Florida Senate - 2019                                    SB 1042
       By Senator Torres
       15-01523-19                                           20191042__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to marriage and family therapists;
    3         amending s. 491.005, F.S.; providing equivalent
    4         education requirements for licensure by examination;
    5         conforming provisions to changes made by the act;
    6         amending s. 491.006, F.S.; deleting certain education
    7         requirements for licensure or certification by
    8         endorsement; providing an effective date.
   10  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   12         Section 1. Subsection (3) of section 491.005, Florida
   13  Statutes, is amended to read:
   14         491.005 Licensure by examination.—
   15         (3) MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY.—Upon verification of
   16  documentation and payment of a fee not to exceed $200, as set by
   17  board rule, plus the actual cost to the department for the
   18  purchase of the examination from the Association of Marital and
   19  Family Therapy Regulatory Board, or similar national
   20  organization, the department shall issue a license as a marriage
   21  and family therapist to an applicant who the board certifies:
   22         (a) Has submitted an application and paid the appropriate
   23  fee.
   24         (b)1. Has a minimum of a master’s degree with major
   25  emphasis in marriage and family therapy from a program
   26  accredited by the Commission of Accreditation for Marriage and
   27  Family Therapy Education or from a Florida university program
   28  accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and
   29  Related Educational Programs, or a closely related field, and
   30  has completed graduate courses approved by the Florida Board of
   31  Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental
   32  Health Counseling. all of the following requirements:
   33         a.Thirty-six semester hours or 48 quarter hours of
   34  graduate coursework, which must include a minimum of 3 semester
   35  hours or 4 quarter hours of graduate-level course credits in
   36  each of the following nine areas: dynamics of marriage and
   37  family systems; marriage therapy and counseling theory and
   38  techniques; family therapy and counseling theory and techniques;
   39  individual human development theories throughout the life cycle;
   40  personality theory or general counseling theory and techniques;
   41  psychopathology; human sexuality theory and counseling
   42  techniques; psychosocial theory; and substance abuse theory and
   43  counseling techniques. Courses in research, evaluation,
   44  appraisal, assessment, or testing theories and procedures;
   45  thesis or dissertation work; or practicums, internships, or
   46  fieldwork may not be applied toward this requirement.
   47         b.A minimum of one graduate-level course of 3 semester
   48  hours or 4 quarter hours in legal, ethical, and professional
   49  standards issues in the practice of marriage and family therapy
   50  or a course determined by the board to be equivalent.
   51         c.A minimum of one graduate-level course of 3 semester
   52  hours or 4 quarter hours in diagnosis, appraisal, assessment,
   53  and testing for individual or interpersonal disorder or
   54  dysfunction; and a minimum of one 3-semester-hour or 4-quarter
   55  hour graduate-level course in behavioral research which focuses
   56  on the interpretation and application of research data as it
   57  applies to clinical practice. Credit for thesis or dissertation
   58  work, practicums, internships, or fieldwork may not be applied
   59  toward this requirement.
   60         d.A minimum of one supervised clinical practicum,
   61  internship, or field experience in a marriage and family
   62  counseling setting, during which the student provided 180 direct
   63  client contact hours of marriage and family therapy services
   64  under the supervision of an individual who met the requirements
   65  for supervision under paragraph (c). This requirement may be met
   66  by a supervised practice experience which took place outside the
   67  academic arena, but which is certified as equivalent to a
   68  graduate-level practicum or internship program which required a
   69  minimum of 180 direct client contact hours of marriage and
   70  family therapy services currently offered within an academic
   71  program of a college or university accredited by an accrediting
   72  agency approved by the United States Department of Education, or
   73  an institution which is publicly recognized as a member in good
   74  standing with the Association of Universities and Colleges of
   75  Canada or a training institution accredited by the Commission on
   76  Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
   77  recognized by the United States Department of Education.
   78  Certification shall be required from an official of such
   79  college, university, or training institution.
   80         2. If the course title which appears on the applicant’s
   81  transcript does not clearly identify the content of the
   82  coursework, the applicant shall be required to provide
   83  additional documentation, including, but not limited to, a
   84  syllabus or catalog description published for the course.
   86  The required master’s degree must have been received in an
   87  institution of higher education which at the time the applicant
   88  graduated was: fully accredited by a regional accrediting body
   89  recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary
   90  Accreditation; publicly recognized as a member in good standing
   91  with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada; or
   92  an institution of higher education located outside the United
   93  States and Canada, which at the time the applicant was enrolled
   94  and at the time the applicant graduated maintained a standard of
   95  training substantially equivalent to the standards of training
   96  of those institutions in the United States which are accredited
   97  by a regional accrediting body recognized by the Commission on
   98  Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation. Such foreign
   99  education and training must have been received in an institution
  100  or program of higher education officially recognized by the
  101  government of the country in which it is located as an
  102  institution or program to train students to practice as
  103  professional marriage and family therapists or psychotherapists.
  104  The burden of establishing that the requirements of this
  105  provision have been met shall be upon the applicant, and the
  106  board shall require documentation, such as, but not limited to,
  107  an evaluation by a foreign equivalency determination service, as
  108  evidence that the applicant’s graduate degree program and
  109  education were equivalent to an accredited program in this
  110  country. An applicant with a master’s degree from a program
  111  which did not emphasize marriage and family therapy may complete
  112  the coursework requirement in a training institution fully
  113  accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and
  114  Family Therapy Education recognized by the United States
  115  Department of Education.
  116         (c) Has had at least 2 years of clinical experience during
  117  which 50 percent of the applicant’s clients were receiving
  118  marriage and family therapy services, which must be at the post
  119  master’s level under the supervision of a licensed marriage and
  120  family therapist with at least 5 years of experience, or the
  121  equivalent, who is a qualified supervisor as determined by the
  122  board. An individual who intends to practice in Florida to
  123  satisfy the clinical experience requirements must register
  124  pursuant to s. 491.0045 before commencing practice. If a
  125  graduate has a master’s degree with a major emphasis in marriage
  126  and family therapy or a closely related field that did not
  127  include all the coursework required under subparagraph (b)1.
  128  sub-subparagraphs (b)1.a.-c., credit for the post-master’s level
  129  clinical experience shall not commence until the applicant has
  130  completed a minimum of 10 of the courses required under
  131  subparagraph (b)1. sub-subparagraphs (b)1.a.-c., as determined
  132  by the board, and at least 6 semester hours or 9 quarter hours
  133  of the course credits must have been completed in the area of
  134  marriage and family systems, theories, or techniques. Within the
  135  2 3 years of required experience, the applicant shall provide
  136  direct individual, group, or family therapy and counseling, to
  137  include the following categories of cases: unmarried dyads,
  138  married couples, separating and divorcing couples, and family
  139  groups including children. A doctoral internship may be applied
  140  toward the clinical experience requirement. A licensed mental
  141  health professional must be on the premises when clinical
  142  services are provided by a registered intern in a private
  143  practice setting.
  144         (d) Has passed a theory and practice examination provided
  145  by the department for this purpose.
  146         (e) Has demonstrated, in a manner designated by rule of the
  147  board, knowledge of the laws and rules governing the practice of
  148  clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, and mental
  149  health counseling.
  150         (f) For the purposes of dual licensure, the department
  151  shall license as a marriage and family therapist any person who
  152  meets the requirements of s. 491.0057. Fees for dual licensure
  153  shall not exceed those stated in this subsection.
  154         Section 2. Section 491.006, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  155  read:
  156         491.006 Licensure or certification by endorsement.—
  157         (1) The department shall license or grant a certificate to
  158  a person in a profession regulated by this chapter who, upon
  159  applying to the department and remitting the appropriate fee,
  160  demonstrates to the board that he or she:
  161         (a) Has demonstrated, in a manner designated by rule of the
  162  board, knowledge of the laws and rules governing the practice of
  163  clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, and mental
  164  health counseling.
  165         (b)1. Holds an active valid license to practice and has
  166  actively practiced the profession for which licensure is applied
  167  in another state for 3 of the last 5 years immediately preceding
  168  licensure.
  169         2.Meets the education requirements of this chapter for the
  170  profession for which licensure is applied.
  171         2.3. Has passed a substantially equivalent licensing
  172  examination in another state or has passed the licensure
  173  examination in this state in the profession for which the
  174  applicant seeks licensure.
  175         3.4. Holds a license in good standing, is not under
  176  investigation for an act that would constitute a violation of
  177  this chapter, and has not been found to have committed any act
  178  that would constitute a violation of this chapter. The fees paid
  179  by any applicant for certification as a master social worker
  180  under this section are nonrefundable.
  181         (2) The department shall not issue a license or certificate
  182  by endorsement to any applicant who is under investigation in
  183  this or another jurisdiction for an act which would constitute a
  184  violation of this chapter until such time as the investigation
  185  is complete, at which time the provisions of s. 491.009 shall
  186  apply.
  187         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.