senate Bill S2900

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Requires mandatory continuing education for mental health practioners

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Jan 08, 2014 referred to higher education
Jan 24, 2013 referred to higher education

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S2900 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3652
Current Committee:
Senate Higher Education
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Add §8412, amd §§8402, 8403, 8404 & 8405, Ed L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S7061, A10142

S2900 - Bill Texts

view summary

Requires thirty-six hours of mandatory continuing education for mental health practitioners during each triennial registration period; makes related provisions.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S2900

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to manda-
tory continuing education for mental health practitioners and clarifies
authorization to practice

PURPOSE: The purposes of this bill are twofold. First, it requires each
mental health counselor, marriage and family therapist, psychoanalyst
and creative arts therapist licensed in New York to undergo mandatory
continuing education. Second, it amends the definitions of these
professions to clarify that these individuals are qualified to diagnose
within the practice of each profession.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The education law is amended from section 8402
to section 8405 to include and define diagnosis within the practices of
mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, psychoanalysis
and creative arts therapy.

Additionally, the education law is amended by adding a new section,
8412.

§ 8412-1:

(a): Requires that each licensed mental health counselor, marriage and
family therapist, psychoanalyst, and creative arts therapist in New York
complete continuing education during each triennial registration. These
professionals must be issued a registration certificate to continue
practicing, unless a conditional registration certificate is issued to
them.

(b): Exempts continuing education requirements for the initial triennial
registration period and allows for adjustments for reasons of health,
extended active duty with the U.S. armed forces, or for other good
cause.

(c): Those not engaged in practice, as determined by the department,
shall be exempt from the continuing education requirement upon the
filing of a statement with the department. Licensees who return to prac-
tice shall notify the department prior to reentering and shall meet all
education requirements.

§8412-2: -Requires that thirty-six hours of acceptable formal continu-
ing education, as specified in §8412-4, be completed each triennial
registration period, with a maximum of twelve hours being self-instruc-
tional course work. -Continuing education hours taken during one trien-
nium are non-transferable.

§ 8412-3: -Authorizes the department to issue conditional registra-
tions, for up to one year, to licensees failing to meet the continuing
education requirements. Licensees who are denied registration and who
continue to practice may be subject to disciplinary proceedings.

§ 8412-4: -Defines "acceptable formal continuing education" as used in
§ 8412-2.

§ 8412-5: -Requires counselors, psychoanalysts and therapists to main-
tain documentation of completion of "acceptable formal continuing educa-
tion". Failure to provide documentation to the department upon request
shall constitute misconduct subject to discipline.

§ 8412-6:

-Sets forth the mandatory continuing education fee of forty-five
dollars, to be payable on or before the first day of each triennial
registration period.

JUSTIFICATION: In February 2012, The State Education Department's
Mental Health practitioner Board released a report noting the need to
amend the scopes of the Education Law Article 163 professions to clarify
that these individuals are qualified to "diagnose" within the practice
of each profession. These professions include mental health counselors,
marriage and family therapists, creative arts therapists and psychoana-
lysts. The lack of the specific term "diagnosis" in the scope of prac-
tices for each of these professions has led some to conclude that these
professions may not diagnose in New York. This conclusion does not
conform with evidence in both the statute and the implementing regu-
lations that support the professions authority to diagnose.

This bill remedies this problem by adding and defining the authorization
to diagnosis within the scope of each of the Article 163 professions.

In addition, as the professions grow, it becomes increasingly important
for licensees to maintain connected to best practices. Requiring
continuing education for practitioners in these professions ensures that
New York residents receive care from licensed professionals who are well
informed about current and relevant practices in their fields.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012 Referred to Higher Education

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately; provided,
however, section one of this act shall take effect June 30, 2014. Effec-
tive immediately upon the passage of this bill, the state education
department is authorized to complete the addition, amendment and/or
repeal of any rule of regulation necessary for the implementation of
this act on its effective date.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  2900

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 24, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  ROBACH -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education

AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to  mandatory  continuing
  education  for mental health practitioners and clarifies authorization
  to practice

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  The education law is amended by adding a new section 8412
to read as follows:
  S 8412. MANDATORY CONTINUING EDUCATION. 1. REQUIREMENT  OF  CONTINUING
EDUCATION.
  (A)  EACH LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERA-
PIST, PSYCHOANALYST, AND CREATIVE ARTS  THERAPIST  REQUIRED  UNDER  THIS
ARTICLE  TO  REGISTER TRIENNIALLY WITH THE DEPARTMENT TO PRACTICE IN THE
STATE SHALL COMPLY WITH  THE  PROVISIONS  OF  THE  MANDATORY  CONTINUING
EDUCATION  REQUIREMENTS  PRESCRIBED  IN  SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION
EXCEPT AS SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPHS  (B)  AND  (C)  OF  THIS  SUBDIVISION.
LICENSED  MENTAL  HEALTH  COUNSELORS,  MARRIAGE  AND  FAMILY THERAPISTS,
PSYCHOANALYSTS AND CREATIVE ARTS  THERAPISTS  WHO  DO  NOT  SATISFY  THE
MANDATORY  CONTINUING  EDUCATION  REQUIREMENTS  SHALL NOT PRACTICE UNTIL
THEY HAVE MET SUCH REQUIREMENTS, AND THEY HAVE BEEN ISSUED  A  REGISTRA-
TION  CERTIFICATE,  EXCEPT  THAT  A  LICENSED  MENTAL  HEALTH COUNSELOR,
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST, PSYCHOANALYST, AND CREATIVE  ARTS  THERA-
PIST  MAY  PRACTICE WITHOUT HAVING MET SUCH REQUIREMENTS IF HE OR SHE IS
ISSUED A CONDITIONAL REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE  PURSUANT  TO  SUBDIVISION
THREE OF THIS SECTION.
  (B)  EACH LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERA-
PIST, PSYCHOANALYST, AND CREATIVE ARTS THERAPIST SHALL  BE  EXEMPT  FROM
THE  MANDATORY CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENT FOR THE TRIENNIAL REGIS-
TRATION PERIOD DURING WHICH THEY ARE FIRST LICENSED. IN ACCORDANCE  WITH
THE  INTENT  OF  THIS  SECTION,  ADJUSTMENT  TO THE MANDATORY CONTINUING

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD07208-01-3

S. 2900                             2

EDUCATION REQUIREMENT MAY BE GRANTED BY THE DEPARTMENT  FOR  REASONS  OF
HEALTH  CERTIFIED  BY  AN  APPROPRIATE  HEALTH  CARE  PROFESSIONAL,  FOR
EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY WITH THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES, OR  FOR
OTHER  GOOD CAUSE ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT WHICH MAY PREVENT COMPLI-
ANCE.
  (C) A LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST,
PSYCHOANALYST, AND CREATIVE ARTS THERAPIST NOT ENGAGED IN  PRACTICE,  AS
DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE MANDATORY CONTIN-
UING  EDUCATION  REQUIREMENT  UPON  THE  FILING  OF A STATEMENT WITH THE
DEPARTMENT DECLARING SUCH STATUS. ANY LICENSEE WHO RETURNS TO THE  PRAC-
TICE  OF  MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY, PSYCHO-
ANALYSIS, OR CREATIVE ARTS THERAPY  DURING  THE  TRIENNIAL  REGISTRATION
PERIOD  SHALL  NOTIFY  THE DEPARTMENT PRIOR TO REENTERING THE PROFESSION
AND SHALL  MEET  SUCH  MANDATORY  EDUCATION  REQUIREMENTS  AS  SHALL  BE
PRESCRIBED BY REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  2.  DURING  EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION PERIOD AN APPLICANT FOR REGIS-
TRATION AS A LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THER-
APIST, PSYCHOANALYST, AND CREATIVE ARTS THERAPIST SHALL COMPLETE A MINI-
MUM OF THIRTY-SIX HOURS OF ACCEPTABLE  FORMAL  CONTINUING  EDUCATION  AS
SPECIFIED IN SUBDIVISION FOUR OF THIS SECTION, A MAXIMUM OF TWELVE HOURS
OF WHICH MAY BE SELF-INSTRUCTIONAL COURSE WORK ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPART-
MENT.  ANY  LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERA-
PIST, PSYCHOANALYST, AND CREATIVE ARTS THERAPIST WHOSE  FIRST  REGISTRA-
TION  DATE FOLLOWING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION OCCURS LESS THAN
THREE YEARS FROM SUCH EFFECTIVE DATE, BUT ON OR  AFTER  JUNE  THIRTIETH,
TWO  THOUSAND  FOURTEEN,  SHALL COMPLETE CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS ON A
PRORATED BASIS AT THE RATE OF ONE-HALF HOUR PER  MONTH  FOR  THE  PERIOD
BEGINNING  JUNE  THIRTIETH, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN UP TO THE FIRST REGIS-
TRATION DATE THEREAFTER. A LICENSEE WHO HAS NOT SATISFIED THE  MANDATORY
CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS SHALL NOT BE ISSUED A TRIENNIAL REGIS-
TRATION  CERTIFICATE BY THE DEPARTMENT AND SHALL NOT PRACTICE UNLESS AND
UNTIL A CONDITIONAL REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE IS ISSUED AS  PROVIDED  FOR
IN  SUBDIVISION  THREE OF THIS SECTION. CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS TAKEN
DURING ONE TRIENNIUM MAY NOT BE TRANSFERRED TO A SUBSEQUENT TRIENNIUM.
  3. THE DEPARTMENT, IN ITS DISCRETION, MAY ISSUE A  CONDITIONAL  REGIS-
TRATION  TO  A  LICENSEE  WHO  FAILS  TO  MEET  THE CONTINUING EDUCATION
REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED IN SUBDIVISION TWO  OF  THIS  SECTION  BUT  WHO
AGREES TO MAKE UP ANY DEFICIENCIES AND COMPLETE ANY ADDITIONAL EDUCATION
WHICH  THE DEPARTMENT MAY REQUIRE. THE FEE FOR SUCH A CONDITIONAL REGIS-
TRATION SHALL BE THE SAME AS, AND IN ADDITION TO, THE FEE FOR THE TRIEN-
NIAL REGISTRATION. THE DURATION OF SUCH CONDITIONAL  REGISTRATION  SHALL
BE  DETERMINED  BY  THE  DEPARTMENT  BUT  SHALL NOT EXCEED ONE YEAR. ANY
LICENSEE WHO IS NOTIFIED OF THE DENIAL OF REGISTRATION  FOR  FAILURE  TO
SUBMIT  EVIDENCE, SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT, OF REQUIRED CONTINUING
EDUCATION AND WHO PRACTICES WITHOUT SUCH REGISTRATION MAY BE SUBJECT  TO
DISCIPLINARY  PROCEEDINGS  PURSUANT TO SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF
THIS TITLE.
  4. AS USED IN SUBDIVISION TWO  OF  THIS  SECTION,  "ACCEPTABLE  FORMAL
CONTINUING  EDUCATION"  SHALL  MEAN  FORMAL  COURSES  OF  LEARNING WHICH
CONTRIBUTE  TO  PROFESSIONAL  PRACTICE  IN  MENTAL  HEALTH   COUNSELING,
MARRIAGE  AND  FAMILY  THERAPY, PSYCHOANALYSIS, OR CREATIVE ARTS THERAPY
AND WHICH MEET THE STANDARDS PRESCRIBED BY REGULATIONS  OF  THE  COMMIS-
SIONER. SUCH FORMAL COURSES OF LEARNING SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMIT-
ED  TO,  COLLEGIATE  LEVEL  CREDIT  AND NON-CREDIT COURSES, PROFESSIONAL
DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS AND TECHNICAL SESSIONS OFFERED BY  NATIONAL,  STATE
AND  LOCAL  PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS ACCEPTABLE

S. 2900                             3

TO THE DEPARTMENT, AND ANY OTHER  ORGANIZED  EDUCATIONAL  AND  TECHNICAL
PROGRAMS  ACCEPTABLE  TO  THE  DEPARTMENT.  THE  DEPARTMENT  MAY, IN ITS
DISCRETION AND AS NEEDED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE HEALTH AND WELFARE OF  THE
PUBLIC,  REQUIRE  THE  COMPLETION  OF  CONTINUING  EDUCATION  COURSES IN
SPECIFIC  SUBJECTS  TO  FULFILL  THIS  MANDATORY  CONTINUING   EDUCATION
REQUIREMENT.  COURSES  MUST  BE  TAKEN  FROM  A  SPONSOR APPROVED BY THE
DEPARTMENT, PURSUANT TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  5. LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY  THERAPISTS,
PSYCHOANALYSTS,  AND  CREATIVE  ARTS  THERAPISTS SHALL MAINTAIN ADEQUATE
DOCUMENTATION OF COMPLETION OF ACCEPTABLE  FORMAL  CONTINUING  EDUCATION
AND  SHALL  PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION AT THE REQUEST OF THE DEPARTMENT.
FAILURE TO PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION UPON THE REQUEST OF THE DEPARTMENT
SHALL BE AN ACT OF MISCONDUCT SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS PURSU-
ANT TO SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  6. THE MANDATORY CONTINUING EDUCATION FEE SHALL BE FORTY-FIVE DOLLARS,
SHALL BE PAYABLE ON OR BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF EACH TRIENNIAL  REGISTRA-
TION PERIOD, AND SHALL BE PAID IN ADDITION TO THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
FEE REQUIRED BY SECTION SIXTY-SEVEN HUNDRED THIRTY-FOUR OF THIS CHAPTER.
  S  2.  Subdivision 1 of section 8402 of the education law, as added by
chapter 676 of the laws of 2002, is amended to read as follows:
  1. Definition of the practice of mental health counseling.  The  prac-
tice of the profession of mental health counseling is defined as:
  (a)  the  evaluation,  assessment, DIAGNOSIS, amelioration, treatment,
modification, or adjustment to a disability,  problem,  or  disorder  of
behavior,  character, development, emotion, personality or relationships
by the use of verbal or behavioral methods  with  individuals,  couples,
families  or  groups  in private practice, group, or organized settings;
[and]
  (b) the use of assessment instruments and mental health counseling and
psychotherapy to identify, evaluate, DIAGNOSE and treat dysfunctions and
disorders for purposes of providing appropriate mental health counseling
services; AND
  (C) DIAGNOSIS IN THE CONTEXT  OF  LICENSED  MENTAL  HEALTH  COUNSELING
PRACTICE  IS  THE  PROCESS  OF  DISTINGUISHING  BETWEEN  SIMILAR MENTAL,
EMOTIONAL, BEHAVIORAL, DEVELOPMENTAL, AND ADDICTIVE  DISORDERS,  IMPAIR-
MENTS  AND  DISABILITIES WITHIN A PSYCHOSOCIAL FRAMEWORK ON THE BASIS OF
THEIR SIMILAR AND UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS CONSISTENT WITH ACCEPTED  CLAS-
SIFICATION SYSTEMS.
  S  3.  Subdivision 1 of section 8403 of the education law, as added by
chapter 676  of the laws of 2002, is amended to read as follows:
  1. Definition of the practice of  marriage  and  family  therapy.  The
practice of the profession of marriage and family therapy is defined as:
  (a)  the  assessment,  DIAGNOSIS  and  treatment of nervous and mental
disorders, whether affective, cognitive or behavioral, which results  in
dysfunctional  interpersonal  family  relationships  including,  but not
limited  to  familial   relationships,   marital/couple   relationships,
parent-child  relationships,  pre-marital  and  other personal relation-
ships;
  (b) the use of mental health counseling, psychotherapy and therapeutic
techniques  to  evaluate  and  treat  marital,  relational,  and  family
systems, and individuals in relationship to these systems;
  (c)  the  use  of mental health counseling and psychotherapeutic tech-
niques to treat mental, emotional and behavioral disorders and  ailments
within  the context of marital, relational and family systems to prevent
and ameliorate dysfunction; [and]

S. 2900                             4

  (d) the use of assessment instruments and mental health counseling and
psychotherapy to identify [and], evaluate, DIAGNOSE AND  TREAT  dysfunc-
tions  and  disorders for purposes of providing appropriate marriage and
family therapy services; AND
  (E)  DIAGNOSIS  IN THE CONTEXT OF LICENSED MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY
PRACTICE IS  THE  PROCESS  OF  DISTINGUISHING  BETWEEN  SIMILAR  MENTAL,
EMOTIONAL,  BEHAVIORAL,  DEVELOPMENTAL, AND ADDICTIVE DISORDERS, IMPAIR-
MENTS AND DISABILITIES WITHIN A PSYCHOSOCIAL FRAMEWORK ON THE  BASIS  OF
THEIR  SIMILAR AND UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS CONSISTENT WITH ACCEPTED CLAS-
SIFICATION SYSTEMS.
  S 4.  Subdivision 1 of section 8404 of the education law, as added  by
chapter 676 of the laws of 2002, is amended to read as follows:
  1.  Definition  of the practice of creative arts therapy. The practice
of the profession of creative arts therapy is defined as:
  (a) the assessment, evaluation, DIAGNOSIS and the  therapeutic  inter-
vention  and treatment, which may be either primary, parallel or adjunc-
tive, of  mental,  emotional,  developmental  and  behavioral  disorders
through the use of the arts as approved by the department; [and]
  (b) the use of assessment instruments and mental health counseling and
psychotherapy to identify, evaluate, DIAGNOSE and treat dysfunctions and
disorders  for  purposes  of providing appropriate creative arts therapy
services; AND
  (C) DIAGNOSIS IN THE CONTEXT OF LICENSED CREATIVE ARTS  THERAPY  PRAC-
TICE IS THE PROCESS OF DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN SIMILAR MENTAL, EMOTIONAL,
BEHAVIORAL,  DEVELOPMENTAL,  AND  ADDICTIVE  DISORDERS,  IMPAIRMENTS AND
DISABILITIES WITHIN A PSYCHOSOCIAL FRAMEWORK ON THE BASIS OF THEIR SIMI-
LAR AND UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS CONSISTENT WITH  ACCEPTED  CLASSIFICATION
SYSTEMS.
  S  5.  Subdivision 1 of section 8405 of the education law, as added by
chapter 676 of the laws of 2002, is amended to read as follows:
  1. Definition of the practice of psychoanalysis.  The practice of  the
profession of psychoanalysis is defined as:
  (a)  the  observation,  description, evaluation, [and] interpretation,
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT of dynamic  unconscious  mental  processes  that
contribute  to  the  formation  of  personality and behavior in order to
identify and resolve unconscious psychic problems which affect interper-
sonal relationships and emotional development, to facilitate changes  in
personality  and behavior through the use of verbal and nonverbal cogni-
tive and emotional communication, and to develop  adaptive  functioning;
[and]
  (b) the use of assessment instruments and mental health counseling and
psychotherapy to identify, evaluate, DIAGNOSE and treat dysfunctions and
disorders for purposes of providing appropriate psychoanalytic services;
AND
  (C)  DIAGNOSIS  IN  THE CONTEXT OF LICENSED PSYCHOANALYSIS PRACTICE IS
THE PROCESS OF DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN SIMILAR MENTAL, EMOTIONAL,  BEHAV-
IORAL, DEVELOPMENTAL, AND ADDICTIVE DISORDERS, IMPAIRMENTS AND DISABILI-
TIES  WITHIN  A PSYCHOSOCIAL FRAMEWORK ON THE BASIS OF THEIR SIMILAR AND
UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS CONSISTENT WITH ACCEPTED CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS.
  S 6.   This act shall  take  effect  immediately;  provided,  however,
section one of this act shall take effect June 30, 2014. Effective imme-
diately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation
necessary  for  the implementation of this act on its effective date are
authorized and directed to be made and completed by the state  education
department.

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