NYS Education Law

Article 163, Mental Health Practitioners

§8400. Introduction.
This article applies to the professions of mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, creative arts therapy, and psychoanalysis and provides for the licensing of such practitioners. The general provisions for all professions contained in article one hundred thirty of this title apply to this article.
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§8401. Definitions.
For purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
1."Board" means the state board for mental health practitioners authorized by section eighty-four hundred six of this article.
2."Psychotherapy" means the treatment of mental, nervous, emotional, behavioral and addictive disorders, and ailments by the use of both verbal and behavioral methods of intervention in interpersonal relationships with the intent of assisting the persons to modify attitudes, thinking, affect, and behavior which are intellectually, socially and emotionally maladaptive.
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§8402. Mental Health Counseling.
1.Definition of the practice of mental health counseling. The practice of the profession of mental health counseling is defined as:
a.the evaluation, assessment, 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 and treat dysfunctions and disorders for purposes of providing appropriate mental health counseling services.
2.Practice of mental health counseling and use of the titles "mental health counselor" and "licensed mental health counselor". Only a person licensed or exempt under this article shall practice mental health counseling or use the title "mental health counselor". Only a person licensed under this article shall use the title "licensed mental health counselor" or any other designation tending to imply that the person is licensed to practice mental health counseling.
3.Requirements for a professional license. To qualify for a license as a "licensed mental health counselor", an applicant shall fulfill the following requirements:
a.Application: File an application with the department;
b.Education: Have received an education, including a master's or higher degree in counseling from a program registered by the department or determined by the department to be the substantial equivalent thereof, in accordance with the commissioner's regulations. The graduate coursework shall include, but not be limited to, the following areas:
i.human growth and development;
ii.social and cultural foundations of counseling;
iii.counseling theory and practice and psychopathology;
iv.group dynamics;
v.lifestyle and career development;
vi.assessment and appraisal of individuals, couples and families and groups;
vii.research and program evaluation;
viii.professional orientation and ethics;
ix.foundations of mental health counseling and consultation;
x.clinical instruction; and
xi.completion of a minimum one year supervised internship or practicum in mental health counseling;
c.Experience: An applicant shall complete a minimum of three thousand hours of post-master's supervised experience relevant to the practice of mental health counseling satisfactory to the board and in accordance with the commissioner's regulations. Satisfactory experience obtained in an entity operating under a waiver issued by the department pursuant to section sixty-five hundred three-a of this title may be accepted by the department, notwithstanding that such experience may have been obtained prior to the effective date of such section sixty-five hundred three-a and/or prior to the entity having obtained a waiver. The department may, for good cause shown, accept satisfactory experience that was obtained in a setting that would have been eligible for a waiver but which has not obtained a waiver from the department or experience that was obtained in good faith by the applicant under the belief that appropriate authorization had been obtained for the experience, provided that such experience meets all other requirements for acceptable experience;
d.Examination: Pass an examination satisfactory to the board and in accordance with the commissioner's regulations;
e.Age: Be at least twenty-one years of age;
f.Character: Be of good moral character as determined by the department; and
g.Fees: Pay a fee of one hundred seventy-five dollars for an initial license and a fee of one hundred seventy dollars for each triennial registration period.


Mental Health Counselor Scope of Practice