Code Section

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )
  

CHAPTER 16. Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors [4999.10 - 4999.129]

  ( Chapter 16 added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 619, Sec. 3. )
  

ARTICLE 3. Licensure [4999.30 - 4999.64]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 619, Sec. 3. )

  
4999.33.  

(a) This section shall apply to the following:

(1) Applicants for examination eligibility or registration who begin graduate study before August 1, 2012, and do not complete that study on or before December 31, 2018.

(2) Applicants for examination eligibility or registration who begin graduate study before August 1, 2012, and who graduate from a degree program that meets the requirements of this section.

(3) Applicants for examination eligibility or registration who begin graduate study on or after August 1, 2012.

(b) To qualify for examination eligibility or registration, applicants shall possess a master’s or doctoral degree that is counseling or psychotherapy in content and that meets the requirements of this section, obtained from an accredited or approved institution, as defined in Section 4999.12. For purposes of this subdivision, a degree is “counseling or psychotherapy in content” if it contains the supervised practicum or field study experience described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) and, except as provided in subdivision (f), the coursework in the core content areas listed in subparagraphs (A) to (M), inclusive, of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c).

(c) The degree described in subdivision (b) shall contain not less than 60 graduate semester or 90 graduate quarter units of instruction, which shall, except as provided in subdivision (f), include all of the following:

(1) The equivalent of at least three semester units or four and one-half quarter units of graduate study in all of the following core content areas:

(A) Counseling and psychotherapeutic theories and techniques, including the counseling process in a multicultural society, an orientation to wellness and prevention, counseling theories to assist in selection of appropriate counseling interventions, models of counseling consistent with current professional research and practice, development of a personal model of counseling, and multidisciplinary responses to crises, emergencies, and disasters.

(B) Human growth and development across the lifespan, including normal and abnormal behavior and an understanding of developmental crises, disability, psychopathology, and situational and environmental factors that affect both normal and abnormal behavior.

(C) Career development theories and techniques, including career development decisionmaking models and interrelationships among and between work, family, and other life roles and factors, including the role of multicultural issues in career development.

(D) Group counseling theories and techniques, including principles of group dynamics, group process components, group developmental stage theories, therapeutic factors of group work, group leadership styles and approaches, pertinent research and literature, group counseling methods, and evaluation of effectiveness.

(E) Assessment, appraisal, and testing of individuals, including basic concepts of standardized and nonstandardized testing and other assessment techniques, norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessment, statistical concepts, social and cultural factors related to assessment and evaluation of individuals and groups, and ethical strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment instruments and techniques in counseling.

(F) Multicultural counseling theories and techniques, including counselors’ roles in developing cultural self-awareness, identity development, promoting cultural social justice, individual and community strategies for working with and advocating for diverse populations, and counselors’ roles in eliminating biases and prejudices, and processes of intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination.

(G) Principles of the diagnostic process, including differential diagnosis, and the use of current diagnostic tools, such as the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the impact of co-occurring substance use disorders or medical psychological disorders, established diagnostic criteria for mental or emotional disorders, and the treatment modalities and placement criteria within the continuum of care.

(H) Research and evaluation, including studies that provide an understanding of research methods, statistical analysis, the use of research to inform evidence-based practice, the importance of research in advancing the profession of counseling, and statistical methods used in conducting research, needs assessment, and program evaluation.

(I) Professional orientation, ethics, and law in counseling, including California law and professional ethics for professional clinical counselors, professional ethical standards and legal considerations, licensing law and process, regulatory laws that delineate the profession’s scope of practice, counselor-client privilege, confidentiality, the client dangerous to self or others, treatment of minors with or without parental consent, relationship between practitioner’s sense of self and human values, functions and relationships with other human service providers, strategies for collaboration, and advocacy processes needed to address institutional and social barriers that impede access, equity, and success for clients.

(J) Psychopharmacology, including the biological bases of behavior, basic classifications, indications, and contraindications of commonly prescribed psychopharmacological medications so that appropriate referrals can be made for medication evaluations and so that the side effects of those medications can be identified.

(K) Addictions counseling, including substance abuse, co-occurring disorders, and addiction, major approaches to identification, evaluation, treatment, and prevention of substance abuse and addiction, legal and medical aspects of substance abuse, populations at risk, the role of support persons, support systems, and community resources.

(L) Crisis or trauma counseling, including crisis theory; multidisciplinary responses to crises, emergencies, or disasters; cognitive, affective, behavioral, and neurological effects associated with trauma; brief, intermediate, and long-term approaches; and assessment strategies for clients in crisis and principles of intervention for individuals with mental or emotional disorders during times of crisis, emergency, or disaster.

(M) Advanced counseling and psychotherapeutic theories and techniques, including the application of counseling constructs, assessment and treatment planning, clinical interventions, therapeutic relationships, psychopathology, or other clinical topics.

(2) In addition to the course requirements described in paragraph (1), 15 semester units or 22.5 quarter units of advanced coursework to develop knowledge of specific treatment issues or special populations.

(3) Not less than six semester units or nine quarter units of supervised practicum or field study experience that involves direct client contact in a clinical setting that provides a range of professional clinical counseling experience, including the following:

(A) Applied psychotherapeutic techniques.

(B) Assessment.

(C) Diagnosis.

(D) Prognosis.

(E) Treatment.

(F) Issues of development, adjustment, and maladjustment.

(G) Health and wellness promotion.

(H) Professional writing including documentation of services, treatment plans, and progress notes.

(I) How to find and use resources.

(J) Other recognized counseling interventions.

(K) A minimum of 280 hours of face-to-face supervised clinical experience counseling individuals, families, or groups.

(d) The 60 graduate semester units or 90 graduate quarter units of instruction required pursuant to subdivision (c) shall, in addition to meeting the requirements of subdivision (c), include instruction in all of the following:

(1) The understanding of human behavior within the social context of socioeconomic status and other contextual issues affecting social position.

(2) The understanding of human behavior within the social context of a representative variety of the cultures found within California.

(3) Cultural competency and sensitivity, including a familiarity with the racial, cultural, linguistic, and ethnic backgrounds of persons living in California.

(4) An understanding of the effects of socioeconomic status on treatment and available resources.

(5) Multicultural development and cross-cultural interaction, including experiences of race, ethnicity, class, spirituality, sexual orientation, gender, and disability and their incorporation into the psychotherapeutic process.

(6) Case management, systems of care for the severely mentally ill, public and private services for the severely mentally ill, community resources for victims of abuse, disaster and trauma response, advocacy for the severely mentally ill, and collaborative treatment. The instruction required in this paragraph may be provided either in credit level coursework or through extension programs offered by the degree-granting institution.

(7) Human sexuality, including the study of the physiological, psychological, and social cultural variables associated with sexual behavior, gender identity, and the assessment and treatment of psychosexual dysfunction.

(8) Spousal or partner abuse assessment, detection, intervention strategies, and same gender abuse dynamics.

(9) A minimum of seven contact hours of training or coursework in child abuse assessment and reporting, as specified in Section 28, and any regulations promulgated thereunder.

(10) Aging and long-term care, including biological, social, cognitive, and psychological aspects of aging. This coursework shall include instruction on the assessment and reporting of, as well as treatment related to, elder and dependent adult abuse and neglect.

(e) A degree program that qualifies for licensure under this section shall do all of the following:

(1) Integrate the principles of mental health recovery-oriented care and methods of service delivery in recovery-oriented practice environments.

(2) Integrate an understanding of various cultures and the social and psychological implications of socioeconomic position.

(3) Provide the opportunity for students to meet with various consumers and family members of consumers of mental health services to enhance understanding of their experience of mental illness, treatment, and recovery.

(f) (1) (A) An applicant whose degree is deficient in no more than three of the required areas of study listed in subparagraphs (A) to (M), inclusive, of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) may satisfy those deficiencies by successfully completing post-master’s or postdoctoral degree coursework at an accredited or approved institution, as defined in Section 4999.12.

(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), no applicant shall be deficient in the required areas of study specified in subparagraphs (E) or (G) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c).

(2) Coursework taken to meet deficiencies in the required areas of study listed in subparagraphs (A) to (M), inclusive, of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) shall be the equivalent of three semester units or four and one-half quarter units of study.

(3) The board shall make the final determination as to whether a degree meets all requirements, including, but not limited to, course requirements, regardless of accreditation.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 70, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2017.)