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Bill Number: 582 Ratification Number: 329 Act Number 318 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Licensure of marital and family therapists
(A318, R329, S582)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 40-75-100, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO QUALIFICATIONS FOR LICENSURE, AND RELATED MATTERS, UNDER THE PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR, ASSOCIATE COUNSELOR, AND MARITAL AND FAMILY THERAPIST LICENSING ACT, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT, FOLLOWING THE RECEIPT OF A QUALIFYING DEGREE, APPLICANTS FOR THE LICENSE OF "LICENSED MARITAL AND FAMILY THERAPIST" SHALL, IN ADDITION TO OTHER QUALIFICATIONS, HAVE HAD TWO YEARS OF FULL-TIME WORK EXPERIENCE WHICH INCLUDES TWO HUNDRED HOURS OF SUPERVISION OF WHICH ONE HUNDRED HOURS MUST HAVE BEEN INDIVIDUAL SUPERVISION IN THE PRACTICE OF MARITAL AND FAMILY THERAPY; AND TO AMEND SECTION 40-75-110, RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF A LICENSE UNDER THE SAME ACT, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE ADMINISTERING BOARD SHALL ISSUE A LICENSE TO ANY QUALIFIED APPLICANT WHO, AMONG OTHER THINGS, PASSES A BOARD-APPROVED, RATHER THAN A BOARD-CONDUCTED, EXAMINATION.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 40-75-100 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-75-100. All applicants for licensure shall meet all of the following qualifications:
(1) reside or intend to practice in the State;
(2) pay an application fee;
(3) complete any forms prescribed by the board.
In addition to items (1) through (3) of this section, applicants shall meet the following qualifications for the respective license for:
(A) 'Licensed Professional Counselor':
(i) have earned a doctoral degree which is primarily professional counseling in content and includes clinical experience or the substantial equivalent, and, following the receipt of the degree, have had two years of full-time work experience in a counseling setting that meets the requirements established by the board; or
(ii) have earned a master's degree which is primarily professional counseling in content or the substantial equivalent, and, following the receipt of the degree, have had two years of full-time work experience in a counseling, educational, or community agency setting that meets the requirements established by the board. The work experience must include one thousand five hundred hours of direct clinical contact with either children, adolescents, or adults; one hundred fifty of these hours must include individual supervision, fifty hours of which may be group supervision, in the practice of counseling.
(B) 'Licensed Associate Counselor': have earned a master's degree which is primarily counseling in content and includes clinical experience and have filed a board-approved plan for practice under the supervision of the board.
(C) 'Licensed Marital and Family Therapist': have earned a master's degree which is primarily marital and family therapy in content, or have taken an equivalent course of study and degree which includes marital and family therapy as determined by the board by regulation, and includes clinical experience or the substantial equivalent. Following the receipt of a qualifying degree, these applicants must also have had two years of full-time work experience which includes one thousand hours of direct clinical contact with couples and families and two hundred hours of supervision of which one hundred hours must have been individual supervision in the practice of marital and family therapy. These twelve hundred hours of clinical contact and supervised experience must have been obtained working in a marital and family therapy setting that meets the requirements established by the board by regulation. All degrees submitted as evidence of educational achievement must have been earned at regionally accredited institutions of higher learning. The board in its regulations shall establish criteria for determining acceptable supervised experience and the qualifications of the supervisor. The board shall notify each applicant not less than thirty days prior to the examination that the application and evidence submitted is satisfactory and accepted or unsatisfactory and rejected. If rejected, the notice must state the reason or reasons for rejection."
SECTION 2. Section 40-75-110 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-75-110. The board shall issue a license to any qualified applicant who:
(1) pays an examination fee and passes a board-approved examination designed to demonstrate professional competence in professional counseling, associate counseling, or marital and family therapy, and
(2) pays a licensing fee."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.