36-32-65. Licensed professional counselor-mental health--Application--Requirements--Appeal.

An applicant for a license as a professional counselor--mental health shall file an application, in the manner prescribed by the board, together with the application fee prescribed by the board in accordance with § 36-32-92. The board may issue a license as a professional counselor--mental health to an applicant who pays the license fee and demonstrates that:

(1)    The applicant has obtained licensure as a professional counselor under § 36-32-64;

(2)    The applicant has received a master's or a doctoral degree, consisting of at least:

(a)    Forty-eight credit hours in counseling, if the applicant began the program before July 1, 2024; or

(b)    Sixty credit hours in counseling, if the applicant began the program on or after July 1, 2024;

(3)    The applicant's master's or doctoral degree is from a counseling program approved by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs or an equivalent program, with an emphasis on mental health counseling as demonstrated by studies in the following areas:

(a)    The general principles and practices of etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders and dysfunctional behavior;

(b)    The general principles and practices for the promotion of optimal mental health;

(c)    The specific models and methods for assessing mental status;

(d)    The identification of mental illness or abnormal, deviant, or psychopathologic behavior by obtaining appropriate behavioral data using a variety of techniques, including nonprojective personality assessments and achievement, aptitude, and intelligence testing, and translating findings into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders;

(e)    The specific theories of psychotherapy for initiating, maintaining, and terminating therapy with a mentally and emotionally impaired client or a client with disabilities in a variety of settings using a variety of modalities, including crisis intervention, brief, intermediate, and long-term modalities;

(f)    The basic classification, indications, and contraindications of the commonly prescribed psychopharmacological medications for the purpose of identifying the effects and side effects of prescribed psychotropic medications;

(g)    The guidelines for conducting an intake interview and mental health history for planning and managing of client caseload; and

(h)    The specific concepts and ideas related to mental health education, outreach, prevention, and mental health promotion;

(4)    The applicant has passed the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors;

(5)    Within the four years preceding the application, the applicant completed two thousand hours of direct client contact postgraduate supervision in counseling, in a manner prescribed by the board, under a plan of supervision approved by the board;

(6)    The applicant has no pending disciplinary proceeding or unresolved disciplinary complaint;

(7)    The applicant is of good moral character; and

(8)    The applicant is not in violation of any provision of this chapter or any rule promulgated under this chapter.

The board may refuse to grant a license to an applicant who fails to meet the requirements of this section.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (5), the board may grant a license to an applicant who does not complete the required postgraduate supervision within four years of the application upon the applicant's show of good cause for exceeding the time limit.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (7), the board may grant a license to an applicant who has been convicted of or pled guilty to a felony, to any crime involving or relating to the practice of counseling, or to any crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude if the board determines that the applicant does not constitute a risk to public safety.

An applicant may appeal the denial of a license in accordance with chapter 1-26.

Source: SL 2020, ch 165, § 19; SL 2024, ch 164, § 3.