CHAPTER 383c*

PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS

*See Sec. 19a-88b re renewal of certain professional and occupational licenses, certificates, permits or registrations which become void while the holder is on active duty in the armed forces of the United States.

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-195aa. Definitions.

Sec. 20-195bb. Practice restricted to licensed persons. Exceptions. Title protection.

Sec. 20-195cc. License application. Renewal. Fees. Continuing education.

Sec. 20-195dd. Qualifications.

Sec. 20-195ee. Disciplinary action. Grounds.

Sec. 20-195ff. Regulations.


Sec. 20-195aa. Definitions. As used in sections 20-195aa to 20-195ee, inclusive: “Professional counseling” means the application, by persons trained in counseling, of established principles of psycho-social development and behavioral science to the evaluation, assessment, analysis, diagnosis and treatment of emotional, behavioral or interpersonal dysfunction or difficulties that interfere with mental health and human development. “Professional counseling” includes, but is not limited to, individual, group, marriage and family counseling, functional assessments for persons adjusting to a disability, appraisal, crisis intervention and consultation with individuals or groups.

(P.A. 97-311, S. 1; P.A. 10-117, S. 50.)

History: P.A. 10-117 redefined “professional counseling”.

Sec. 20-195bb. Practice restricted to licensed persons. Exceptions. Title protection. (a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, no person may practice professional counseling unless licensed pursuant to section 20-195cc.

(b) No person may use the title “licensed professional counselor” or make use of any title, words, letters or abbreviations that may reasonably be confused with licensure as a professional counselor unless licensed pursuant to section 20-195cc.

(c) No license as a professional counselor shall be required of the following: (1) A person who furnishes uncompensated assistance in an emergency; (2) a clergyman, priest, minister, rabbi or practitioner of any religious denomination accredited by the religious body to which the person belongs and settled in the work of the ministry, provided the activities that would otherwise require a license as a professional counselor are within the scope of ministerial duties; (3) a sexual assault counselor, as defined in section 52-146k; (4) a person participating in uncompensated group or individual counseling; (5) a person with a master’s degree in a health-related or human services-related field employed by a hospital, as defined in subsection (b) of section 19a-490, performing services in accordance with section 20-195aa under the supervision of a person licensed by the state in one of the professions identified in subparagraphs (A) to (F), inclusive, of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 20-195dd; (6) a person licensed or certified by any agency of this state and performing services within the scope of practice for which licensed or certified; (7) a student, intern or trainee pursuing a course of study in counseling in a regionally accredited institution of higher education, provided the activities that would otherwise require a license as a professional counselor are performed under supervision and constitute a part of a supervised course of study; (8) a person employed by an institution of higher education to provide academic counseling in conjunction with the institution’s programs and services; or (9) a vocational rehabilitation counselor, job counselor, credit counselor, consumer counselor or any other counselor or psychoanalyst who does not purport to be a counselor whose primary service is the application of established principles of psycho-social development and behavioral science to the evaluation, assessment, analysis and treatment of emotional, behavioral or interpersonal dysfunction or difficulties that interfere with mental health and human development.

(P.A. 97-311, S. 2; P.A. 98-43, S. 1; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-4, S. 30, 58.)

History: P.A. 98-43 replaced “self-help group counseling or peer” counseling with “group or individual” counseling in Subsec. (c)(4), replaced “hold himself out as” with “purport to be” in Subsec. (c)(8) and made gender-neutral technical changes in Subsecs. (a), (b) and (c); June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-4 added Subsec. (c)(5) re person with master’s degree in health-related or human services-related field employed by a hospital, renumbering existing Subdivs. (5) to (8) as Subdivs. (6) to (9), effective July 1, 2001.

Sec. 20-195cc. License application. Renewal. Fees. Continuing education. (a) The Commissioner of Public Health shall grant a license as a professional counselor to any applicant who furnishes evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that such applicant has met the requirements of section 20-195dd. The commissioner shall develop and provide application forms. The application fee shall be three hundred fifteen dollars.

(b) Licenses issued under this section may be renewed annually pursuant to section 19a-88. The fee for such renewal shall be one hundred ninety dollars. Each licensed professional counselor applying for license renewal shall furnish evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of having participated in continuing education programs. The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to (1) define basic requirements for continuing education programs, (2) delineate qualifying programs, (3) establish a system of control and reporting, and (4) provide for a waiver of the continuing education requirement for good cause.

(P.A. 97-311, S. 3; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-4, S. 18; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 214.)

History: June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-4 made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) and (b) and added provisions re continuing education in Subsec. (b); June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 amended Subsec. (a) to increase fee from $250 to $315 and amended Subsec. (b) to increase fee from $150 to $190.

Sec. 20-195dd. Qualifications. (a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, an applicant for a license as a professional counselor shall submit evidence satisfactory to the Commissioner of Public Health of having: (1) Completed sixty graduate semester hours in or related to the discipline of counseling at a regionally accredited institution of higher education, which included coursework in each of the following areas: (A) Human growth and development, (B) social and cultural foundations, (C) counseling theories and techniques or helping relationships, (D) group dynamics, (E) processing and counseling, (F) career and lifestyle development, (G) appraisals or tests and measurements for individuals and groups, (H) research and evaluation, and (I) professional orientation to counseling; (2) earned, from a regionally accredited institution of higher education a master’s or doctoral degree in social work, marriage and family therapy, counseling, psychology or a related mental health field; (3) acquired three thousand hours of postgraduate-degree-supervised experience in the practice of professional counseling, performed over a period of not less than one year, that included a minimum of one hundred hours of direct supervision by (A) a physician licensed pursuant to chapter 370 who has obtained certification in psychiatry from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, (B) a psychologist licensed pursuant to chapter 383, (C) an advanced practice registered nurse licensed pursuant to chapter 378 and certified as a clinical specialist in adult psychiatric and mental health nursing with the American Nurses Credentialing Center, (D) a marital and family therapist licensed pursuant to chapter 383a, (E) a clinical social worker licensed pursuant to chapter 383b, (F) a professional counselor licensed, or prior to October 1, 1998, eligible for licensure, pursuant to section 20-195cc, or (G) a physician certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, psychologist, advanced practice registered nurse certified as a clinical specialist in adult psychiatric and mental health nursing with the American Nurses Credentialing Center, marital and family therapist, clinical social worker or professional counselor licensed or certified as such or as a person entitled to perform similar services, under a different designation, in another state or jurisdiction whose requirements for practicing in such capacity are substantially similar to or higher than those of this state; and (4) passed an examination prescribed by the commissioner.

(b) Prior to December 30, 2001, an applicant for a license as a professional counselor may, in lieu of the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of this section, submit evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of having: (A) Earned at least a thirty-hour master’s degree, sixth-year degree or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a major in social work, marriage and family therapy, counseling, psychology or forensic psychology; (B) practiced professional counseling for a minimum of two years within a five-year period immediately preceding application; and (C) passed an examination prescribed by the commissioner.

(c) An applicant for licensure by endorsement shall present evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that the applicant is licensed or certified as a professional counselor, or as a person entitled to perform similar services under a different designation, in another state or jurisdiction whose requirements for practicing in such capacity are substantially similar to or higher than those of this state and that there are no disciplinary actions or unresolved complaints pending.

(P.A. 97-311, S. 4; P.A. 98-43, S. 2; P.A. 99-126, S. 4, 5; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-4, S. 14, 58; P.A. 02-89, S. 47; P.A. 06-195, S. 48; P.A. 07-252, S. 47; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-5, S. 67.)

History: P.A. 98-43 inserted reference to subsection (b) in Subsec. (a) and deleted reference to “January 1, 1999”, modified degree requirements in Subsec. (a)(1)(A), divided Subsec. (a)(2) into subparagraphs, added Subparas. (C) and (G), added “or prior to October 1, 1998, eligible for licensure” in new Subpara. (F), changed “Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, prior to January 1, 1999” to “Prior to July 1, 1999” in Subsec. (b), changed “shall” to “may, in lieu of the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of this section” in Subsec. (b), changed practice requirement in Subsec. (b)(2) from two years “immediately preceding October 1, 1997” to two years “within a five-year period immediately preceding application” and made gender-neutral technical changes in Subsecs. (a), (b) and (c); P.A. 99-126 amended Subsec. (b) by deleting requirement of completion of an examination prescribed by the Commissioner of Public Health, effective June 8, 1999; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-4 amended Subsec. (b) by designating existing provisions as Subdiv. (1), designating existing Subdivs. (1) and (2) therein as Subparas. (A) and (B), and adding new Subdiv. (2) re license requirements in lieu of Subsec. (a) prior to December 30, 2001, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 02-89 deleted as obsolete Subsec. (b)(1) authorizing an applicant in lieu of the requirements of Subsec. (a) to submit prior to July 1, 1999, satisfactory evidence of earning any of certain educational degrees, practicing professional counseling for a minimum of two years in the preceding five years and passing an examination prescribed by the commissioner and redesignated existing Subsec. (b)(2) as Subsec. (b); P.A. 06-195 amended Subsec. (a) to modify degree requirements in Subdiv. (1) and newly designated Subdiv. (2)(A) to (C), inclusive, to allow for master’s, sixth-year and doctoral degree work in a discipline related to counseling, rather than professional counseling, and renumber existing Subdivs. (2) and (3) as Subdivs. (3) and (4), respectively; P.A. 07-252 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting references to National Board for Certified Counselors, modifying coursework and degree requirements in Subdivs. (1) and (2), including deletion of requirement re 42 graduate semester hours for master’s degree work, and making conforming changes, effective July 12, 2007; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-5 amended Subsec. (a)(2) to eliminate requirement that applicant have a sixth-year degree in the discipline of counseling, effective October 6, 2007.

Sec. 20-195ee. Disciplinary action. Grounds. The Commissioner of Public Health may take any disciplinary action set forth in section 19a-17 against a professional counselor for any of the following reasons: (1) Failure to conform to the accepted standards of the profession; (2) conviction of a felony; (3) fraud or deceit in obtaining or seeking reinstatement of a license to practice professional counseling; (4) fraud or deceit in the practice of professional counseling; (5) negligent, incompetent or wrongful conduct in professional activities; (6) physical, mental or emotional illness or disorder resulting in an inability to conform to the accepted standards of the profession; (7) alcohol or substance abuse; (8) wilful falsification of entries in any hospital, patient or other record pertaining to professional counseling; or (9) violation of any provision of sections 20-195aa to 20-195dd, inclusive, or any regulation adopted pursuant to section 20-195ff. The commissioner may order a license holder to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if his physical or mental capacity to practice safely is the subject of an investigation. The commissioner may petition the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to enforce such order or any action taken pursuant to said section 19a-17. The commissioner shall give notice and an opportunity to be heard on any contemplated action under said section 19a-17.

(P.A. 88-230, S. 10, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4–6; P.A. 97-311, S. 5.)

History: (Revisor’s note: P.A. 88-230, 90-98, 93-142 and 95-220 authorized substitution of “judicial district of Hartford” for “judicial district of Hartford-New Britain” in public and special acts of 1997, effective September 1, 1998).

Sec. 20-195ff. Regulations. The Commissioner of Public Health may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to further the purposes of subdivision (18) of subsection (c) of section 19a-14, subsection (e) of section 19a-88, subdivision (15) of section 19a-175, subsection (b) of section 20-9, sections 20-195aa to 20-195ff, inclusive, and sections 20-206jj to 20-206oo, inclusive.

(P.A. 97-311, S. 6; P.A. 02-89, S. 48.)

History: P.A. 02-89 deleted reference to Subsec. (c) of Sec. 20-195c.