of the requirement.
(5) An intern registration is valid for 5 years.
1(6) A registration issued on or before March 31, 2017, expires March 31, 2022, and may not be renewed or reissued. Any registration issued after March 31, 2017, expires 60 months after the date it is issued. A subsequent intern registration may not be issued unless the candidate has passed the theory and practice examination described in s. 491.005(1)(d), (3)(d), and (4)(d).
(7) An individual who has held a provisional license issued by the board may not apply for an intern registration in the same profession.
History.s. 10, ch. 97-198; s. 202, ch. 97-264; s. 165, ch. 99-397; s. 1, ch. 2016-80; s. 48, ch. 2016-241.
1Note.As created by s. 48, ch. 2016-241. For a description of multiple acts in the same session affecting a statutory provision, see preface to the Florida Statutes, “Statutory Construction.” Subsection (6) was also created by s. 1, ch. 2016-80, and that version reads:

(6) An intern registration issued on or before April 1, 2017, expires March 31, 2022, and may not be renewed or reissued. A registration issued after April 1, 2017, expires 60 months after the date of issuance. No subsequent intern registration may be issued unless the candidate has passed the theory and practice examination described in s. 491.005(1)(d), (3)(d), and (4)(d).

491.0046 Provisional license; requirements.
(1) An individual applying for licensure by examination who has satisfied the clinical experience requirements of s. 491.005 or an individual applying for licensure by endorsement pursuant to s. 491.006 intending to provide clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, or mental health counseling services in Florida while satisfying coursework or examination requirements for licensure must be provisionally licensed in the profession for which he or she is seeking licensure prior to beginning practice.
(2) The department shall issue a provisional clinical social worker license, provisional marriage and family therapist license, or provisional mental health counselor license to each applicant who the board certifies has:
(a) Completed the application form and remitted a nonrefundable application fee not to exceed $100, as set by board rule; and
(b) Earned a graduate degree in social work, a graduate degree with a major emphasis in marriage and family therapy or a closely related field, or a graduate degree in a major related to the practice of mental health counseling; and
(c) Has met the following minimum coursework requirements:
1. For clinical social work, a minimum of 15 semester hours or 22 quarter hours of the coursework required by s. 491.005(1)(b)2.b.
2. For marriage and family therapy, 10 of the courses required by s. 491.005(3)(b)1.a.-c., as determined by the board, and at least 6 semester hours or 9 quarter hours of the course credits must have been completed in the area of marriage and family systems, theories, or techniques.
3. For mental health counseling, a minimum of seven of the courses required under 1s. 491.005(4)(b)1.a.-c.
(3) A provisional licensee must work under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional, as defined by the board, until the provisional licensee is in receipt of a license or a letter from the department stating that he or she is licensed as a clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, or mental health counselor.
(4) A provisional license expires 24 months after the date it is issued and may not be renewed or reissued.
History.s. 11, ch. 97-198; s. 203, ch. 97-264; s. 166, ch. 99-397.
1Note.Substituted by the editors for a reference to s. 491.005(b)1.a.-c. to provide the complete cite to material relating to mental health counseling courses.
491.005 Licensure by examination.
(1) CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK.Upon verification of documentation and payment of a fee not to exceed $200, as set by board rule, plus the actual per applicant cost to the department for purchase of the examination from the American Association of State Social Worker’s Boards or a similar national organization, the department shall issue a license as a clinical social worker to an applicant who the board certifies:
(a) Has submitted an application and paid the appropriate fee.
(b)1. Has received a doctoral degree in social work from a graduate school of social work which at the time the applicant graduated was accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or has received a master’s degree in social work from a graduate school of social work which at the time the applicant graduated:
a. Was accredited by the Council on Social Work Education;
b. Was accredited by the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work; or
c. Has been determined to have been a program equivalent to programs approved by the Council on Social Work Education by the Foreign Equivalency Determination Service of the Council on Social Work Education. An applicant who graduated from a program at a university or college outside of the United States or Canada must present documentation of the equivalency determination from the council in order to qualify.
2. The applicant’s graduate program must have emphasized direct clinical patient or client health care services, including, but not limited to, coursework in clinical social work, psychiatric social work, medical social work, social casework, psychotherapy, or group therapy. The applicant’s graduate program must have included all of the following coursework:
a. A supervised field placement which was part of the applicant’s advanced concentration in direct practice, during which the applicant provided clinical services directly to clients.
b. Completion of 24 semester hours or 32 quarter hours in theory of human behavior and practice methods as courses in clinically oriented services, including a minimum of one course in psychopathology, and no more than one course in research, taken in a school of social work accredited or approved pursuant to subparagraph 1.
3. If the course title which appears on the applicant’s transcript does not clearly identify the content of the coursework, the applicant shall be required to provide additional documentation, including, but not limited to, a syllabus or catalog description published for the course.
(c) Has had at least 2 years of clinical social work experience, which took place subsequent to completion of a graduate degree in social work at an institution meeting the accreditation requirements of this section, under the supervision of a licensed clinical social worker or the equivalent who is a qualified supervisor as determined by the board. An individual who intends to practice in Florida to satisfy clinical experience requirements must register pursuant to s. 491.0045 before commencing practice. If the applicant’s graduate program was not a program which emphasized direct clinical patient or client health care services as described in subparagraph (b)2., the supervised experience requirement must take place after the applicant has completed a minimum of 15 semester hours or 22 quarter hours of the coursework required. A doctoral internship may be applied toward the clinical social work experience requirement. A licensed mental health professional must be on the premises when clinical services are provided by a registered intern in a private practice setting.
(d) Has passed a theory and practice examination provided by the department for this purpose.
(e) Has demonstrated, in a manner designated by rule of the board, knowledge of the laws and rules governing the practice of clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, and mental health counseling.
(2) CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK.
(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1)(b), coursework which was taken at a baccalaureate level shall not be considered toward completion of education requirements for licensure unless an official of the graduate program certifies in writing on the graduate school’s stationery that a specific course, which students enrolled in the same graduate program were ordinarily required to complete at the graduate level, was waived or exempted based on completion of a similar course at the baccalaureate level. If this condition is met, the board shall apply the baccalaureate course named toward the education requirements.
(b) An applicant from a master’s or doctoral program in social work which did not emphasize direct patient or client services may complete the clinical curriculum content requirement by returning to a graduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work, or to a clinical social work graduate program with comparable standards, in order to complete the education requirements for examination. However, a maximum of 6 semester or 9 quarter hours of the clinical curriculum content requirement may be completed by credit awarded for independent study coursework as defined by board rule.
(3) MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY.Upon verification of documentation and payment of a fee not to exceed $200, as set by board rule, plus the actual cost to the department for the purchase of the examination from the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Board, or similar national organization, the department shall issue a license as a marriage and family therapist to an applicant who the board certifies:
(a) Has submitted an application and paid the appropriate fee.
(b)1. Has a minimum of a master’s degree with major emphasis in marriage and family therapy, or a closely related field, and has completed all of the following requirements:
a. Thirty-six semester hours or 48 quarter hours of graduate coursework, which must include a minimum of 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours of graduate-level course credits in each of the following nine areas: dynamics of marriage and family systems; marriage therapy and counseling theory and techniques; family therapy and counseling theory and techniques; individual human development theories throughout the life cycle; personality theory or general counseling theory and techniques; psychopathology; human sexuality theory and counseling techniques; psychosocial theory; and substance abuse theory and counseling techniques. Courses in research, evaluation, appraisal, assessment, or testing theories and procedures; thesis or dissertation work; or practicums, internships, or fieldwork may not be applied toward this requirement.
b. A minimum of one graduate-level course of 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours in legal, ethical, and professional standards issues in the practice of marriage and family therapy or a course determined by the board to be equivalent.
c. A minimum of one graduate-level course of 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours in diagnosis, appraisal, assessment, and testing for individual or interpersonal disorder or dysfunction; and a minimum of one 3-semester-hour or 4-quarter-hour graduate-level course in behavioral research which focuses on the interpretation and application of research data as it applies to clinical practice. Credit for thesis or dissertation work, practicums, internships, or fieldwork may not be applied toward this requirement.
d. A minimum of one supervised clinical practicum, internship, or field experience in a marriage and family counseling setting, during which the student provided 180 direct client contact hours of marriage and family therapy services under the supervision of an individual who met the requirements for supervision under paragraph (c). This requirement may be met by a supervised practice experience which took place outside the academic arena, but which is certified as equivalent to a graduate-level practicum or internship program which required a minimum of 180 direct client contact hours of marriage and family therapy services currently offered within an academic program of a college or university accredited by an accrediting agency approved by the United States Department of Education, or an institution which is publicly recognized as a member in good standing with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada or a training institution accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education recognized by the United States Department of Education. Certification shall be required from an official of such college, university, or training institution.
2. If the course title which appears on the applicant’s transcript does not clearly identify the content of the coursework, the applicant shall be required to provide additional documentation, including, but not limited to, a syllabus or catalog description published for the course.

The required master’s degree must have been received in an institution of higher education which at the time the applicant graduated was: fully accredited by a regional accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation; publicly recognized as a member in good standing with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada; or an institution of higher education located outside the United States and Canada, which at the time the applicant was enrolled and at the time the applicant graduated maintained a standard of training substantially equivalent to the standards of training of those institutions in the United States which are accredited by a regional accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation. Such foreign education and training must have been received in an institution or program of higher education officially recognized by the government of the country in which it is located as an institution or program to train students to practice as professional marriage and family therapists or psychotherapists. The burden of establishing that the requirements of this provision have been met shall be upon the applicant, and the board shall require documentation, such as, but not limited to, an evaluation by a foreign equivalency determination service, as evidence that the applicant’s graduate degree program and education were equivalent to an accredited program in this country. An applicant with a master’s degree from a program which did not emphasize marriage and family therapy may complete the coursework requirement in a training institution fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education recognized by the United States Department of Education.

(c) Has had at least 2 years of clinical experience during which 50 percent of the applicant’s clients were receiving marriage and family therapy services, which must be at the post-master’s level under the supervision of a licensed marriage and family therapist with at least 5 years of experience, or the equivalent, who is a qualified supervisor as determined by the board. An individual who intends to practice in Florida to satisfy the clinical experience requirements must register pursuant to s. 491.0045 before commencing practice. If a graduate has a master’s degree with a major emphasis in marriage and family therapy or a closely related field that did not include all the coursework required under sub-subparagraphs (b)1.a.-c., credit for the post-master’s level clinical experience shall not commence until the applicant has completed a minimum of 10 of the courses required under sub-subparagraphs (b)1.a.-c., as determined by the board, and at least 6 semester hours or 9 quarter hours of the course credits must have been completed in the area of marriage and family systems, theories, or techniques. Within the 3 years of required experience, the applicant shall provide direct individual, group, or family therapy and counseling, to include the following categories of cases: unmarried dyads, married couples, separating and divorcing couples, and family groups including children. A doctoral internship may be applied toward the clinical experience requirement. A licensed mental health professional must be on the premises when clinical services are provided by a registered intern in a private practice setting.
(d) Has passed a theory and practice examination provided by the department for this purpose.
(e) Has demonstrated, in a manner designated by rule of the board, knowledge of the laws and rules governing the practice of clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, and mental health counseling.
(f) For the purposes of dual licensure, the department shall license as a marriage and family therapist any person who meets the requirements of s. 491.0057. Fees for dual licensure shall not exceed those stated in this subsection.
(4) MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING.Upon verification of documentation and payment of a fee not to exceed $200, as set by board rule, plus the actual per applicant cost to the department for purchase of the examination from the Professional Examination Service for the National Academy of Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselors or a similar national organization, the department shall issue a license as a mental health counselor to an applicant who the board certifies:
(a) Has submitted an application and paid the appropriate fee.
(b)1. Has a minimum of an earned master’s degree from a mental health counseling program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs that consists of at least 60 semester hours or 80 quarter hours of clinical and didactic instruction, including a course in human sexuality and a course in substance abuse. If the master’s degree is earned from a program related to the practice of mental health counseling that is not accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, then the coursework and practicum, internship, or fieldwork must consist of at least 60 semester hours or 80 quarter hours and meet the following requirements:
a. Thirty-three semester hours or 44 quarter hours of graduate coursework, which must include a minimum of 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours of graduate-level coursework in each of the following 11 content areas: counseling theories and practice; human growth and development; diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology; human sexuality; group theories and practice; individual evaluation and assessment; career and lifestyle assessment; research and program evaluation; social and cultural foundations; counseling in community settings; and substance abuse. Courses in research, thesis or dissertation work, practicums, internships, or fieldwork may not be applied toward this requirement.
b. A minimum of 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours of graduate-level coursework in legal, ethical, and professional standards issues in the practice of mental health counseling, which includes goals, objectives, and practices of professional counseling organizations, codes of ethics, legal considerations, standards of preparation, certifications and licensing, and the role identity and professional obligations of mental health counselors. Courses in research, thesis or dissertation work, practicums, internships, or fieldwork may not be applied toward this requirement.
c. The equivalent, as determined by the board, of at least 1,000 hours of university-sponsored supervised clinical practicum, internship, or field experience as required in the accrediting standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs for mental health counseling programs. This experience may not be used to satisfy the post-master’s clinical experience requirement.
2. If the course title which appears on the applicant’s transcript does not clearly identify the content of the coursework, the applicant shall be required to provide additional documentation, including, but not limited to, a syllabus or catalog description published for the course.

Education and training in mental health counseling must have been received in an institution of higher education which at the time the applicant graduated was: fully accredited by a regional accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation; publicly recognized as a member in good standing with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada; or an institution of higher education located outside the United States and Canada, which at the time the applicant was enrolled and at the time the applicant graduated maintained a standard of training substantially equivalent to the standards of training of those institutions in the United States which are accredited by a regional accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation. Such foreign education and training must have been received in an institution or program of higher education officially recognized by the government of the country in which it is located as an institution or program to train students to practice as mental health counselors. The burden of establishing that the requirements of this provision have been met shall be upon the applicant, and the board shall require documentation, such as, but not limited to, an evaluation by a foreign equivalency determination service, as evidence that the applicant’s graduate degree program and education were equivalent to an accredited program in this country.

(c) Has had at least 2 years of clinical experience in mental health counseling, which must be at the post-master’s level under the supervision of a licensed mental health counselor or the equivalent who is a qualified supervisor as determined by the board. An individual who intends to practice in Florida to satisfy the clinical experience requirements must register pursuant to s. 491.0045 before commencing practice. If a graduate has a master’s degree with a major related to the practice of mental health counseling that did not include all the coursework required under sub-subparagraphs (b)1.a.-b., credit for the post-master’s level clinical experience shall not commence until the applicant has completed a minimum of seven of the courses required under sub-subparagraphs (b)1.a.-b., as determined by the board, one of which must be a course in psychopathology or abnormal psychology. A doctoral internship may be applied toward the clinical experience requirement. A licensed mental health professional must be on the premises when clinical services are provided by a registered intern in a private practice setting.
(d) Has passed a theory and practice examination provided by the department for this purpose.
(e) Has demonstrated, in a manner designated by rule of the board, knowledge of the laws and rules governing the practice of clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, and mental health counseling.
(5) RULES.The board may adopt rules necessary to implement any education or experience requirement of this section for licensure as a clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, or mental health counselor.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; s. 37, ch. 88-205; s. 29, ch. 88-392; ss. 6, 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 11, ch. 93-260; s. 31, ch. 94-310; s. 10, ch. 95-279; ss. 12, 13, ch. 97-198; ss. 204, 205, ch. 97-264; ss. 167, 168, ch. 99-397; s. 2, ch. 2016-80.
491.0057 Dual licensure as a marriage and family therapist.The department shall license as a marriage and family therapist any person who demonstrates to the board that he or she:
(1) Holds a valid, active license as a psychologist under chapter 490 or as a clinical social worker or mental health counselor under this chapter, or is certified under s. 464.012 as an advanced registered nurse practitioner who has been determined by the Board of Nursing as a specialist in psychiatric mental health.
(2) Has held a valid, active license for at least 3 years.
(3) Has passed the examination provided by the department for marriage and family therapy.
History.s. 14, ch. 97-198; s. 206, ch. 97-264.
491.006 Licensure or certification by endorsement.
(1) The department shall license or grant a certificate to a person in a profession regulated by this chapter who, upon applying to the department and remitting the appropriate fee, demonstrates to the board that he or she:
(a) Has demonstrated, in a manner designated by rule of the board, knowledge of the laws and rules governing the practice of clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, and mental health counseling.
(b)1. Holds an active valid license to practice and has actively practiced the profession for which licensure is applied in another state for 3 of the last 5 years immediately preceding licensure.
2. Meets the education requirements of this chapter for the profession for which licensure is applied.
3. Has passed a substantially equivalent licensing examination in another state or has passed the licensure examination in this state in the profession for which the applicant seeks licensure.
4. Holds a license in good standing, is not under investigation for an act that would constitute a violation of this chapter, and has not been found to have committed any act that would constitute a violation of this chapter. The fees paid by any applicant for certification as a master social worker under this section are nonrefundable.
(2) The department shall not issue a license or certificate by endorsement to any applicant who is under investigation in this or another jurisdiction for an act which would constitute a violation of this chapter until such time as the investigation is complete, at which time the provisions of s. 491.009 shall apply.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; ss. 7, 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 21, ch. 95-145; s. 12, ch. 95-279; s. 509, ch. 97-103; s. 169, ch. 99-397; s. 32, ch. 2000-242.
491.0065 Requirement for instruction on HIV and AIDS.The board shall require, as a condition of granting a license under this chapter, that an applicant making initial application for licensure complete an education course acceptable to the board on human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. An applicant who has not taken a course at the time of licensure shall, upon submission of an affidavit showing good cause, be allowed 6 months to complete this requirement.
History.s. 13, ch. 95-279.
491.007 Renewal of license, registration, or certificate.
(1) The board or department shall prescribe by rule a method for the biennial renewal of licenses or certificates at a fee set by rule, not to exceed $250.
(2) Each applicant for renewal shall present satisfactory evidence that, in the period since the license or certificate was issued, the applicant has completed continuing education requirements set by rule of the board or department. Not more than 25 classroom hours of continuing education per year shall be required. A certified master social worker is exempt from the continuing education requirements for the first renewal of the certificate.
(3) The board or department shall prescribe by rule a method for the biennial renewal of an intern registration at a fee set by rule, not to exceed $100.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; ss. 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 288, ch. 94-119; s. 15, ch. 97-198; s. 207, ch. 97-264; s. 9, ch. 98-130.
491.008 Inactive status; reactivation of licenses; fees.
(1) Inactive status is the licensure status that results when a licensee has applied to be placed on inactive status and has paid a $50 fee to the department.
(a) An inactive license may be renewed biennially for $50 per biennium.
(b) An inactive license may be reactivated by submitting an application to the department, completing the continuing education requirements, complying with any background investigation required, complying with other requirements prescribed by the board, and paying a $50 reactivation fee plus the current biennial renewal fee at the time of reactivation.
(2) The board may adopt rules relating to inactive licenses and the reactivation of licenses.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; ss. 8, 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 289, ch. 94-119.
491.0085 Continuing education and laws and rules courses; approval of providers, programs, and courses; proof of completion.
(1) Continuing education providers, programs, and courses and laws and rules courses and their providers and programs shall be approved by the department or the board.
(2) The department or the board has the authority to set a fee not to exceed $200 for each applicant who applies for or renews provider status. Such fees shall be deposited into the Medical Quality Assurance Trust Fund.
(3) Proof of completion of the required number of hours of continuing education and completion of the laws and rules course shall be submitted to the department or the board in the manner and time specified by rule and on forms provided by the department or the board.
(4) The department or the board shall adopt rules and guidelines to administer and enforce the provisions of this section.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; ss. 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 14, ch. 95-279; s. 170, ch. 99-397.
491.009 Discipline.
(1) The following acts constitute grounds for denial of a license or disciplinary action, as specified in s. 456.072(2):
(a) Attempting to obtain, obtaining, or renewing a license, registration, or certificate under this chapter by bribery or fraudulent misrepresentation or through an error of the board or the department.
(b) Having a license, registration, or certificate to practice a comparable profession revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted against, including the denial of certification or licensure by another state, territory, or country.
(c) Being convicted or found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, or having entered a plea of nolo contendere to, a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of his or her profession or the ability to practice his or her profession. However, in the case of a plea of nolo contendere, the board shall allow the person who is the subject of the disciplinary proceeding to present evidence in mitigation relevant to the underlying charges and circumstances surrounding the plea.
(d) False, deceptive, or misleading advertising or obtaining a fee or other thing of value on the representation that beneficial results from any treatment will be guaranteed.
(e) Advertising, practicing, or attempting to practice under a name other than one’s own.
(f) Maintaining a professional association with any person who the applicant, licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder knows, or has reason to believe, is in violation of this chapter or of a rule of the department or the board.
(g) Knowingly aiding, assisting, procuring, or advising any nonlicensed, nonregistered, or noncertified person to hold himself or herself out as licensed, registered, or certified under this chapter.
(h) Failing to perform any statutory or legal obligation placed upon a person licensed, registered, or certified under this chapter.
(i) Willfully making or filing a false report or record; failing to file a report or record required by state or federal law; willfully impeding or obstructing the filing of a report or record; or inducing another person to make or file a false report or record or to impede or obstruct the filing of a report or record. Such report or record includes only a report or record which requires the signature of a person licensed, registered, or certified under this chapter.
(j) Paying a kickback, rebate, bonus, or other remuneration for receiving a patient or client, or receiving a kickback, rebate, bonus, or other remuneration for referring a patient or client to another provider of mental health care services or to a provider of health care services or goods; referring a patient or client to oneself for services on a fee-paid basis when those services are already being paid for by some other public or private entity; or entering into a reciprocal referral agreement.
(k) Committing any act upon a patient or client which would constitute sexual battery or which would constitute sexual misconduct as defined pursuant to s. 491.0111.
(l) Making misleading, deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent representations in the practice of any profession licensed, registered, or certified under this chapter.
(m) Soliciting patients or clients personally, or through an agent, through the use of fraud, intimidation, undue influence, or a form of overreaching or vexatious conduct.
(n) Failing to make available to a patient or client, upon written request, copies of tests, reports, or documents in the possession or under the control of the licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder which have been prepared for and paid for by the patient or client.
(o) Failing to respond within 30 days to a written communication from the department or the board concerning any investigation by the department or the board, or failing to make available any relevant records with respect to any investigation about the licensee’s, registered intern’s, or certificateholder’s conduct or background.
(p) Being unable to practice the profession for which he or she is licensed, registered, or certified under this chapter with reasonable skill or competence as a result of any mental or physical condition or by reason of illness; drunkenness; or excessive use of drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other substance. In enforcing this paragraph, upon a finding by the State Surgeon General, the State Surgeon General’s designee, or the board that probable cause exists to believe that the licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder is unable to practice the profession because of the reasons stated in this paragraph, the department shall have the authority to compel a licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder to submit to a mental or physical examination by psychologists, physicians, or other licensees under this chapter, designated by the department or board. If the licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder refuses to comply with such order, the department’s order directing the examination may be enforced by filing a petition for enforcement in the circuit court in the circuit in which the licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder resides or does business. The licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder against whom the petition is filed shall not be named or identified by initials in any public court records or documents, and the proceedings shall be closed to the public. The department shall be entitled to the summary procedure provided in s. 51.011. A licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder affected under this paragraph shall at reasonable intervals be afforded an opportunity to demonstrate that he or she can resume the competent practice for which he or she is licensed, registered, or certified with reasonable skill and safety to patients.
(q) Performing any treatment or prescribing any therapy which, by the prevailing standards of the mental health professions in the community, would constitute experimentation on human subjects, without first obtaining full, informed, and written consent.
(r) Failing to meet the minimum standards of performance in professional activities when measured against generally prevailing peer performance, including the undertaking of activities for which the licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder is not qualified by training or experience.
(s) Delegating professional responsibilities to a person whom the licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder knows or has reason to know is not qualified by training or experience to perform such responsibilities.
(t) Violating a rule relating to the regulation of the profession or a lawful order of the department or the board previously entered in a disciplinary hearing.
(u) Failure of the licensee, registered intern, or certificateholder to maintain in confidence a communication made by a patient or client in the context of such services, except as provided in s. 491.0147.
(v) Making public statements which are derived from test data, client contacts, or behavioral research and which identify or damage research subjects or clients.
(w) Violating any provision of this chapter or chapter 456, or any rules adopted pursuant thereto.
(2) The department, or, in the case of 1psychologists, the board, may enter an order denying licensure or imposing any of the penalties in s. 456.072(2) against any applicant for licensure or licensee who is found guilty of violating any provision of subsection (1) of this section or who is found guilty of violating any provision of s. 456.072(1).
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; ss. 9, 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 229, ch. 96-410; s. 1136, ch. 97-103; s. 16, ch. 97-198; s. 208, ch. 97-264; s. 154, ch. 98-166; s. 214, ch. 2000-160; s. 53, ch. 2001-277; s. 28, ch. 2005-240; s. 103, ch. 2008-6.
1Note.Psychologists are regulated by the Board of Psychology under chapter 490. Section 490.015 provides for regulation of school psychologists by the department.
491.0111 Sexual misconduct.Sexual misconduct by any person licensed or certified under this chapter, in the practice of her or his profession, is prohibited. Sexual misconduct shall be defined by rule.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; ss. 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 510, ch. 97-103.
491.0112 Sexual misconduct by a psychotherapist; penalties.
(1) Any psychotherapist who commits sexual misconduct with a client, or former client when the professional relationship was terminated primarily for the purpose of engaging in sexual contact, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083; however, a second or subsequent offense is a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(2) Any psychotherapist who violates subsection (1) by means of therapeutic deception commits a felony of the second degree punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) The giving of consent by the client to any such act shall not be a defense to these offenses.
(4) For the purposes of this section:
(a) The term “psychotherapist” means any person licensed pursuant to chapter 458, chapter 459, part I of chapter 464, chapter 490, or chapter 491, or any other person who provides or purports to provide treatment, diagnosis, assessment, evaluation, or counseling of mental or emotional illness, symptom, or condition.
(b) “Therapeutic deception” means a representation to the client that sexual contact by the psychotherapist is consistent with or part of the treatment of the client.
(c) “Sexual misconduct” means the oral, anal, or vaginal penetration of another by, or contact with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any object.
(d) “Client” means a person to whom the services of a psychotherapist are provided.
History.s. 1, ch. 90-70; s. 13, ch. 91-201; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 137, ch. 2000-318.
491.012 Violations; penalty; injunction.
(1) It is unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any person to:
(a) Use the following titles or any combination thereof, unless she or he holds a valid, active license as a clinical social worker issued pursuant to this chapter:
1. “Licensed clinical social worker.”
2. “Clinical social worker.”
3. “Licensed social worker.”
4. “Psychiatric social worker.”
5. “Psychosocial worker.”
(b) Use the following titles or any combination thereof, unless she or he holds a valid, active license as a marriage and family therapist issued pursuant to this chapter:
1. “Licensed marriage and family therapist.”
2. “Marriage and family therapist.”
3. “Marriage counselor.”
4. “Marriage consultant.”
5. “Family therapist.”
6. “Family counselor.”
7. “Family consultant.”
(c) Use the following titles or any combination thereof, unless she or he holds a valid, active license as a mental health counselor issued pursuant to this chapter:
1. “Licensed mental health counselor.”
2. “Mental health counselor.”
3. “Mental health therapist.”
4. “Mental health consultant.”
(d) Use the terms psychotherapist, sex therapist, or juvenile sexual offender therapist unless such person is licensed pursuant to this chapter or chapter 490, or is certified under s. 464.012 as an advanced registered nurse practitioner who has been determined by the Board of Nursing as a specialist in psychiatric mental health and the use of such terms is within the scope of her or his practice based on education, training, and licensure.
(e) Present as her or his own the clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, or mental health counseling license of another.
(f) Give false or forged evidence to the board or a member thereof for the purpose of obtaining a license.
(g) Use or attempt to use a license issued pursuant to this chapter which has been revoked or is under suspension.
(h) Knowingly conceal information relative to violations of this chapter.
(i) Practice clinical social work in this state for compensation, unless the person holds a valid, active license to practice clinical social work issued pursuant to this chapter or is an intern registered pursuant to s. 491.0045.
(j) Practice marriage and family therapy in this state for compensation, unless the person holds a valid, active license to practice marriage and family therapy issued pursuant to this chapter or is an intern registered pursuant to s. 491.0045.
(k) Practice mental health counseling in this state for compensation, unless the person holds a valid, active license to practice mental health counseling issued pursuant to this chapter or is an intern registered pursuant to s. 491.0045.
(l) Use the following titles or any combination thereof, unless he or she holds a valid registration as an intern issued pursuant to this chapter:
1. “Registered clinical social worker intern.”
2. “Registered marriage and family therapist intern.”
3. “Registered mental health counselor intern.”
(m) Use the following titles or any combination thereof, unless he or she holds a valid provisional license issued pursuant to this chapter:
1. “Provisional clinical social worker licensee.”
2. “Provisional marriage and family therapist licensee.”
3. “Provisional mental health counselor licensee.”
(n) Effective October 1, 2000, practice juvenile sexual offender therapy in this state, as the practice is defined in s. 491.0144, for compensation, unless the person holds an active license issued under this chapter and meets the requirements to practice juvenile sexual offender therapy. An unlicensed person may be employed by a program operated by or under contract with the Department of Juvenile Justice or the Department of Children and Families if the program employs a professional who is licensed under chapter 458, chapter 459, s. 490.0145, or s. 491.0144 who manages or supervises the treatment services.
(2) It is unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any person to describe her or his services using the following terms or any derivative thereof, unless such person holds a valid, active license under this chapter or chapter 490, or is certified under s. 464.012 as an advanced registered nurse practitioner who has been determined by the Board of Nursing as a specialist in psychiatric mental health and the use of such terms is within the scope of her or his practice based on education, training, and licensure:
(a) “Psychotherapy.”
(b) “Sex therapy.”
(c) “Sex counseling.”
(d) “Clinical social work.”
(e) “Psychiatric social work.”
(f) “Marriage and family therapy.”
(g) “Marriage and family counseling.”
(h) “Marriage counseling.”
(i) “Family counseling.”
(j) “Mental health counseling.”
(3) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (1) or subsection (2) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(4) The department may institute appropriate judicial proceedings to enjoin violation of this section.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; s. 30, ch. 88-392; ss. 11, 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 118, ch. 92-149; s. 511, ch. 97-103; s. 17, ch. 97-198; s. 209, ch. 97-264; s. 4, ch. 98-158; s. 127, ch. 2001-277511, ch. 97-103; s. 17, ch. 97-198; s. 209, ch. 97-264; s. 4, ch. 98-158; s. 127, ch. 2001-277; s. 274, ch. 2014-19.
491.014 Exemptions.
(1) No provision of this chapter shall be construed to limit the practice of physicians licensed pursuant to chapter 458 or chapter 459, or psychologists licensed pursuant to chapter 490, so long as they do not unlawfully hold themselves out to the public as possessing a license, provisional license, registration, or certificate issued pursuant to this chapter or use a professional title protected by this chapter.
(2) No provision of this chapter shall be construed to limit the practice of nursing, school psychology, or psychology, or to prevent qualified members of other professions from doing work of a nature consistent with their training and licensure, so long as they do not hold themselves out to the public as possessing a license, provisional license, registration, or certificate issued pursuant to this chapter or use a title protected by this chapter.
(3) No provision of this chapter shall be construed to limit the performance of activities of a rabbi, priest, minister, or member of the clergy of any religious denomination or sect, or use of the terms “Christian counselor” or “Christian clinical counselor” when the activities are within the scope of the performance of his or her regular or specialized ministerial duties and no compensation is received by him or her, or when such activities are performed, with or without compensation, by a person for or under the auspices or sponsorship, individually or in conjunction with others, of an established and legally cognizable church, denomination, or sect, and when the person rendering service remains accountable to the established authority thereof.
(4) No person shall be required to be licensed, provisionally licensed, registered, or certified under this chapter who:
(a) Is a salaried employee of a government agency; a developmental disability facility or program; a mental health, alcohol, or drug abuse facility operating under chapter 393, chapter 394, or chapter 397; the statewide child care resource and referral network operating under s. 1002.92; a child-placing or child-caring agency licensed pursuant to chapter 409; a domestic violence center certified pursuant to chapter 39; an accredited academic institution; or a research institution, if such employee is performing duties for which he or she was trained and hired solely within the confines of such agency, facility, or institution, so long as the employee is not held out to the public as a clinical social worker, mental health counselor, or marriage and family therapist.
(b) Is a salaried employee of a private, nonprofit organization providing counseling services to children, youth, and families, if such services are provided for no charge, if such employee is performing duties for which he or she was trained and hired, so long as the employee is not held out to the public as a clinical social worker, mental health counselor, or marriage and family therapist.
(c) Is a student providing services regulated under this chapter who is pursuing a course of study which leads to a degree in a profession regulated by this chapter, is providing services in a training setting, provided such services and associated activities constitute part of a supervised course of study, and is designated by the title “student intern.”
(d) Is not a resident of this state but offers services in this state, provided:
1. Such services are performed for no more than 15 days in any calendar year; and
2. Such nonresident is licensed or certified to practice the services provided by a state or territory of the United States or by a foreign country or province.
(5) No provision of this chapter shall be construed to limit the practice of any individual who solely engages in behavior analysis so long as he or she does not hold himself or herself out to the public as possessing a license issued pursuant to this chapter or use a title protected by this chapter.
(6) Nothing in subsections (2)-(4) shall exempt any person from the provisions of s. 491.012(1)(a)-(c), (l), and (m).
(7) Except as stipulated by the board, the exemptions contained in this section do not apply to any person licensed under this chapter whose license has been suspended or revoked by the board or another jurisdiction.
(8) Nothing in this section shall be construed to exempt a person from meeting the minimum standards of performance in professional activities when measured against generally prevailing peer performance, including the undertaking of activities for which the person is not qualified by training or experience.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; ss. 12, 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 120, ch. 92-149; s. 34, ch. 93-39; s. 15, ch. 95-279; s. 512, ch. 97-103; s. 18, ch. 97-198; s. 210, ch. 97-264; s. 157, ch. 98-403; s. 171, ch. 99-397; s. 128, ch. 2001-277; s. 63, ch. 2006-227; s. 25, ch. 2010-210; s. 27, ch. 2013-252.
491.0141 Practice of hypnosis.A person licensed under this chapter who is qualified as determined by the board may practice hypnosis as defined in s. 485.003(1). The provisions of this chapter may not be interpreted to limit or affect the right of any person qualified pursuant to chapter 485 to practice hypnosis pursuant to that chapter or to practice hypnosis for nontherapeutic purposes, so long as such person does not hold herself or himself out to the public as possessing a license issued pursuant to this chapter or use a title protected by this chapter.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; ss. 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; ss. 121, 127, ch. 92-149; s. 2, ch. 95-279; s. 513, ch. 97-103; s. 215, ch. 2000-160.
491.0143 Practice of sex therapy.Only a person licensed by this chapter who meets the qualifications set by the board may hold herself or himself out as a sex therapist. The board shall define these qualifications by rule. In establishing these qualifications, the board may refer to the sexual disorder and sexual dysfunction sections of the most current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association or other relevant publications.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; ss. 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 514, ch. 97-103.
491.0144 The practice of juvenile sexual offender therapy.Only a person licensed by this chapter who meets the qualifications set by the board may hold himself or herself out as a juvenile sexual offender therapist, except as provided in s. 490.0145. These qualifications shall be determined by the board. The board shall require training and coursework in the specific areas of juvenile sexual offender behaviors, treatments, and related issues. In establishing these qualifications, the board may refer to the sexual disorder and dysfunction sections of the most current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers Practitioner’s Handbook, or other relevant publications.
History.s. 5, ch. 98-158.
491.0145 Certified master social worker.The department may certify an applicant for a designation as a certified master social worker upon the following conditions:
(1) The applicant completes an application to be provided by the department and pays a nonrefundable fee not to exceed $250 to be established by rule of the department. The completed application must be received by the department at least 60 days before the date of the examination in order for the applicant to qualify to take the scheduled exam.
(2) The applicant submits proof satisfactory to the department that the applicant has received a doctoral degree in social work, or a master’s degree with a major emphasis or specialty in clinical practice or administration, including, but not limited to, agency administration and supervision, program planning and evaluation, staff development, research, community organization, community services, social planning, and human service advocacy. Doctoral degrees must have been received from a graduate school of social work which at the time the applicant was enrolled and graduated was accredited by an accrediting agency approved by the United States Department of Education. Master’s degrees must have been received from a graduate school of social work which at the time the applicant was enrolled and graduated was accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work or by one that meets comparable standards.
(3) The applicant has had at least 3 years’ experience, as defined by rule, including, but not limited to, clinical services or administrative activities as defined in subsection (2), 2 years of which must be at the post-master’s level under the supervision of a person who meets the education and experience requirements for certification as a certified master social worker, as defined by rule, or licensure as a clinical social worker under this chapter. A doctoral internship may be applied toward the supervision requirement.
(4) Any person who holds a master’s degree in social work from institutions outside the United States may apply to the department for certification if the academic training in social work has been evaluated as equivalent to a degree from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Any such person shall submit a copy of the academic training from the Foreign Equivalency Determination Service of the Council on Social Work Education.
(5) The applicant has passed an examination required by the department for this purpose. The nonrefundable fee for such examination may not exceed $250 as set by department rule.
(6) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize a certified master social worker to provide clinical social work services.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; ss. 14, 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 10, ch. 98-130; s. 33, ch. 2000-242.
491.0147 Confidentiality and privileged communications.Any communication between any person licensed or certified under this chapter and her or his patient or client shall be confidential. This secrecy may be waived under the following conditions:
(1) When the person licensed or certified under this chapter is a party defendant to a civil, criminal, or disciplinary action arising from a complaint filed by the patient or client, in which case the waiver shall be limited to that action.
(2) When the patient or client agrees to the waiver, in writing, or, when more than one person in a family is receiving therapy, when each family member agrees to the waiver, in writing.
(3) When, in the clinical judgment of the person licensed or certified under this chapter, there is a clear and immediate probability of physical harm to the patient or client, to other individuals, or to society and the person licensed or certified under this chapter communicates the information only to the potential victim, appropriate family member, or law enforcement or other appropriate authorities. There shall be no liability on the part of, and no cause of action of any nature shall arise against, a person licensed or certified under this chapter for the disclosure of otherwise confidential communications under this subsection.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; ss. 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 515, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 2009-103.
491.0148 Records.Each psychotherapist who provides services as defined in this chapter shall maintain records. The board may adopt rules defining the minimum requirements for records and reports, including content, length of time records shall be maintained, and transfer of either the records or a report of such records to a subsequent treating practitioner or other individual with written consent of the client or clients.
History.ss. 13, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
491.0149 Display of license; use of professional title on promotional materials.
(1)(a) A person licensed under this chapter as a clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, or mental health counselor, or certified as a master social worker shall conspicuously display the valid license issued by the department or a true copy thereof at each location at which the licensee practices his or her profession.
(b)1. A licensed clinical social worker shall include the words “licensed clinical social worker” or the letters “LCSW” on all promotional materials, including cards, brochures, stationery, advertisements, and signs, naming the licensee.
2. A licensed marriage and family therapist shall include the words “licensed marriage and family therapist” or the letters “LMFT” on all promotional materials, including cards, brochures, stationery, advertisements, and signs, naming the licensee.
3. A licensed mental health counselor shall include the words “licensed mental health counselor” or the letters “LMHC” on all promotional materials, including cards, brochures, stationery, advertisements, and signs, naming the licensee.
(2)(a) A person registered under this chapter as a clinical social worker intern, marriage and family therapist intern, or mental health counselor intern shall conspicuously display the valid registration issued by the department or a true copy thereof at each location at which the registered intern is completing the experience requirements.
(b) A registered clinical social worker intern shall include the words “registered clinical social worker intern,” a registered marriage and family therapist intern shall include the words “registered marriage and family therapist intern,” and a registered mental health counselor intern shall include the words “registered mental health counselor intern” on all promotional materials, including cards, brochures, stationery, advertisements, and signs, naming the registered intern.
(3)(a) A person provisionally licensed under this chapter as a provisional clinical social worker licensee, provisional marriage and family therapist licensee, or provisional mental health counselor licensee shall conspicuously display the valid provisional license issued by the department or a true copy thereof at each location at which the provisional licensee is providing services.
(b) A provisional clinical social worker licensee shall include the words “provisional clinical social worker licensee,” a provisional marriage and family therapist licensee shall include the words “provisional marriage and family therapist licensee,” and a provisional mental health counselor licensee shall include the words “provisional mental health counselor licensee” on all promotional materials, including cards, brochures, stationery, advertisements, and signs, naming the provisional licensee.
History.ss. 15, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 516, ch. 97-103; s. 19, ch. 97-198; s. 211, ch. 97-264.
491.015 Duties of the department as to certified master social workers.
(1) All functions reserved to boards under chapter 456 shall be exercised by the department with respect to the regulation of certified master social workers and in a manner consistent with the exercise of its regulatory functions.
(2) The department shall adopt rules to implement and enforce provisions relating to certified master social workers.
History.ss. 15, 19, ch. 87-252; ss. 16, 19, 20, ch. 90-263; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 155, ch. 98-166; s. 216, ch. 2000-160.
491.016 Social work; use of title.
(1) A social worker is not authorized to conduct clinical social work without obtaining and possessing a license or certification issued pursuant to this chapter.
(2) It shall be a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, for a person, for or without compensation, to hold himself or herself out to the public as a social worker either directly or through a governmental or private organization, entity, or agency unless that person:
(a) Possesses at least a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work from a social work program accredited by or from an institution that is an active candidate for accreditation as a social work program by the Council on Social Work Education; or
(b) Completes, at a university or college outside the United States or Canada, a social work program determined by the Foreign Equivalency Determination Service of the Council on Social Work Education to be equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work.
(3) This section does not apply to:
(a) A person who, prior to July 1, 2008, used the title “social worker” in his or her employment.
(b) Employees providing social work services under administrative supervision in long-term care facilities licensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration.
(4) The department shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement and enforce this section.
History.s. 3, ch. 2008-154.