Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

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

CHAPTER 13. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists [4980 - 4989]

  ( Heading of Chapter 13 amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 316, Sec. 14. )

ARTICLE 1. Regulation [4980 - 4980.81]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 1365, Sec. 4. )

4980.
  

(a) (1) Many California families and many individual Californians are experiencing difficulty and distress, and are in need of wise, competent, caring, compassionate, and effective counseling in order to enable them to improve and maintain healthy family relationships.

(2) Healthy individuals and healthy families and healthy relationships are inherently beneficial and crucial to a healthy society, and are our most precious and valuable natural resource. Licensed marriage and family therapists provide a crucial support for the well-being of the people and the State of California.

(b) No person may engage in the practice of marriage and family therapy as defined by Section 4980.02, unless he or she holds a valid license as a marriage and family therapist, or unless he or she is specifically exempted from that requirement, nor may any person advertise himself or herself as performing the services of a marriage, family, child, domestic, or marital consultant, or in any way use these or any similar titles, including the letters “L.M.F.T.” “M.F.T.,” or “M.F.C.C.,” or other name, word initial, or symbol in connection with or following his or her name to imply that he or she performs these services without a license as provided by this chapter. Persons licensed under Article 4 (commencing with Section 4996) of Chapter 14 of Division 2, or under Chapter 6.6 (commencing with Section 2900) may engage in such practice or advertise that they practice marriage and family therapy but may not advertise that they hold the marriage and family therapist’s license.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 316, Sec. 15. (SB 1466) Effective January 1, 2015.)

4980.01.
  

(a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to constrict, limit, or withdraw the Medical Practice Act, the Social Work Licensing Law, the Nursing Practice Act, the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Act, or the Psychology Licensing Act.

(b) This chapter shall not apply to any priest, rabbi, or minister of the gospel of any religious denomination when performing counseling services as part of his or her pastoral or professional duties, or to any person who is admitted to practice law in the state, or who is licensed to practice medicine, when providing counseling services as part of his or her professional practice.

(c) (1) This chapter shall not apply to an employee working in any of the following settings if his or her work is performed solely under the supervision of the employer:

(A) A governmental entity.

(B) A school, college, or university.

(C) An institution that is both nonprofit and charitable.

(2) This chapter shall not apply to a volunteer working in any of the settings described in paragraph (1) if his or her work is performed solely under the supervision of the entity, school, or institution.

(d) A marriage and family therapist licensed under this chapter is a licentiate for purposes of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 805, and thus is a health care practitioner subject to the provisions of Section 2290.5 pursuant to subdivision (b) of that section.

(e) Notwithstanding subdivisions (b) and (c), all persons registered as interns or licensed under this chapter shall not be exempt from this chapter or the jurisdiction of the board.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 384, Sec. 1. (SB 363) Effective January 1, 2012.)

4980.02.
  

For the purposes of this chapter, the practice of marriage and family therapy shall mean that service performed with individuals, couples, or groups wherein interpersonal relationships are examined for the purpose of achieving more adequate, satisfying, and productive marriage and family adjustments. This practice includes relationship and premarriage counseling.

The application of marriage and family therapy principles and methods includes, but is not limited to, the use of applied psychotherapeutic techniques, to enable individuals to mature and grow within marriage and the family, the provision of explanations and interpretations of the psychosexual and psychosocial aspects of relationships, and the use, application, and integration of the coursework and training required by Sections 4980.36, 4980.37, and 4980.41, as applicable.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 26, Sec. 2. (SB 33) Effective January 1, 2010.)

4980.03.
  

(a) “Board,” as used in this chapter, means the Board of Behavioral Sciences.

(b) “Intern,” as used in this chapter, means an unlicensed person who has earned his or her master’s or doctoral degree qualifying him or her for licensure and is registered with the board.

(c) “Trainee,” as used in this chapter, means an unlicensed person who is currently enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program, as specified in Sections 4980.36 and 4980.37, that is designed to qualify him or her for licensure under this chapter, and who has completed no less than 12 semester units or 18 quarter units of coursework in any qualifying degree program.

(d) “Applicant,” as used in this chapter, means an unlicensed person who has completed a master’s or doctoral degree program, as specified in Sections 4980.36 and 4980.37, and whose application for registration as an intern is pending, or an unlicensed person who has completed the requirements for licensure as specified in this chapter, is no longer registered with the board as an intern, and is currently in the examination process.

(e) “Advertise,” as used in this chapter, includes, but is not limited to, any public communication, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 651, the issuance of any card, sign, or device to any person, or the causing, permitting, or allowing of any sign or marking on, or in, any building or structure, or in any newspaper or magazine or in any directory, or any printed matter whatsoever, with or without any limiting qualification. Signs within religious buildings or notices in church bulletins mailed to a congregation shall not be construed as advertising within the meaning of this chapter.

(f) “Experience,” as used in this chapter, means experience in interpersonal relationships, psychotherapy, marriage and family therapy, direct counseling, and nonclinical practice that satisfies the requirements for licensure as a marriage and family therapist pursuant to Section 4980.40.

(g) “Supervisor,” as used in this chapter, means an individual who meets all of the following requirements:

(1) Has been licensed by a state regulatory agency for at least two years as a marriage and family therapist, licensed clinical social worker, licensed professional clinical counselor, licensed psychologist, or licensed physician certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

(2) If a licensed professional clinical counselor, the individual shall meet the additional training and education requirements specified in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 4999.20.

(3) Has not provided therapeutic services to the trainee or intern.

(4) Has a current and valid license that is not under suspension or probation.

(5) Complies with supervision requirements established by this chapter and by board regulations.

(h) “Client centered advocacy,” as used in this chapter, includes, but is not limited to, researching, identifying, and accessing resources, or other activities, related to obtaining or providing services and supports for clients or groups of clients receiving psychotherapy or counseling services.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 262, Sec. 1. (SB 620) Effective January 1, 2016.)

4980.04.
  

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Act.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 799, Sec. 24. (SB 1575) Effective January 1, 2013.)

4980.08.
  

(a) The title “licensed marriage, family and child counselor” or “marriage, family and child counselor” is hereby renamed “licensed marriage and family therapist” or “marriage and family therapist,” respectively. Any reference in any statute or regulation to a “licensed marriage, family and child counselor” or “marriage, family and child counselor” shall be deemed a reference to a “licensed marriage and family therapist” or “marriage and family therapist.”

(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to expand or constrict the scope of practice of a person licensed pursuant to this chapter.

(c) This section shall become operative July 1, 1999.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 108, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1999. Section operative July 1, 1999, by its own provisions.)

4980.09.
  

(a) (1) The title “marriage and family therapist intern” or “marriage and family therapist registered intern” is hereby renamed “associate marriage and family therapist” or “registered associate marriage and family therapist,” respectively. Any reference in statute or regulation to a “marriage and family therapist intern” or “marriage and family therapist registered intern” shall be deemed a reference to an “associate marriage and family therapist” or “registered associate marriage and family therapist.”

(2) Any reference in this chapter to the term “intern” means “associate.” Any reference in statute or regulation to the abbreviation “MFTI” means an “AMFT.”

(b) This section shall not be construed to expand or constrict the scope of practice of a person licensed or registered pursuant to this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 573, Sec. 4. (SB 800) Effective January 1, 2018.)

4980.10.
  

A person engages in the practice of marriage and family therapy when he or she performs or offers to perform or holds himself or herself out as able to perform this service for remuneration in any form, including donations.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 148, Sec. 1. (SB 274) Effective August 1, 2011.)

4980.30.
  

Except as otherwise provided herein, a person desiring to practice and to advertise the performance of marriage and family therapy services shall apply to the board for a license, pay the license fee required by this chapter, and obtain a license from the board.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 308, Sec. 63. (SB 819) Effective January 1, 2010.)

4980.31.
  

A licensee shall display his or her license in a conspicuous place in the licensee’s primary place of practice.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 879, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1999.)

4980.34.
  

It is the intent of the Legislature that the board employ its resources for each and all of the following functions:

(a) The licensing of marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, professional clinical counselors, and educational psychologists.

(b) The development and administration of licensing examinations and examination procedures, as specified, consistent with prevailing standards for the validation and use of licensing and certification tests. Examinations shall measure knowledge and abilities demonstrably important to the safe, effective practice of the profession.

(c) Enforcement of laws designed to protect the public from incompetent, unethical, or unprofessional practitioners.

(d) Consumer education.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 799, Sec. 25. (SB 1575) Effective January 1, 2013.)

4980.35.
  

(a) The Legislature acknowledges that the basic obligation to provide a complete and accurate application for a marriage and family therapist license lies with the applicant. At the same time, the Legislature recognizes that an effort should be made by the board to ensure that persons who enter degree programs and supervisorial training settings that meet the requirements of this chapter are enabled to discern the requirements for licensing and to take the examination when they have completed their educational and experience requirements.

(b) In order that the board, the educational institutions, and the supervisors who monitor the education and experience of applicants for licensure may develop greater cooperation, the board shall do all of the following:

(1) Apply a portion of its limited resources specifically to the task of communicating information about its activities, the requirements and qualifications for licensure, and the practice of marriage and family therapy to the relevant educational institutions, supervisors, professional associations, applicants, trainees, interns, and the consuming public.

(2) Develop policies and procedures to assist educational institutions in meeting the curricula requirements of Sections 4980.36 and 4980.37 and any regulations adopted pursuant to those sections, so that those educational institutions may better provide assurance to their students that the curriculum offered to fulfill the educational requirements for licensure will meet those requirements at the time of the student’s application for licensure.

(3) Notify applicants in the application procedure when applications are incomplete, inaccurate, or deficient, and inform applicants of any remediation, reconsideration, or appeal procedures that may be applicable.

(4) Undertake, or cause to be undertaken, further comprehensive review, in consultation with educational institutions, professional associations, supervisors, interns, and trainees, of the supervision of interns and trainees, which shall include, but not be limited to, the following, and shall propose regulations regarding the supervision of interns and trainees which may include, but not be limited to, the following:

(A) Supervisor qualifications.

(B) Continuing education requirements of supervisors.

(C) Registration or licensing of supervisors, or both.

(D) Responsibilities of supervisors in general.

(E) The board’s authority in cases of noncompliance or negligence by supervisors.

(F) The intern’s and trainee’s need for guidance in selecting well-balanced and high quality professional training opportunities within his or her community.

(G) The role of the supervisor in advising and encouraging his or her intern or trainee regarding the necessity or value and appropriateness of the intern or trainee engaging in personal psychotherapy, so as to enable the intern or trainee to become a more competent marriage and family therapist.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 26, Sec. 4. (SB 33) Effective January 1, 2010.)

4980.36.
  

(a) This section shall apply to the following:

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

(b) To qualify for a license or registration, applicants shall possess a doctoral or master’s degree meeting the requirements of this section in marriage, family, and child counseling, marriage and family therapy, couple and family therapy, psychology, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or counseling with an emphasis in either marriage, family, and child counseling or marriage and family therapy, obtained from a school, college, or university approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, or accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, or a regional or national institutional accrediting agency that is recognized by the United States Department of Education. The board has the authority to make the final determination as to whether a degree meets all requirements, including, but not limited to, course requirements, regardless of accreditation or approval.

(c) A doctoral or master’s degree program that qualifies for licensure or registration shall do the following:

(1) Integrate all of the following throughout its curriculum:

(A) Marriage and family therapy principles.

(B) The principles of mental health recovery-oriented care and methods of service delivery in recovery-oriented practice environments, among others.

(C) An understanding of various cultures and the social and psychological implications of socioeconomic position, and an understanding of how poverty and social stress impact an individual’s mental health and recovery.

(2) Allow for innovation and individuality in the education of marriage and family therapists.

(3) Encourage students to develop the personal qualities that are intimately related to effective practice, including, but not limited to, integrity, sensitivity, flexibility, insight, compassion, and personal presence.

(4) Permit an emphasis or specialization that may address any one or more of the unique and complex array of human problems, symptoms, and needs of Californians served by marriage and family therapists.

(5) Provide students with the opportunity 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.

(d) The degree described in subdivision (b) shall contain no less than 60 semester or 90 quarter units of instruction that includes, but is not limited to, the following requirements:

(1) Both of the following:

(A) No less than 12 semester or 18 quarter units of coursework in theories, principles, and methods of a variety of psychotherapeutic orientations directly related to marriage and family therapy and marital and family systems approaches to treatment and how these theories can be applied therapeutically with individuals, couples, families, adults, including elder adults, children, adolescents, and groups to improve, restore, or maintain healthy relationships.

(B) Practicum that involves direct client contact, as follows:

(i) A minimum of six semester or nine quarter units of practicum in a supervised clinical placement that provides supervised fieldwork experience.

(ii) A minimum of 150 hours of face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups.

(iii) A student must be enrolled in a practicum course while counseling clients, except as specified in subdivision (c) of Section 4980.42.

(iv) The practicum shall provide training in all of the following areas:

(I) Applied use of theory and psychotherapeutic techniques.

(II) Assessment, diagnosis, and prognosis.

(III) Treatment of individuals and premarital, couple, family, and child relationships, including trauma and abuse, dysfunctions, healthy functioning, health promotion, illness prevention, and working with families.

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

(V) How to connect people with resources that deliver the quality of services and support needed in the community.

(v) Educational institutions are encouraged to design the practicum required by this subparagraph to include marriage and family therapy experience in low income and multicultural mental health settings.

(vi) In addition to the 150 hours required in clause (ii), 75 hours of either of the following, or a combination thereof:

(I) Client centered advocacy, as defined in Section 4980.03.

(II) Face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups.

(2) Instruction in all of the following:

(A) Diagnosis, assessment, prognosis, and treatment of mental disorders, including severe mental disorders, evidence-based practices, psychological testing, psychopharmacology, and promising mental health practices that are evaluated in peer reviewed literature.

(B) Developmental issues from infancy to old age, including instruction in all of the following areas:

(i) The effects of developmental issues on individuals, couples, and family relationships.

(ii) The psychological, psychotherapeutic, and health implications of developmental issues and their effects.

(iii) Aging and its biological, social, cognitive, and psychological aspects. This coursework shall include instruction on the assessment and reporting of, as well as treatment related to, elder and dependent adult abuse and neglect.

(iv) A variety of cultural understandings of human development.

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

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

(vii) The understanding of the impact that personal and social insecurity, social stress, low educational levels, inadequate housing, and malnutrition have on human development.

(C) The broad range of matters and life events that may arise within marriage and family relationships and within a variety of California cultures, including instruction in all of the following:

(i) 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.

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

(iii) Cultural factors relevant to abuse of partners and family members.

(iv) Childbirth, child rearing, parenting, and stepparenting.

(v) Marriage, divorce, and blended families.

(vi) Long-term care.

(vii) End of life and grief.

(viii) Poverty and deprivation.

(ix) Financial and social stress.

(x) Effects of trauma.

(xi) The psychological, psychotherapeutic, community, and health implications of the matters and life events described in clauses (i) to (x), inclusive.

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

(E) 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.

(F) The effects of socioeconomic status on treatment and available resources.

(G) Resilience, including the personal and community qualities that enable persons to cope with adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or other stresses.

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

(I) Substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, and addiction, including, but not limited to, instruction in all of the following:

(i) The definition of substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, and addiction. For purposes of this subparagraph, “co-occurring disorders” means a mental illness and substance abuse diagnosis occurring simultaneously in an individual.

(ii) Medical aspects of substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders.

(iii) The effects of psychoactive drug use.

(iv) Current theories of the etiology of substance abuse and addiction.

(v) The role of persons and systems that support or compound substance abuse and addiction.

(vi) Major approaches to identification, evaluation, and treatment of substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, and addiction, including, but not limited to, best practices.

(vii) Legal aspects of substance abuse.

(viii) Populations at risk with regard to substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders.

(ix) Community resources offering screening, assessment, treatment, and followup for the affected person and family.

(x) Recognition of substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, and addiction, and appropriate referral.

(xi) The prevention of substance use disorders and addiction.

(J) California law and professional ethics for marriage and family therapists, including instruction in all of the following areas of study:

(i) Contemporary professional ethics and statutory, regulatory, and decisional laws that delineate the scope of practice of marriage and family therapy.

(ii) The therapeutic, clinical, and practical considerations involved in the legal and ethical practice of marriage and family therapy, including, but not limited to, family law.

(iii) The current legal patterns and trends in the mental health professions.

(iv) The psychotherapist-patient privilege, confidentiality, the patient dangerous to self or others, and the treatment of minors with and without parental consent.

(v) A recognition and exploration of the relationship between a practitioner’s sense of self and human values and his or her professional behavior and ethics.

(vi) Differences in legal and ethical standards for different types of work settings.

(vii) Licensing law and licensing process.

(e) The degree described in subdivision (b) shall, in addition to meeting the requirements of subdivision (d), include instruction in case management, systems of care for the severely mentally ill, public and private services and supports available for the severely mentally ill, community resources for persons with mental illness and for victims of abuse, disaster and trauma response, advocacy for the severely mentally ill, and collaborative treatment. This instruction may be provided either in credit level coursework or through extension programs offered by the degree-granting institution.

(f) The changes made to law by this section are intended to improve the educational qualifications for licensure in order to better prepare future licentiates for practice, and are not intended to expand or restrict the scope of practice for marriage and family therapists.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 489, Sec. 29. (SB 1478) Effective January 1, 2017.)

4980.37.
  

(a) This section shall apply to applicants for licensure or registration who begin graduate study before August 1, 2012, and complete that study on or before December 31, 2018. Those applicants may alternatively qualify under paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 4980.36.

(b) To qualify for a license or registration, applicants shall possess a doctor’s or master’s degree in marriage, family, and child counseling, marriage and family therapy, couple and family therapy, psychology, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or counseling with an emphasis in either marriage, family, and child counseling or marriage and family therapy, obtained from a school, college, or university accredited by a regional or national institutional accrediting agency that is recognized by the United States Department of Education or approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. The board has the authority to make the final determination as to whether a degree meets all requirements, including, but not limited to, course requirements, regardless of accreditation or approval. In order to qualify for licensure pursuant to this section, a doctor’s or master’s degree program shall be a single, integrated program primarily designed to train marriage and family therapists and shall contain no less than 48 semester or 72 quarter units of instruction. This instruction shall include no less than 12 semester units or 18 quarter units of coursework in the areas of marriage, family, and child counseling, and marital and family systems approaches to treatment. The coursework shall include all of the following areas:

(1) The salient theories of a variety of psychotherapeutic orientations directly related to marriage and family therapy, and marital and family systems approaches to treatment.

(2) Theories of marriage and family therapy and how they can be utilized in order to intervene therapeutically with couples, families, adults, children, and groups.

(3) Developmental issues and life events from infancy to old age and their effect on individuals, couples, and family relationships. This may include coursework that focuses on specific family life events and the psychological, psychotherapeutic, and health implications that arise within couples and families, including, but not limited to, childbirth, child rearing, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, marriage, divorce, blended families, stepparenting, abuse and neglect of older and dependent adults, and geropsychology.

(4) A variety of approaches to the treatment of children.

The board shall, by regulation, set forth the subjects of instruction required in this subdivision.

(c) (1) In addition to the 12 semester or 18 quarter units of coursework specified in subdivision (b), the doctor’s or master’s degree program shall contain not less than six semester or nine quarter units of supervised practicum in applied psychotherapeutic technique, assessments, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of premarital, couple, family, and child relationships, including dysfunctions, healthy functioning, health promotion, and illness prevention, in a supervised clinical placement that provides supervised fieldwork experience within the scope of practice of a marriage and family therapist.

(2) For applicants who enrolled in a degree program on or after January 1, 1995, the practicum shall include a minimum of 150 hours of face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups.

(3) The practicum hours shall be considered as part of the 48 semester or 72 quarter unit requirement.

(d) As an alternative to meeting the qualifications specified in subdivision (b), the board shall accept as equivalent degrees those master’s or doctor’s degrees granted by educational institutions whose degree program is approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education.

(e) In order to provide an integrated course of study and appropriate professional training, while allowing for innovation and individuality in the education of marriage and family therapists, a degree program that meets the educational qualifications for licensure or registration under this section shall do all of the following:

(1) Provide an integrated course of study that trains students generally in the diagnosis, assessment, prognosis, and treatment of mental disorders.

(2) Prepare students to be familiar with the broad range of matters that may arise within marriage and family relationships.

(3) Train students specifically in the application of marriage and family relationship counseling principles and methods.

(4) Encourage students to develop those personal qualities that are intimately related to the counseling situation such as integrity, sensitivity, flexibility, insight, compassion, and personal presence.

(5) Teach students a variety of effective psychotherapeutic techniques and modalities that may be utilized to improve, restore, or maintain healthy individual, couple, and family relationships.

(6) Permit an emphasis or specialization that may address any one or more of the unique and complex array of human problems, symptoms, and needs of Californians served by marriage and family therapists.

(7) Prepare students to be familiar with cross-cultural mores and values, including a familiarity with the wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds common among California’s population, including, but not limited to, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans.

(f) Educational institutions are encouraged to design the practicum required by this section to include marriage and family therapy experience in low income and multicultural mental health settings.

(g) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2019, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2019, deletes or extends that date.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 489, Sec. 30. (SB 1478) Effective January 1, 2017. Repealed as of January 1, 2019, by its own provisions.)

4980.38.
  

(a) Each educational institution preparing applicants to qualify for registration or licensure shall notify each of its students by means of its public documents or otherwise in writing that its degree program is designed to meet the requirements of Section 4980.36 or 4980.37, and shall certify to the board that it has so notified its students.

(b) An applicant for registration or licensure shall submit to the board a certification by the applicant’s educational institution that the institution’s required curriculum for graduation and any associated coursework completed by the applicant does one of the following:

(1) Meets all of the requirements set forth in Section 4980.36.

(2) Meets all of the requirements set forth in Section 4980.37 and paragraphs (4) and (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 4980.41.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 26, Sec. 7. (SB 33) Effective January 1, 2010.)

4980.39.
  

(a) An applicant for licensure whose education qualifies him or her under Section 4980.37 shall complete, as a condition of licensure, a minimum of 10 contact hours of coursework in aging and long-term care, which may include, but is not limited to, the biological, social, and psychological aspects of aging. On and after January 1, 2012, this coursework shall include instruction on the assessment and reporting of, as well as treatment related to, elder and dependent adult abuse and neglect.

(b) Coursework taken in fulfillment of other educational requirements for licensure pursuant to this chapter, or in a separate course of study, may, at the discretion of the board, fulfill the requirements of this section.

(c) In order to satisfy the coursework requirement of this section, the applicant shall submit to the board a certification from the chief academic officer of the educational institution from which the applicant graduated stating that the coursework required by this section is included within the institution’s required curriculum for graduation, or within the coursework, that was completed by the applicant.

(d) The board shall not issue a license to the applicant until the applicant has met the requirements of this section.

(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2019, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2019, deletes or extends that date.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 552, Sec. 5. (AB 2435) Effective January 1, 2011. Repealed as of January 1, 2019, by its own provisions.)

4980.395.
  

(a) A licensee who began graduate study prior to January 1, 2004, shall complete a three-hour continuing education course in aging and long-term care during his or her first renewal period after the operative date of this section and shall submit to the board evidence, acceptable to the board, of the person’s satisfactory completion of the course.

(b) The course shall include, but is not limited to, the biological, social, and psychological aspects of aging.

(c) A person seeking to meet the requirements of subdivision (a) of this section may submit to the board a certificate evidencing completion of equivalent courses in aging and long-term care taken prior to the operative date of this section, or proof of equivalent teaching or practice experience. The board, in its discretion, may accept that certification as meeting the requirements of this section.

(d) The board may not renew an applicant’s license until the applicant has met the requirements of this section.

(e) Continuing education courses taken pursuant to this section shall be applied to the 36 hours of approved continuing education required in Section 4980.54.

(f) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2005.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 695, Sec. 44. Effective January 1, 2005.)

4980.397.
  

(a) Effective January 1, 2016, an applicant for licensure as a marriage and family therapist shall pass the following two examinations as prescribed by the board:

(1) A California law and ethics examination.

(2) A clinical examination.

(b) Upon registration with the board, a marriage and family therapist intern shall, within the first year of registration, take an examination on California law and ethics.

(c) A registrant may take the clinical examination only upon meeting all of the following requirements:

(1) Completion of all required supervised work experience.

(2) Completion of all education requirements.

(3) Passage of the California law and ethics examination.

(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2016.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 473, Sec. 22. (SB 821) Effective January 1, 2014. Section initially operative January 1, 2016, by its own provisions.)

4980.398.
  

(a) Each applicant who had previously taken and passed the standard written examination but had not passed the clinical vignette examination shall also obtain a passing score on the clinical examination in order to be eligible for licensure.

(b) An applicant who had previously failed to obtain a passing score on the standard written examination shall obtain a passing score on the California law and ethics examination and the clinical examination.

(c) An applicant who had obtained eligibility for the standard written examination shall take the California law and ethics examination and the clinical examination.

(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2016.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 473, Sec. 23. (SB 821) Effective January 1, 2014. Section initially operative January 1, 2016, by its own provisions.)

4980.399.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 4980.398, each applicant and registrant shall obtain a passing score on a board-administered California law and ethics examination in order to qualify for licensure.

(b) A registrant shall participate in a board-administered California law and ethics examination prior to his or her registration renewal.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), an applicant who holds a registration eligible for renewal, with an expiration date no later than June 30, 2016, and who applies for renewal of that registration between January 1, 2016, and June 30, 2016, shall, if eligible, be allowed to renew the registration without first participating in the California law and ethics examination. These applicants shall participate in the California law and ethics examination in the next renewal cycle, and shall pass the examination prior to licensure or issuance of a subsequent registration number, as specified in this section.

(d) If an applicant fails the California law and ethics examination, he or she may retake the examination, upon payment of the required fees, without further application except as provided in subdivision (e).

(e) If a registrant fails to obtain a passing score on the California law and ethics examination described in subdivision (a) within his or her renewal period on or after the operative date of this section, he or she shall complete, at a minimum, a 12-hour course in California law and ethics in order to be eligible to participate in the California law and ethics examination. Registrants shall only take the 12-hour California law and ethics course once during a renewal period. The 12-hour law and ethics course required by this section shall be taken through a continuing education provider as specified by the board by regulation, a county, state or governmental entity, or a college or university.

(f) The board shall not issue a subsequent registration number unless the registrant has passed the California law and ethics examination.

(g) Notwithstanding subdivision (f), an applicant who holds or has held a registration, with an expiration date no later than January 1, 2017, and who applies for a subsequent registration number between January 1, 2016, and January 1, 2017, shall, if eligible, be allowed to obtain the subsequent registration number without first passing the California law and ethics examination. These applicants shall pass the California law and ethics examination during the next renewal period or prior to licensure, whichever occurs first.

(h) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2016.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 426, Sec. 38. (SB 800) Effective January 1, 2016.)

4980.40.
  

To qualify for a license, an applicant shall have all of the following qualifications:

(a) Meet the educational requirements of Section 4980.36 or both Sections 4980.37 and 4980.41, as applicable.

(b) Be at least 18 years of age.

(c) Have at least two years of experience that meet the requirements of Section 4980.43.

(d) Effective January 1, 2016, successfully pass a California law and ethics examination and a clinical examination. An applicant who has successfully passed a previously administered written examination may be subsequently required to take and pass another written examination.

(e) Not have committed acts or crimes constituting grounds for denial of licensure under Section 480. The board shall not issue a registration or license to any person who has been convicted of a crime in this or another state or in a territory of the United States that involves sexual abuse of children or who is required to register pursuant to Section 290 of the Penal Code or the equivalent in another state or territory.

(f) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2016.

(Amended (as amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 799, Sec. 30) by Stats. 2013, Ch. 473, Sec. 26. (SB 821) Effective January 1, 2014. Section operative January 1, 2016, by its own provisions.)

4980.41.
  

(a) An applicant for licensure whose education qualifies him or her under Section 4980.37 shall complete the following coursework or training in order to be eligible to sit for the licensing examinations as specified in subdivision (d) of Section 4980.40:

(1) A two semester or three quarter unit course in California law and professional ethics for marriage and family therapists, which shall include, but not be limited to, the following areas of study:

(A) Contemporary professional ethics and statutory, regulatory, and decisional laws that delineate the profession’s scope of practice.

(B) The therapeutic, clinical, and practical considerations involved in the legal and ethical practice of marriage and family therapy, including family law.

(C) The current legal patterns and trends in the mental health profession.

(D) The psychotherapist-patient privilege, confidentiality, the patient dangerous to self or others, and the treatment of minors with and without parental consent.

(E) A recognition and exploration of the relationship between a practitioner’s sense of self and human values and his or her professional behavior and ethics.

This course may be considered as part of the 48 semester or 72 quarter unit requirements contained in Section 4980.37.

(2) 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.

(3) A minimum of 10 contact hours of training or coursework in human sexuality as specified in Section 25, and any regulations promulgated thereunder. When coursework in a master’s or doctor’s degree program is acquired to satisfy this requirement, it shall be considered as part of the 48 semester or 72 quarter unit requirement contained in Section 4980.37.

(4) For persons who began graduate study on or after January 1, 1986, a master’s or doctor’s degree qualifying for licensure shall include specific instruction in alcoholism and other chemical substance dependency as specified by regulation. When coursework in a master’s or doctor’s degree program is acquired to satisfy this requirement, it shall be considered as part of the 48 semester or 72 quarter unit requirement contained in Section 4980.37. Coursework required under this paragraph may be satisfactory if taken either in fulfillment of other educational requirements for licensure or in a separate course. The applicant may satisfy this requirement by successfully completing this coursework from a master’s or doctoral degree program at an accredited or approved institution, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 4980.37, or from a board-accepted provider of continuing education, as described in Section 4980.54.

(5) For persons who began graduate study during the period commencing on January 1, 1995, and ending on December 31, 2003, a master’s or doctor’s degree qualifying for licensure shall include coursework in spousal or partner abuse assessment, detection, and intervention. For persons who began graduate study on or after January 1, 2004, a master’s or doctor’s degree qualifying for licensure shall include a minimum of 15 contact hours of coursework in spousal or partner abuse assessment, detection, and intervention strategies, including knowledge of community resources, cultural factors, and same gender abuse dynamics. Coursework required under this paragraph may be satisfactory if taken either in fulfillment of other educational requirements for licensure or in a separate course. The applicant may satisfy this requirement by successfully completing this coursework from a master’s or doctoral degree program at an accredited or approved institution, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 4980.37, or from a board-accepted provider of continuing education, as described in Section 4980.54.

(6) For persons who began graduate study on or after January 1, 2001, an applicant shall complete a minimum of a two semester or three quarter unit survey course in psychological testing. When coursework in a master’s or doctor’s degree program is acquired to satisfy this requirement, it may be considered as part of the 48 semester or 72 quarter unit requirement of Section 4980.37.

(7) For persons who began graduate study on or after January 1, 2001, an applicant shall complete a minimum of a two semester or three quarter unit survey course in psychopharmacology. When coursework in a master’s or doctor’s degree program is acquired to satisfy this requirement, it may be considered as part of the 48 semester or 72 quarter unit requirement of Section 4980.37.

(8) The requirements added by paragraphs (6) and (7) are intended to improve the educational qualifications for licensure in order to better prepare future licentiates for practice and are not intended in any way to expand or restrict the scope of practice for licensed marriage and family therapists.

(b) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2019, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2019, deletes or extends that date.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 316, Sec. 19. (SB 1466) Effective January 1, 2015. Repealed as of January 1, 2019.)

4980.42.
  

(a) Trainees performing services in any work setting specified in subdivision (e) of Section 4980.43 may perform those activities and services as a trainee, provided that the activities and services constitute part of the trainee’s supervised course of study and that the person is designated by the title “trainee.”

(b) Trainees subject to Section 4980.37 may gain hours of experience and counsel clients outside of the required practicum. This subdivision shall apply to hours of experience gained and client counseling provided on and after January 1, 2012.

(c) Trainees subject to Section 4980.36 may gain hours of experience outside of the required practicum but must be enrolled in a practicum course to counsel clients. Trainees subject to Section 4980.36 may counsel clients while not enrolled in a practicum course if the period of lapsed enrollment is less than 90 calendar days, and if that period is immediately preceded by enrollment in a practicum course and immediately followed by enrollment in a practicum course or completion of the degree program.

(d) All hours of experience gained pursuant to subdivisions (b) and (c) shall be subject to the other requirements of this chapter.

(e) All hours of experience gained as a trainee shall be coordinated between the school and the site where the hours are being accrued. The school shall approve each site and shall have a written agreement with each site that details each party’s responsibilities, including the methods by which supervision shall be provided. The agreement shall provide for regular progress reports and evaluations of the student’s performance at the site. If an applicant has gained hours of experience while enrolled in an institution other than the one that confers the qualifying degree, it shall be the applicant’s responsibility to provide to the board satisfactory evidence that those hours of trainee experience were gained in compliance with this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 262, Sec. 2. (SB 620) Effective January 1, 2016.)

4980.43.
  

(a) To qualify for licensure as specified in Section 4980.40, each applicant shall complete experience related to the practice of marriage and family therapy under a supervisor who meets the qualifications set forth in Section 4980.03. The experience shall comply with the following:

(1) A minimum of 3,000 hours of supervised experience completed during a period of at least 104 weeks.

(2) A maximum of 40 hours in any seven consecutive days.

(3) A minimum of 1,700 hours obtained after the qualifying master’s or doctoral degree was awarded.

(4) A maximum of 1,300 hours obtained prior to the award date of the qualifying master’s or doctoral degree.

(5) A maximum of 750 hours of counseling and direct supervisor contact prior to the award date of the qualifying master’s or doctoral degree.

(6) No hours of experience may be gained prior to completing either 12 semester units or 18 quarter units of graduate instruction.

(7) No hours of experience may be gained more than six years prior to the date the application for examination eligibility was filed, except that up to 500 hours of clinical experience gained in the supervised practicum required by subdivision (c) of Section 4980.37 and subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 4980.36 shall be exempt from this six-year requirement.

(8) A minimum of 1,750 hours of direct counseling with individuals, groups, couples, or families, that includes not less than 500 total hours of experience in diagnosing and treating couples, families, and children.

(9) A maximum of 1,250 hours of nonclinical practice, consisting of direct supervisor contact, administering and evaluating psychological tests, writing clinical reports, writing progress or process notes, client centered advocacy, and workshops, seminars, training sessions, or conferences directly related to marriage and family therapy that have been approved by the applicant’s supervisor.

(10) It is anticipated and encouraged that hours of experience will include working with elders and dependent adults who have physical or mental limitations that restrict their ability to carry out normal activities or protect their rights.

This subdivision shall only apply to hours gained on and after January 1, 2010.

(b) An individual who submits an application for examination eligibility between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2020, may alternatively qualify under the experience requirements that were in place on January 1, 2015.

(c) All applicants, trainees, and registrants shall be at all times under the supervision of a supervisor who shall be responsible for ensuring that the extent, kind, and quality of counseling performed is consistent with the training and experience of the person being supervised, and who shall be responsible to the board for compliance with all laws, rules, and regulations governing the practice of marriage and family therapy. Supervised experience shall be gained by an intern or trainee only as an employee or as a volunteer. The requirements of this chapter regarding gaining hours of experience and supervision are applicable equally to employees and volunteers. Associates and trainees shall not be employed as independent contractors, and shall not gain experience for work performed as an independent contractor, reported on an IRS Form 1099, or both.

(1) If employed, an intern shall provide the board with copies of the corresponding W-2 tax forms for each year of experience claimed upon application for licensure.

(2) If volunteering, an intern shall provide the board with a letter from his or her employer verifying the intern’s employment as a volunteer upon application for licensure.

(d) Except for experience gained by attending workshops, seminars, training sessions, or conferences as described in paragraph (9) of subdivision (a), supervision shall include at least one hour of direct supervisor contact in each week for which experience is credited in each work setting, as specified:

(1) A trainee shall receive an average of at least one hour of direct supervisor contact for every five hours of client contact in each setting. No more than six hours of supervision, whether individual or group, shall be credited during any single week.

(2) An individual supervised after being granted a qualifying degree shall receive at least one additional hour of direct supervisor contact for every week in which more than 10 hours of client contact is gained in each setting. No more than six hours of supervision, whether individual or group, shall be credited during any single week.

(3) For purposes of this section, “one hour of direct supervisor contact” means one hour per week of face-to-face contact on an individual basis or two hours per week of face-to-face contact in a group.

(4) Direct supervisor contact shall occur within the same week as the hours claimed.

(5) Direct supervisor contact provided in a group shall be provided in a group of not more than eight supervisees and in segments lasting no less than one continuous hour.

(6) Notwithstanding paragraph (3), an intern working in a governmental entity, a school, a college, or a university, or an institution that is both nonprofit and charitable may obtain the required weekly direct supervisor contact via two-way, real-time videoconferencing. The supervisor shall be responsible for ensuring that client confidentiality is upheld.

(7) All experience gained by a trainee shall be monitored by the supervisor as specified by regulation.

(8) The six hours of supervision that may be credited during any single week pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) shall apply to supervision hours gained on or after January 1, 2009.

(e) (1) A trainee may be credited with supervised experience completed in any setting that meets all of the following:

(A) Lawfully and regularly provides mental health counseling or psychotherapy.

(B) Provides oversight to ensure that the trainee’s work at the setting meets the experience and supervision requirements set forth in this chapter and is within the scope of practice for the profession as defined in Section 4980.02.

(C) Is not a private practice owned by a licensed marriage and family therapist, a licensed professional clinical counselor, a licensed psychologist, a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed physician and surgeon, or a professional corporation of any of those licensed professions.

(2) Experience may be gained by the trainee solely as part of the position for which the trainee volunteers or is employed.

(f) (1) An intern may be credited with supervised experience completed in any setting that meets both of the following:

(A) Lawfully and regularly provides mental health counseling or psychotherapy.

(B) Provides oversight to ensure that the intern’s work at the setting meets the experience and supervision requirements set forth in this chapter and is within the scope of practice for the profession as defined in Section 4980.02.

(2) An applicant shall not be employed or volunteer in a private practice, as defined in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (e), until registered as an intern.

(3) While an intern may be either a paid employee or a volunteer, employers are encouraged to provide fair remuneration to interns.

(4) Except for periods of time during a supervisor’s vacation or sick leave, an intern who is employed or volunteering in private practice shall be under the direct supervision of a licensee that has satisfied subdivision (g) of Section 4980.03. The supervising licensee shall either be employed by and practice at the same site as the intern’s employer, or shall be an owner or shareholder of the private practice. Alternative supervision may be arranged during a supervisor’s vacation or sick leave if the supervision meets the requirements of this section.

(5) Experience may be gained by the intern solely as part of the position for which the intern volunteers or is employed.

(g) Except as provided in subdivision (h), all persons shall register with the board as an intern to be credited for postdegree hours of supervised experience gained toward licensure.

(h) Postdegree hours of experience shall be credited toward licensure so long as the applicant applies for the intern registration within 90 days of the granting of the qualifying master’s or doctoral degree and is thereafter granted the intern registration by the board. An applicant shall not be employed or volunteer in a private practice until registered as an intern by the board.

(i) Trainees, interns, and applicants shall not receive any remuneration from patients or clients, and shall only be paid by their employers.

(j) Trainees, interns, and applicants shall only perform services at the place where their employers regularly conduct business, which may include performing services at other locations, so long as the services are performed under the direction and control of their employer and supervisor, and in compliance with the laws and regulations pertaining to supervision. For purposes of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 2290.5, interns and trainees working under licensed supervision, consistent with subdivision (c), may provide services via telehealth within the scope authorized by this chapter and in accordance with any regulations governing the use of telehealth promulgated by the board. Trainees and interns shall have no proprietary interest in their employers’ businesses and shall not lease or rent space, pay for furnishings, equipment, or supplies, or in any other way pay for the obligations of their employers.

(k) Trainees, interns, or applicants who provide volunteered services or other services, and who receive no more than a total, from all work settings, of five hundred dollars ($500) per month as reimbursement for expenses actually incurred by those trainees, interns, or applicants for services rendered in any lawful work setting other than a private practice shall be considered employees and not independent contractors. The board may audit applicants who receive reimbursement for expenses, and the applicants shall have the burden of demonstrating that the payments received were for reimbursement of expenses actually incurred.

(l) Each educational institution preparing applicants for licensure pursuant to this chapter shall consider requiring, and shall encourage, its students to undergo individual, marital or conjoint, family, or group counseling or psychotherapy, as appropriate. Each supervisor shall consider, advise, and encourage his or her interns and trainees regarding the advisability of undertaking individual, marital or conjoint, family, or group counseling or psychotherapy, as appropriate. Insofar as it is deemed appropriate and is desired by the applicant, the educational institution and supervisors are encouraged to assist the applicant in locating that counseling or psychotherapy at a reasonable cost.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 489, Sec. 32. (SB 1478) Effective January 1, 2017.)

4980.44.
  

An unlicensed associate marriage and family therapist employed under this chapter shall comply with the following requirements:

(a) Possess, at a minimum, a master’s degree as specified in Section 4980.36 or 4980.37, as applicable.

(b) Register with the board prior to performing any duties, except as otherwise provided in subdivision (h) of Section 4980.43.

(c) Prior to performing any professional services, inform each client or patient that he or she is an unlicensed registered associate marriage and family therapist, provide his or her registration number and the name of his or her employer, and indicate whether he or she is under the supervision of a licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed clinical social worker, licensed professional clinical counselor, licensed psychologist, or a licensed physician and surgeon certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

(d) (1) Any advertisement by or on behalf of a registered associate marriage and family therapist shall include, at a minimum, all of the following information:

(A) That he or she is a registered associate marriage and family therapist.

(B) The associate’s registration number.

(C) The name of his or her employer.

(D) That he or she is supervised by a licensed person.

(2) The abbreviation “AMFT” shall not be used in an advertisement unless the title “registered associate marriage and family therapist” appears in the advertisement.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 573, Sec. 5. (SB 800) Effective January 1, 2018.)

4980.45.
  

(a) A licensed professional in private practice who has satisfied the requirements of subdivision (g) of Section 4980.03 may supervise or employ, at any one time, no more than a total of three individuals registered as a marriage and family therapist intern, clinical counselor intern, or associate clinical social worker in that private practice.

(b) A marriage and family therapy corporation may employ, at any one time, no more than a total of three individuals registered as a marriage and family therapist intern, clinical counselor intern, or associate clinical social worker for each employee or shareholder who has satisfied the requirements of subdivision (g) of Section 4980.03. In no event shall any marriage and family therapy corporation employ, at any one time, more than a total of 15 individuals registered as a marriage and family therapist intern, clinical counselor intern, or associate clinical social worker. In no event shall any supervisor supervise, at any one time, more than a total of three individuals registered as either a marriage and family therapist intern, clinical counselor intern, or associate clinical social worker. Persons who supervise individuals registered as either a marriage and family therapist intern, clinical counselor intern, or associate clinical social worker shall be employed full time by the marriage and family therapy corporation and shall be actively engaged in performing professional services at and for the marriage and family therapy corporation. Employment and supervision within a marriage and family therapy corporation shall be subject to all laws and regulations governing experience and supervision gained in a private practice setting.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 350, Sec. 30. (SB 943) Effective January 1, 2012.)

4980.46.
  

Any licensed marriage and family therapist who conducts a private practice under a fictitious business name shall not use any name that is false, misleading, or deceptive, and shall inform the patient, prior to the commencement of treatment, of the name and license designation of the owner or owners of the practice.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1013, Sec. 25. Effective January 1, 2003.)

4980.48.
  

(a) A trainee shall, prior to performing any professional services, inform each client or patient that he or she is an unlicensed marriage and family therapist trainee, provide the name of his or her employer, and indicate whether he or she is under the supervision of a licensed marriage and family therapist, a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed professional clinical counselor, a licensed psychologist, or a licensed physician certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

(b) Any person that advertises services performed by a trainee shall include the trainee’s name, the supervisor’s license designation or abbreviation, and the supervisor’s license number.

(c) Any advertisement by or on behalf of a marriage and family therapist trainee shall include, at a minimum, all of the following information:

(1) That he or she is a marriage and family therapist trainee.

(2) The name of his or her employer.

(3) That he or she is supervised by a licensed person.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 799, Sec. 33. (SB 1575) Effective January 1, 2013.)

4980.49.
  

(a) A marriage and family therapist shall retain a client’s or patient’s health service records for a minimum of seven years from the date therapy is terminated. If the client or patient is a minor, the client’s or patient’s health service records shall be retained for a minimum of seven years from the date the client or the patient reaches 18 years of age. Health service records may be retained in either a written or an electronic format.

(b) This section shall apply only to the records of a client or patient whose therapy is terminated on or after January 1, 2015.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 312, Sec. 1. (SB 578) Effective January 1, 2015.)

4980.50.
  

Effective January 1, 2016, the following shall apply:

(a) Every applicant who meets the educational and experience requirements and applies for a license as a marriage and family therapist shall be examined by the board. The examinations shall be as set forth in subdivision (d) of Section 4980.40. The examinations shall be given at least twice a year at a time and place and under supervision as the board may determine. The board shall examine the candidate with regard to his or her knowledge and professional skills and his or her judgment in the utilization of appropriate techniques and methods.

(b) The board shall not deny any applicant, who has submitted a complete application for examination, admission to the licensure examinations required by this section if the applicant meets the educational and experience requirements of this chapter, and has not committed any acts or engaged in any conduct that would constitute grounds to deny licensure.

(c) The board shall not deny any applicant, whose application for licensure is complete, admission to the clinical examination, nor shall the board postpone or delay any applicant’s clinical examination or delay informing the candidate of the results of the clinical examination, solely upon the receipt by the board of a complaint alleging acts or conduct that would constitute grounds to deny licensure.

(d) If an applicant for examination who has passed the California law and ethics examination is the subject of a complaint or is under board investigation for acts or conduct that, if proven to be true, would constitute grounds for the board to deny licensure, the board shall permit the applicant to take the clinical examination for licensure, but may withhold the results of the examination or notify the applicant that licensure will not be granted pending completion of the investigation.

(e) Notwithstanding Section 135, the board may deny any applicant who has previously failed either the California law and ethics examination or the clinical examination permission to retake either examination pending completion of the investigation of any complaints against the applicant. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the board from denying an applicant admission to any examination, withholding the results, or refusing to issue a license to any applicant when an accusation or statement of issues has been filed against the applicant pursuant to Sections 11503 and 11504 of the Government Code, respectively, or the applicant has been denied in accordance with subdivision (b) of Section 485.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the board may destroy all examination materials two years following the date of an examination.

(g) Effective January 1, 2016, no applicant shall be eligible to participate in the clinical examination if he or she fails to obtain a passing score on the clinical examination within seven years from his or her initial attempt, unless he or she takes and obtains a passing score on the current version of the California law and ethics examination.

(h) A passing score on the clinical examination shall be accepted by the board for a period of seven years from the date the examination was taken.

(i) An applicant who has qualified pursuant to this chapter shall be issued a license as a marriage and family therapist in the form that the board may deem appropriate.

(j) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2016.

(Amended (as amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 800, Sec. 2) by Stats. 2013, Ch. 473, Sec. 29. (SB 821) Effective January 1, 2014. Section operative January 1, 2016, by its own provisions.)

4980.54.
  

(a) The Legislature recognizes that the education and experience requirements in this chapter constitute only minimal requirements to ensure that an applicant is prepared and qualified to take the licensure examinations as specified in subdivision (d) of Section 4980.40 and, if he or she passes those examinations, to begin practice.

(b) In order to continuously improve the competence of licensed marriage and family therapists and as a model for all psychotherapeutic professions, the Legislature encourages all licensees to regularly engage in continuing education related to the profession or scope of practice as defined in this chapter.

(c) Except as provided in subdivision (e), the board shall not renew any license pursuant to this chapter unless the applicant certifies to the board, on a form prescribed by the board, that he or she has completed not less than 36 hours of approved continuing education in or relevant to the field of marriage and family therapy in the preceding two years, as determined by the board.

(d) The board shall have the right to audit the records of any applicant to verify the completion of the continuing education requirement. Applicants shall maintain records of completion of required continuing education coursework for a minimum of two years and shall make these records available to the board for auditing purposes upon request.

(e) The board may establish exceptions from the continuing education requirements of this section for good cause, as defined by the board.

(f) The continuing education shall be obtained from one of the following sources:

(1) An accredited school or state-approved school that meets the requirements set forth in Section 4980.36 or 4980.37. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as requiring coursework to be offered as part of a regular degree program.

(2) Other continuing education providers, as specified by the board by regulation.

(g) The board shall establish, by regulation, a procedure for identifying acceptable providers of continuing education courses, and all providers of continuing education, as described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (f), shall adhere to procedures established by the board. The board may revoke or deny the right of a provider to offer continuing education coursework pursuant to this section for failure to comply with this section or any regulation adopted pursuant to this section.

(h) Training, education, and coursework by approved providers shall incorporate one or more of the following:

(1) Aspects of the discipline that are fundamental to the understanding or the practice of marriage and family therapy.

(2) Aspects of the discipline of marriage and family therapy in which significant recent developments have occurred.

(3) Aspects of other disciplines that enhance the understanding or the practice of marriage and family therapy.

(i) A system of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists shall include courses directly related to the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of the client population being served.

(j) The board shall, by regulation, fund the administration of this section through continuing education provider fees to be deposited in the Behavioral Sciences Fund. The fees related to the administration of this section shall be sufficient to meet, but shall not exceed, the costs of administering the corresponding provisions of this section. For purposes of this subdivision, a provider of continuing education as described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) shall be deemed to be an approved provider.

(k) The continuing education requirements of this section shall comply fully with the guidelines for mandatory continuing education established by the Department of Consumer Affairs pursuant to Section 166.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 426, Sec. 40. (SB 800) Effective January 1, 2016.)

4980.55.
  

As a model for all therapeutic professions, and to acknowledge respect and regard for the consuming public, all licensed marriage and family therapists are encouraged to provide to each client, at an appropriate time and within the context of the psychotherapeutic relationship, an accurate and informative statement of the therapist’s experience, education, specialities, professional orientation, and any other information deemed appropriate by the licensee.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 316, Sec. 21. (SB 1466) Effective January 1, 2015.)

4980.57.
  

(a) The board shall require a licensee who began graduate study prior to January 1, 2004, to take a continuing education course during his or her first renewal period after the operative date of this section in spousal or partner abuse assessment, detection, and intervention strategies, including community resources, cultural factors, and same gender abuse dynamics. On and after January 1, 2005, the course shall consist of not less than seven hours of training. Equivalent courses in spousal or partner abuse assessment, detection, and intervention strategies taken prior to the operative date of this section or proof of equivalent teaching or practice experience may be submitted to the board and at its discretion, may be accepted in satisfaction of this requirement.

(b) Continuing education courses taken pursuant to this section shall be applied to the 36 hours of approved continuing education required under subdivision (c) of Section 4980.54.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 588, Sec. 61. Effective January 1, 2008.)

4980.60.
  

(a) The board may adopt those rules and regulations as may be necessary to enable it to carry into effect the provisions of this chapter. The adoption, amendment, or repeal of those rules and regulations shall be made in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(b) The board may, by rules or regulations, adopt, amend, or repeal rules of advertising and professional conduct appropriate to the establishment and maintenance of a high standard of integrity in the profession, provided that the rules or regulations are not inconsistent with Section 4982. Every person who holds a license to practice marriage and family therapy shall be governed by the rules of professional conduct.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1013, Sec. 31. Effective January 1, 2003.)

4980.70.
  

Except as provided by Section 159.5, the board may employ whatever additional personnel is necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 1365, Sec. 4.)

4980.72.
  

(a) This section applies to a person who is licensed outside of California and applies for licensure on or after January 1, 2016.

(b) The board may issue a license to a person who, at the time of submitting an application for a license pursuant to this chapter, holds a valid license in good standing issued by a board of marriage counselor examiners, board of marriage and family therapists, or corresponding authority, of any state or country, if all of the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) The applicant’s education is substantially equivalent, as defined in Section 4980.79. The applicant’s degree title need not be identical to that required by Section 4980.36 or 4980.37.

(2) The applicant complies with Section 4980.76, if applicable.

(3) The applicant’s supervised experience is substantially equivalent to that required for a license under this chapter. The board shall consider hours of experience obtained outside of California during the six-year period immediately preceding the date the applicant initially obtained the license described above. If the applicant has less than 3,000 hours of qualifying supervised experience, time actively licensed as a marriage and family therapist shall be accepted at a rate of 100 hours per month, up to a maximum of 1,200 hours, if the applicant’s degree meets the practicum requirement described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 4980.79 without exemptions or remediation.

(4) The applicant passes the California law and ethics examination.

(5) The applicant passes a clinical examination designated by the board. An applicant who obtained his or her license or registration under another jurisdiction may apply for licensure with the board without taking the clinical examination if both of the following conditions are met:

(A) The applicant obtained a passing score on the clinical licensing examination set forth in regulation as accepted by the board.

(B) The applicant’s license or registration in that jurisdiction is active, in good standing at the time of his or her application, and is not revoked, suspended, surrendered, denied, or otherwise restricted or encumbered.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 573, Sec. 6. (SB 800) Effective January 1, 2018.)

4980.74.
  

(a) This section applies to persons who apply for licensure or registration on or after January 1, 2016, and who do not hold a license as described in Section 4980.72.

(b) The board shall accept education gained from an out-of-state school for purposes of satisfying licensure or registration requirements if the education is substantially equivalent, as defined in Section 4980.78, and the applicant complies with Section 4980.76, if applicable. The applicant’s degree title need not be identical to that required by Section 4980.36 or 4980.37.

(c) The board shall accept experience gained outside of California for purposes of satisfying licensure or registration requirements if the experience is substantially equivalent to that required by this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 70, Sec. 1. (AB 1917) Effective January 1, 2017.)

4980.76.
  

An applicant for licensure or registration with a degree obtained from an educational institution outside the United States shall provide the board with a comprehensive evaluation of the degree performed by a foreign credential evaluation service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), and shall provide any other documentation the board deems necessary.

(Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 26, Sec. 17. (SB 33) Effective January 1, 2010.)

4980.78.
  

(a) This section applies to persons who apply for licensure or registration on or after January 1, 2016, and who do not hold a license as described in Section 4980.72.

(b) For purposes of Section 4980.74, education is substantially equivalent if all of the following requirements are met:

(1) The degree is obtained from a school, college, or university accredited by a regional or national institutional accrediting agency that is recognized by the United States Department of Education and consists of, at a minimum, the following:

(A) (i) For an applicant who obtained his or her degree within the timeline prescribed by subdivision (a) of Section 4980.36, the degree shall contain no less than 60 semester or 90 quarter units of instruction.

(ii) Up to 12 semester or 18 quarter units of instruction may be remediated, if missing from the degree. The remediation may occur while the applicant is registered as an intern.

(B) For an applicant who obtained his or her degree within the timeline prescribed by subdivision (a) of Section 4980.37, the degree shall contain no less than 48 semester units or 72 quarter units of instruction.

(C) Six semester or nine quarter units of practicum, including, but not limited to, a minimum of 150 hours of face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups, and an additional 75 hours of either face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups or client centered advocacy, or a combination of face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups and client centered advocacy.

(D) Twelve semester or 18 quarter units in the areas of marriage, family, and child counseling and marital and family systems approaches to treatment, as specified in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 4980.36.

(2) The applicant shall complete coursework in California law and ethics as follows:

(A) An applicant who completed a course in law and professional ethics for marriage and family therapists as specified in paragraph (8) of subdivision (a) of Section 4980.81, that did not contain instruction in California law and ethics, shall complete an 18-hour course in California law and professional ethics. The content of the course shall include, but not be limited to, advertising, scope of practice, scope of competence, treatment of minors, confidentiality, dangerous patients, psychotherapist-patient privilege, recordkeeping, patient access to records, state and federal laws relating to confidentiality of patient health information, dual relationships, child abuse, elder and dependent adult abuse, online therapy, insurance reimbursement, civil liability, disciplinary actions and unprofessional conduct, ethics complaints and ethical standards, termination of therapy, standards of care, relevant family law, therapist disclosures to patients, differences in legal and ethical standards in different types of work settings, and licensing law and licensing process. This coursework shall be completed prior to registration as an intern.

(B) An applicant who has not completed a course in law and professional ethics for marriage and family therapists as specified in paragraph (8) of subdivision (a) of Section 4980.81 shall complete this required coursework. The coursework shall contain content specific to California law and ethics. This coursework shall be completed prior to registration as an intern.

(3) The applicant completes the educational requirements specified in Section 4980.81 not already completed in his or her education. The coursework may be from an accredited school, college, or university as specified in paragraph (1), from an educational institution approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, or from a continuing education provider that is acceptable to the board as defined in Section 4980.54. Undergraduate courses shall not satisfy this requirement.

(4) The applicant completes the following coursework not already completed in his or her education from an accredited school, college, or university as specified in paragraph (1) from an educational institution approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, or from a continuing education provider that is acceptable to the board as defined in Section 4980.54. Undergraduate courses shall not satisfy this requirement.

(A) At least three semester units, or 45 hours, of instruction regarding the principles of mental health recovery-oriented care and methods of service delivery in recovery-oriented practice environments, including structured meetings with various consumers and family members of consumers of mental health services to enhance understanding of their experience of mental illness, treatment, and recovery.

(B) At least one semester unit, or 15 hours, of instruction that includes an understanding of various California cultures and the social and psychological implications of socioeconomic position.

(5) An applicant may complete any units and course content requirements required under paragraphs (3) and (4) not already completed in his or her education while registered as an intern, unless otherwise specified.

(6) The applicant’s degree title need not be identical to that required by subdivision (b) of Section 4980.36.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 489, Sec. 33. (SB 1478) Effective January 1, 2017.)

4980.79.
  

(a) This section applies to persons who apply for licensure or registration on or after January 1, 2016, and who hold a license as described in Section 4980.72.

(b) For purposes of Section 4980.72, education is substantially equivalent if all of the following requirements are met:

(1) The degree is obtained from a school, college, or university accredited by a regional or national institutional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and consists of, at a minimum, the following:

(A) (i) For an applicant who obtained his or her degree within the timeline prescribed by subdivision (a) of Section 4980.36, the degree shall contain no less than 60 semester or 90 quarter units of instruction.

(ii) Up to 12 semester or 18 quarter units of instruction may be remediated, if missing from the degree. The remediation may occur while the applicant is registered as an intern.

(B) For an applicant who obtained his or her degree within the timeline prescribed by subdivision (a) of Section 4980.37, the degree shall contain no less than 48 semester or 72 quarter units of instruction.

(C) Six semester or nine quarter units of practicum, including, but not limited to, a minimum of 150 hours of face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups, and an additional 75 hours of either face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups or client centered advocacy, or a combination of face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups and client centered advocacy.

(i) An out-of-state applicant who has been licensed for at least two years in clinical practice, as verified by the board, is exempt from this requirement.

(ii) An out-of-state applicant who has been licensed for less than two years in clinical practice, as verified by the board, who does not meet the practicum requirement, shall remediate it by obtaining 150 hours of face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups, and an additional 75 hours of either face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups or client centered advocacy, or a combination of face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups and client centered advocacy. These hours are in addition to the 3,000 hours of experience required by this chapter, and shall be gained while registered as an intern.

(D) Twelve semester or 18 quarter units in the areas of marriage, family, and child counseling and marital and family systems approaches to treatment, as specified in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 4980.36.

(2) An applicant shall complete coursework in California law and ethics as follows:

(A) An applicant who completed a course in law and professional ethics for marriage and family therapists as specified in paragraph (8) of subdivision (a) of Section 4980.81 that did not include instruction in California law and ethics, shall complete an 18-hour course in California law and professional ethics. The content of the course shall include, but not be limited to, advertising, scope of practice, scope of competence, treatment of minors, confidentiality, dangerous patients, psychotherapist-patient privilege, recordkeeping, patient access to records, state and federal laws relating to confidentiality of patient health information, dual relationships, child abuse, elder and dependent adult abuse, online therapy, insurance reimbursement, civil liability, disciplinary actions and unprofessional conduct, ethics complaints and ethical standards, termination of therapy, standards of care, relevant family law, therapist disclosures to patients, differences in legal and ethical standards in different types of work settings, and licensing law and licensing process. This coursework shall be completed prior to registration as an intern.

(B) An applicant who has not completed a course in law and professional ethics for marriage and family therapists as specified in paragraph (8) of subdivision (a) of Section 4980.81 shall complete this required coursework. The coursework shall include content specific to California law and ethics. An applicant shall complete this coursework prior to registration as an intern.

(3) The applicant completes the educational requirements specified in Section 4980.81 not already completed in his or her education. The coursework may be from an accredited school, college, or university as specified in paragraph (1), from an educational institution approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, or from a continuing education provider that is acceptable to the board as defined in Section 4980.54. Undergraduate coursework shall not satisfy this requirement.

(4) The applicant completes the following coursework not already completed in his or her education from an accredited school, college, or university as specified in paragraph (1) above, from an educational institution approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, or from a continuing education provider that is acceptable to the board as defined in Section 4980.54. Undergraduate coursework shall not satisfy this requirement.

(A) At least three semester units, or 45 hours, of instruction pertaining to the principles of mental health recovery-oriented care and methods of service delivery in recovery-oriented practice environments, including structured meetings with various consumers and family members of consumers of mental health services to enhance understanding of their experience of mental illness, treatment, and recovery.

(B) At least one semester unit, or 15 hours, of instruction that includes an understanding of various California cultures and the social and psychological implications of socioeconomic position.

(5) An applicant's degree title need not be identical to that required by subdivision (b) of Section 4980.36.

(6) An applicant may complete any units and course content requirements required under paragraphs (3) and (4) not already completed in his or her education while registered as an intern, unless otherwise specified.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 489, Sec. 34. (SB 1478) Effective January 1, 2017.)

4980.81.
  

This section applies to persons subject to Section 4980.78 or 4980.79, who apply for licensure or registration on or after January 2016.

(a) For purposes of Sections 4980.78 and 4980.79, an applicant shall meet all of the following educational requirements:

(1) A minimum of two semester units of instruction in the diagnosis, assessment, prognosis, and treatment of mental disorders, including severe mental disorders, evidence-based practices, and promising mental health practices that are evaluated in peer reviewed literature.

(2) At least one semester unit or 15 hours of instruction in psychological testing and at least one semester unit or 15 hours of instruction in psychopharmacology.

(3) (A) Developmental issues from infancy to old age, including demonstration of at least one semester unit, or 15 hours, of instruction that includes all of the following subjects:

(i) The effects of developmental issues on individuals, couples, and family relationships.

(ii) The psychological, psychotherapeutic, and health implications of developmental issues and their effects.

(iii) The understanding of the impact that personal and social insecurity, social stress, low educational levels, inadequate housing, and malnutrition have on human development.

(B) An applicant who is deficient in any of these subjects may remediate the coursework by completing three hours of instruction in each deficient subject.

(4) (A) The broad range of matters and life events that may arise within marriage and family relationships and within a variety of California cultures, including instruction in all of the following:

(i) 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 under that section.

(ii) A minimum of 10 contact hours of coursework that includes all of the following:

(I) The assessment and reporting of, as well as treatment related to, elder and dependent adult abuse and neglect.

(II) Aging and its biological, social, cognitive, and psychological aspects.

(III) Long-term care.

(IV) End-of-life and grief.

(iii) A minimum of 15 contact hours of coursework in spousal or partner abuse assessment, detection, intervention strategies, and same-gender abuse dynamics.

(iv) Cultural factors relevant to abuse of partners and family members.

(v) Childbirth, child rearing, parenting, and stepparenting.

(vi) Marriage, divorce, and blended families.

(vii) Poverty and deprivation.

(viii) Financial and social stress.

(ix) Effects of trauma.

(x) The psychological, psychotherapeutic, community, and health implications of the matters and life events described in clauses (i) to (ix), inclusive.

(5) At least one semester unit, or 15 hours, of instruction in 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) A minimum of 10 contact hours of training or coursework in human sexuality, as specified in Section 25 and any regulations promulgated under that section, including the study of physiological, psychological, and social cultural variables associated with sexual behavior and gender identity, and the assessment and treatment of psychosexual dysfunction.

(7) A minimum of 15 contact hours of coursework in substance use disorders, and a minimum of 15 contact hours of coursework in cooccurring disorders and addiction. The following subjects shall be included in this coursework:

(A) The definition of substance use disorders, cooccurring disorders, and addiction. For purposes of this subparagraph “cooccurring disorders” means a mental illness and substance abuse diagnosis occurring simultaneously in an individual.

(B) Medical aspects of substance use disorders and cooccurring disorders.

(C) The effects of psychoactive drug use.

(D) Current theories of the etiology of substance abuse and addiction.

(E) The role of persons and systems that support or compound substance abuse and addiction.

(F) Major approaches to identification, evaluation, and treatment of substance use disorders, cooccurring disorders, and addiction, including, but not limited to, best practices.

(G) Legal aspects of substance abuse.

(H) Populations at risk with regard to substance use disorders and cooccurring disorders.

(I) Community resources offering screening, assessment, treatment, and followup for the affected person and family.

(J) Recognition of substance use disorders, cooccurring disorders, and addiction, and appropriate referral.

(K) The prevention of substance use disorders and addiction.

(8) A minimum of a two semester or three quarter unit course in law and professional ethics for marriage and family therapists, including instruction in all of the following subjects:

(A) Contemporary professional ethics and statutory, regulatory, and decisional laws that delineate the scope of practice of marriage and family therapy.

(B) The therapeutic, clinical, and practical considerations involved in the legal and ethical practice of marriage and family therapy, including, but not limited to, family law.

(C) The current legal patterns and trends in the mental health professions.

(D) The psychotherapist-patient privilege, confidentiality, the patient dangerous to self or others, and the treatment of minors with and without parental consent.

(E) A recognition and exploration of the relationship between a practitioner’s sense of self and human values and his or her professional behavior and ethics.

(F) Differences in legal and ethical standards for different types of work settings.

(G) Licensing law and licensing process.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 489, Sec. 35. (SB 1478) Effective January 1, 2017.)

BPCBusiness and Professions Code - BPC1