Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
12/6/2021

Chapter 50. Regulations Governing the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy

18VAC115-50-10. Definitions.

A. The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the meaning ascribed to them in § 54.1-3500 of the Code of Virginia: (i) "board," (ii) "marriage and family therapy," (iii) "marriage and family therapist," and (iv) "practice of marriage and family therapy."

B. The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Ancillary counseling services" means activities such as case management, recordkeeping, referral, and coordination of services.

"CACREP" means the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

"COAMFTE" means the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education.

"Clinical marriage and family services" means activities such as assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning and treatment implementation for couples and families.

"Conversion therapy" means any practice or treatment as defined in § 54.1-2409.5 A of the Code of Virginia.

"Face-to-face" means the in-person delivery of clinical marriage and family services for a client.

"Internship" means a formal academic course from a regionally accredited university in which supervised practical experience is obtained in a clinical setting in the application of counseling principles, methods, and techniques.

"Regional accrediting agency" means one of the regional accreditation agencies recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as responsible for accrediting senior post-secondary institutions and training programs.

"Residency" means a postgraduate, supervised clinical experience.

"Resident" means an individual who has a supervisory contract and has been issued a temporary license by the board approval to provide clinical services in marriage and family therapy under supervision.

"Supervision" means an ongoing process performed by a supervisor who monitors the performance of the person supervised and provides regular, documented, individual or group consultation, guidance, and instruction with respect to the clinical skills and competencies of the person or persons being supervised.

"Supervisory contract" means an agreement that outlines the expectations and responsibilities of the supervisor and resident in accordance with regulations of the board.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 19, eff. July 9, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 7, eff. January 19, 2000; Volume 24, Issue 24, eff. September 3, 2008; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016; Volume 37, Issue 20, eff. June 23, 2021; Volume 37, Issue 24, eff. August 18, 2021.

18VAC115-50-20. Fees.

A. The board has established fees for the following:

Application and initial licensure as a resident

$65

Pre-review of education only

$75

Initial licensure by examination: Processing and initial licensure as a marriage and family therapist

$175

Initial licensure by endorsement: Processing and initial licensure as a marriage and family therapist

$175

Active annual license renewal for a marriage and family therapist

$130

Inactive annual license renewal for a marriage and family therapist

$65

Annual renewal for a resident in marriage and family therapy

$30

Penalty for late renewal for a marriage and family therapist

$45

Late renewal for resident in marriage and family therapy

$10

Reinstatement of a lapsed license for a marriage and family therapist

$200

Verification of license to another jurisdiction

$30

Additional or replacement licenses

$10

Additional or replacement wall certificates

$25

Returned check or dishonored credit or debit card

$50

Reinstatement following revocation or suspension

$600

B. All fees are nonrefundable.

C. Examination fees shall be determined and made payable as determined by the board.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3505 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 19, eff. July 9, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; Volume 20, Issue 24, eff. September 8, 2004; Volume 22, Issue 14, eff. April 19, 2006; Volume 23, Issue 14, eff. April 18, 2007; Volume 26, Issue 14, eff. April 14, 2010; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016; Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 8, 2017; Volume 37, Issue 1, eff. October 15, 2020; Volume 37, Issue 20, eff. June 23, 2021.

18VAC115-50-25. Sex offender treatment provider certification.

Anyone licensed by the board as a marriage and family therapist who is seeking certification as a sex offender treatment provider shall obtain certification from the Virginia Board of Psychology and adhere to the Regulations Governing the Certification of Sex Offender Treatment Providers, 18VAC125-30-10 et seq.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3505 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 19, eff. July 9, 1997.

18VAC115-50-30. Application for licensure as a marriage and family therapist by examination.

Every applicant for licensure by examination by the board shall:

1. Meet the education and experience requirements prescribed in 18VAC115-50-50, 18VAC115-50-55, and 18VAC115-50-60;

2. Meet the examination requirements prescribed in 18VAC115-50-70;

3. Submit to the board office the following items:

a. A completed application;

b. The application processing and initial licensure fee prescribed in 18VAC115-50-20;

c. Documentation on the appropriate forms of the successful completion of the residency requirements of 18VAC115-50-60 along with documentation of the supervisor's out-of-state license where applicable;

d. Official transcripts submitted from the appropriate institutions of higher education, verifying satisfactory completion of the education requirements set forth in 18VAC115-50-50 and 18VAC115-50-55. Previously submitted transcripts for board approval of a resident license do not have to be resubmitted unless additional coursework was subsequently obtained;

e. Verification on a board-approved form of any mental health or health out-of-state license, certification, or registration ever held in another jurisdiction; and

f. A current report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB); and

4. Have no unresolved disciplinary action against a mental health or health professional license or certificate held in Virginia or in another jurisdiction. The board will consider history of disciplinary action on a case-by-case basis.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3505 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 19, eff. July 9, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 7, eff. January 19, 2000; Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; Volume 26, Issue 1, eff. October 14, 2009; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016; Volume 37, Issue 20, eff. June 23, 2021.

18VAC115-50-40. Application for licensure by endorsement.

A. Every applicant for licensure by endorsement shall hold or have held a marriage and family license in another jurisdiction in the United States and shall submit:

1. A completed application;

2. The application processing and initial licensure fee prescribed in 18VAC115-50-20;

3. Documentation of licensure as follows:

a. Verification of all mental health or health professional licenses or certificates ever held in any other jurisdiction. In order to qualify for endorsement, the applicant shall have no unresolved action against a license or certificate. The board will consider history of disciplinary action on a case-by-case basis; and

b. Documentation of a marriage and family therapy license obtained by standards specified in subsection B of this section;

4. Verification of a passing score on a marriage and family therapy licensure examination in the jurisdiction in which licensure was obtained;

5. An affidavit of having read and understood the regulations and laws governing the practice of marriage and family therapy in Virginia; and

6. A current report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB).

B. Every applicant for licensure by endorsement shall meet one of the following:

1. Educational requirements consistent with those specified in 18VAC115-50-50 and 18VAC115-50-55 and experience requirements consistent with those specified in 18VAC115-50-60;

2. If an applicant does not have educational and experience credentials consistent with those required by this chapter, he shall provide:

a. Documentation of education and supervised experience that met the requirements of the jurisdiction in which he was initially licensed as verified by an official transcript and a certified copy of the original application materials; and

b. Evidence of clinical practice as a marriage and family therapist for 24 of the last 60 months immediately preceding his licensure application in Virginia. Clinical practice shall mean the rendering of direct clinical services in marriage and family therapy or clinical supervision of marriage and family services; or

3. In lieu of transcripts verifying education and documentation verifying supervised experience, the board may accept verification from the credentials registry of the American Association of State Counseling Boards or any other board-recognized entity.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 19, eff. July 9, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 7, eff. January 19, 2000; Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; Volume 24, Issue 24, eff. September 3, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 20, eff. July 23, 2009; Volume 25, Issue 24, eff. September 2, 2009; Errata, 25:25 VA.R. 4446-4447 August 17, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 26, Issue 1, eff. October 14, 2009; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016.

18VAC115-50-50. Degree program requirements.

A. The applicant shall have completed a graduate degree from a program that prepares individuals to practice marriage and family therapy as defined in § 54.1-3500 of the Code of Virginia from a college or university that is accredited by a regional accrediting agency and that meets the following criteria:

1. There must be a sequence of academic study with the expressed intent to prepare students to practice marriage and family therapy as documented by the institution;

2. There must be an identifiable marriage and family therapy training faculty and an identifiable body of students who complete that sequence of academic study; and

3. The academic unit must have clear authority and primary responsibility for the core and specialty areas.

B. Programs that are approved by CACREP as programs in marriage and family counseling or therapy or by COAMFTE are recognized as meeting the requirements of subsection A of this section.

C. Graduates of programs that are not within the United States or Canada shall provide documentation from an acceptable credential evaluation service that provides information that allows the board to determine if the program meets the requirements set forth in this chapter.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 19, eff. July 9, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 7, eff. January 19, 2000; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016; Volume 36, Issue 12, eff. March 4, 2020.

18VAC115-50-55. Coursework requirements.

A. The applicant shall have successfully completed 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of graduate coursework with a minimum of six semester hours or nine quarter hours completed in each of the core areas identified in subdivisions 1 and 2 of this subsection, and three semester hours or 4.0 quarter hours in each of the core areas identified in subdivisions 3 through 9 of this subsection:

1. Marriage and family studies (marital and family development; family systems theory);

2. Marriage and family therapy (systemic therapeutic interventions and application of major theoretical approaches);

3. Human growth and development across the lifespan;

4. Abnormal behaviors;

5. Diagnosis and treatment of addictive behaviors;

6. Multicultural counseling;

7. Professional identity and ethics;

8. Research (research methods; quantitative methods; statistics);

9. Assessment and treatment (appraisal, assessment and diagnostic procedures); and

10. Supervised internship of at least 600 hours to include 240 hours of direct client contact, of which 200 hours shall be with couples and families. Only internship hours earned after completion of 30 graduate semester hours may be counted towards residency hours.

B. If the applicant holds a current, unrestricted license as a professional counselor, clinical psychologist, or clinical social worker, the board may accept evidence of successful completion of 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of graduate study, including a minimum of six semester hours or nine quarter hours completed in marriage and family studies (marital and family development; family systems theory) and six semester hours or nine quarter hours completed in marriage and family therapy (systemic therapeutic interventions and application of major theoretical approaches).

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 7, eff. January 19, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 24, eff. September 3, 2008; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016.

18VAC115-50-60. Resident license and requirements for a residency.

A. Resident license. Applicants for temporary licensure as a resident in marriage and family therapy shall:

1. Apply for licensure on a form provided by the board to include the following: (i) verification of a supervisory contract, (ii) the name and licensure number of the supervisor and location for the supervised practice, and (iii) an attestation that the applicant will be providing marriage and family services.

2. Have submitted an official transcript documenting a graduate degree as that meets the requirements specified in 18VAC115-50-50 to include completion of the coursework and internship requirement specified in 18VAC115-50-55;

3. Pay the registration fee;

4. Submit a current report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB); and

5. Have no unresolved disciplinary action against a mental health or health professional license, certificate, or registration in Virginia or in another jurisdiction. The board will consider the history of disciplinary action on a case-by-case basis.

B. Residency requirements.

1. The applicant for licensure as a marriage and family therapist shall have completed no fewer than 3,400 hours of supervised residency in the role of a marriage and family therapist, to include 200 hours of in-person supervision with the supervisor in the consultation and review of marriage and family services provided by the resident. For the purpose of meeting the 200 hours of supervision required for a residency, in-person may also include the use of technology that maintains client confidentiality and provides real-time, visual contact between the supervisor and the resident. At least one-half of the 200 hours of supervision shall be rendered by a licensed marriage and family therapist.

a. Residents shall receive a minimum of one hour and a maximum of four hours of supervision for every 40 hours of supervised work experience.

b. No more than 100 hours of the supervision may be acquired through group supervision, with the group consisting of no more than six residents. One hour of group supervision will be deemed equivalent to one hour of individual supervision.

c. Up to 20 hours of the supervision received during the supervised internship may be counted towards the 200 hours of in-person supervision if the supervision was provided by a licensed marriage and family therapist or a licensed professional counselor.

2. The residency shall include documentation of at least 2,000 hours in clinical marriage and family services of which 1,000 hours shall be face-to-face client contact with couples or families or both. The remaining hours may be spent in the performance of ancillary counseling services. For applicants who hold current, unrestricted licensure as a professional counselor, clinical psychologist, or clinical social worker, the remaining hours may be waived.

3. The residency shall consist of practice in the core areas set forth in 18VAC115-50-55.

4. The residency shall begin after the completion of a master's degree in marriage and family therapy or a related discipline as set forth in 18VAC115-50-50.

5. A graduate-level internship in excess of 600 hours, which was completed in a program that meets the requirements set forth in 18VAC115-50-50, may count for up to an additional 300 hours towards the requirements of a residency.

6. Supervised practicum and internship hours in a COAMFTE-accredited or a CACREP-accredited doctoral program in marriage and family therapy or counseling may be accepted for up to 900 hours of the residency requirement and up to 100 of the required hours of supervision provided the supervisor holds a current, unrestricted license as a marriage and family therapist or professional counselor.

7. The board may consider special requests in the event that the regulations create an undue burden in regard to geography or disability that limits the resident's access to qualified supervision.

8. Residents shall not call themselves marriage and family therapists, directly bill for services rendered, or in any way represent themselves as marriage and family therapists. During the residency, residents may use their names, the initials of their degree, and the title "Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy." Clients shall be informed in writing that the resident does not have authority for independent practice and is under supervision, along with the name, address, and telephone number of the resident's supervisor.

9. Residents shall not engage in practice under supervision in any areas for which they do not have appropriate education.

10. The residency shall be completed in not less than 21 months or more than four years. Residents who began a residency before August 24, 2016, shall complete the residency by August 24, 2020. An individual who does not complete the residency after four years shall submit evidence to the board showing why the supervised experience should be allowed to continue. A resident shall meet the renewal requirements of subsection C of 18VAC115-50-90 in order to maintain a resident license in current, active status.

11. Residency hours that are approved by the licensing board in another United States jurisdiction and that meet the requirements of this section shall be accepted.

C. Supervisory qualifications. A person who provides supervision for a resident in marriage and family therapy shall:

1. Hold an active, unrestricted license as a marriage and family therapist or professional counselor in the jurisdiction where the supervision is being provided;

2. Document two years post-licensure marriage and family therapy experience; and

3. Have received professional training in supervision, consisting of three credit hours or 4.0 quarter hours in graduate-level coursework in supervision or at least 20 hours of continuing education in supervision offered by a provider approved under 18VAC115-50-96. At least one-half of the 200 hours of supervision shall be rendered by a licensed marriage and family therapist. Supervisors who are clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, or psychiatrists and have been approved to provide supervision may continue to do so until August 24, 2017.

D. Supervisory responsibilities.

1. The supervisor shall complete evaluation forms to be given to the resident at the end of each three-month period. The supervisor shall report the total hours of residency and evaluate the applicant's competency to the board.

2. Supervision by an individual whose relationship to the resident is deemed by the board to compromise the objectivity of the supervisor is prohibited.

3. The supervisor shall provide supervision as defined in 18VAC115-50-10 and shall assume full responsibility for the clinical activities of residents as specified within the supervisory contract for the duration of the residency.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3506 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 19, eff. July 9, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 7, eff. January 19, 2000; Volume 24, Issue 24, eff. September 3, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 24, eff. September 2, 2009; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016; Volume 35, Issue 24, eff. September 6, 2019; Volume 37, Issue 20, eff. June 23, 2021.

18VAC115-50-70. General examination requirements.

A. All applicants for initial licensure shall pass an examination, as prescribed by the board, with a passing score as determined by the board. The examination is waived for an applicant who holds a current and unrestricted license as a professional counselor issued by the board.

B. An applicant is required to pass the prescribed examination within six years from the date of initial issuance of a resident license by the board.

C. A resident shall remain in a residency practicing under supervision until the resident has passed the licensure examination and been granted a license as a marriage and family therapist.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3505 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 19, eff. July 9, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 7, eff. January 19, 2000; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016; Volume 37, Issue 20, eff. June 23, 2021.

18VAC115-50-80. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 19, eff. July 9, 1997; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 7, eff. January 19, 2000.

18VAC115-50-90. Annual renewal of license.

A. All licensed marriage and family therapists who intend to continue an active practice shall submit to the board on or before June 30 of each year:

1. A completed form for renewal of the license on which the licensee attests to compliance with the continuing competency requirements prescribed in this chapter; and

2. The renewal fee prescribed in 18VAC115-50-20.

B. A licensed marriage and family therapist who wishes to place his license in an inactive status may do so upon payment of the inactive renewal fee as established in 18VAC115-50-20. No person shall practice marriage and family therapy in Virginia unless he holds a current active license. A licensee who has placed himself in inactive status may become active by fulfilling the reactivation requirements set forth in 18VAC115-50-100 C.

C. For renewal of a resident license in marriage and family therapy, the following shall apply:

1. A resident license shall expire annually in the month the license was initially issued and may be renewed up to five times by submission of the renewal form and payment of the fee prescribed in 18VAC115-50-20.

2. On the annual renewal, the resident shall attest that a supervisory contract is in effect with a board-approved supervisor for each of the locations at which the resident is currently providing marriage and family therapy.

3. On the annual renewal, residents in marriage and family therapy shall attest to completion of three hours in continuing education courses that emphasize the ethics, standards of practice, or laws governing behavioral science professions in Virginia, offered by an approved provider as set forth in subsection B of 18VAC115-50-96.

D. Licensees shall notify the board of a change in the address of record or the public address, if different from the address of record within 60 days. Failure to receive a renewal notice from the board shall not relieve the license holder from the renewal requirement.

E. After the renewal date, the license is expired; practice with an expired license is prohibited and may constitute grounds for disciplinary action.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3505 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 19, eff. July 9, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 7, eff. January 19, 2000; Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; Volume 20, Issue 24, eff. September 8, 2004; Volume 25, Issue 22, eff. August 5, 2009; Volume 26, Issue 1, eff. October 14, 2009; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016; Volume 37, Issue 20, eff. June 23, 2021.

18VAC115-50-95. Continued competency requirements for renewal of a license.

A. Marriage and family therapists shall be required to have completed a minimum of 20 hours of continuing competency for each annual licensure renewal. A minimum of two of these hours shall be in courses that emphasize the ethics, standards of practice, or laws governing behavioral science professions in Virginia.

B. The board may grant an extension for good cause of up to one year for the completion of continuing competency requirements upon written request from the licensee prior to the renewal date. Such extension shall not relieve the licensee of the continuing competency requirement.

C. The board may grant an exemption for all or part of the continuing competency requirements due to circumstances beyond the control of the licensee such as temporary disability, mandatory military service, or officially declared disasters.

D. Those individuals dually licensed by this board will not be required to obtain continuing competency for each license. Dually licensed individuals will only be required to provide the hours set out in subsection A of this section, subsection A of 18VAC115-20-105 in the Regulations Governing the Practice of Professional Counseling, or subsection A of 18VAC115-60-115 in the Regulations Governing the Practice of Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioners.

E. Up to two hours of the 20 hours required for annual renewal may be satisfied through delivery of counseling services, without compensation, to low-income individuals receiving health services through a local health department or a free clinic organized in whole or primarily for the delivery of those services. One hour of continuing education may be credited for three hours of providing such volunteer services, as documented by the health department or free clinic.

F. A marriage and family therapist who was licensed by examination is exempt from meeting continuing competency requirements for the first renewal following initial licensure.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 24, eff. September 8, 2004; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016; Volume 33, Issue 11, eff. March 9, 2017; Volume 34, Issue 6, eff. December 28, 2017.

18VAC115-50-96. Continuing competency activity criteria.

A. Continuing competency activities must focus on increasing knowledge or skills in one or more of the following areas:

1. Ethics, standards of practice or laws governing behavioral science professions;

2. Counseling theory;

3. Human growth and development;

4. Social and cultural foundations;

5. The helping relationship;

6. Group dynamics, processing and counseling;

7. Lifestyle and career development;

8. Appraisal of individuals;

9. Research and evaluation;

10. Professional orientation;

11. Clinical supervision;

12. Marriage and family therapy; or

13. Addictions.

B. Approved hours of continuing competency activity shall be one of the following types:

1. Formally organized learning activities or home study. Activities may be counted at their full hour value. Hours shall be obtained from one or a combination of the following board-approved, mental health-related activities:

a. Regionally accredited university or college level academic courses in a behavioral health discipline.

b. Continuing education programs offered by universities or colleges.

c. Workshops, seminars, conferences, or courses in the behavioral health field offered by federal, state, or local governmental agencies or licensed health facilities and licensed hospitals.

d. Workshops, seminars, conferences, or courses in the behavioral health field offered by an individual or organization that has been certified or approved by one of the following:

(1) The International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors and its state affiliates.

(2) The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and its state affiliates.

(3) The American Association of State Counseling Boards.

(4) The American Counseling Association and its state and local affiliates.

(5) The American Psychological Association and its state affiliates.

(6) The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.

(7) NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals. and its state and local affiliates.

(8) National Association of Social Workers.

(9) National Board for Certified Counselors.

(10) A national behavioral health organization or certification body.

(11) Individuals or organizations that have been approved as continuing competency sponsors by the American Association of State Counseling Boards or a counseling board in another state.

(12) The American Association of Pastoral Counselors.

2. Individual professional activities.

a. Publication/presentation/new program development.

(1) Publication of articles. Activity will count for a maximum of eight hours. Publication activities are limited to articles in refereed journals or a chapter in an edited book.

(2) Publication of books. Activity will count for a maximum of 18 hours.

(3) Presentations. Activity will count for a maximum of eight hours. The same presentations may be used only once in a two-year period. Only actual presentation time may be counted.

(4) New program development activity will count for a maximum of eight hours. New program development includes a new course, seminar, or workshop. New courses shall be graduate or undergraduate level college or university courses.

b. Dissertation. Activity will count for a maximum of 18 hours. Dissertation credit may only be counted once.

c. Clinical supervision/consultation. Activity will count for a maximum of 10 hours. Continuing competency can only be granted for clinical supervision/consultation received on a regular basis with a set agenda. Continuing competency cannot be granted for supervision that you provide to others.

d. Leadership. Activity will count for a maximum of eight hours. The following leadership positions are acceptable for continuing competency credit: officers of state or national counseling organization; editor or reviewer of professional counseling journals; member of state counseling licensure/certification board; member of a national counselor certification board; member of a national ethics disciplinary review committee rendering licenses; active member of a counseling committee producing a substantial written product; chair of a major counseling conference or convention; other leadership positions with justifiable professional learning experiences. The leadership positions must take place for a minimum of one year after the date of first licensure.

e. Practice related programs. Activity will count up to a maximum of eight hours. The board may allow up to eight contact hours of continuing competency as long as the regulant submits proof of attendance plus a written justification of how the activity assists him in his direct service of his clients. Examples include language courses, software training, medical topics, etc.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 24, eff. September 8, 2004; amended, Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 12, eff. March 22, 2006; Volume 26, Issue 2, eff. November 12, 2009; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016.

18VAC115-50-97. Documenting compliance with continuing competency requirements.

A. All licensees are required to maintain original documentation for a period of two years following renewal.

B. After the end of each renewal period, the board may conduct a random audit of licensees to verify compliance with the requirement for that renewal period.

C. Upon request, a licensee shall provide documentation as follows:

1. To document completion of formal organized learning activities, licensee shall provide:

a. Official transcripts showing credit hours earned; or

b. Certificates of participation.

2. Documentation of home study shall be made by identification of the source material studied, summary of content, and a signed affidavit attesting to completion of the home study.

3. Documentation of individual professional activities shall be by one of the following:

a. Certificates of participation;

b. Proof of presentations made;

c. Reprints of publications;

d. Letters from educational institutions or agencies approving continuing education programs;

e. Official notification from the association that sponsored the item writing workshop or continuing education program; or

f. Documentation of attendance at formal staffing shall be by signed affidavit on a form provided by the board.

D. Continuing competency hours required by a disciplinary order shall not be used to satisfy renewal requirements.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-103, 54.1-2400, and 54.1-3505.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 24, eff. September 8, 2004.

18VAC115-50-100. Late renewal, reinstatement.

A. A person whose license has expired may renew it within one year after its expiration date by paying the late fee prescribed in 18VAC115-50-20 as well as the license fee prescribed for the period the license was not renewed and providing evidence of having met all applicable continuing competency requirements.

B. A person seeking reinstatement of a license one year or more after its expiration date must:

1. Apply for reinstatement and pay the reinstatement fee;

2. Submit documentation of any mental health license he holds or has held in another jurisdiction, if applicable;

3. Submit evidence regarding the continued ability to perform the functions within the scope of practice of the license if required by the board to demonstrate competency; and

4. Provide evidence of having met all applicable continuing competency requirements not to exceed a maximum of 80 hours obtained within the four years immediately preceding application for reinstatement.

C. A person wishing to reactivate an inactive license shall submit (i) the renewal fee for active licensure minus any fee already paid for inactive licensure renewal and (ii) documentation of continued competency hours equal to the number of years the license has been inactive, not to exceed a maximum of 80 hours, obtained within the four years immediately preceding application for reinstatement. The board may require additional evidence regarding the person's continued ability to perform the functions within the scope of practice of the license.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 19, eff. July 9, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; Volume 20, Issue 24, eff. September 8, 2004; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016.

18VAC115-50-110. Standards of practice.

A. The protection of the public's health, safety, and welfare and the best interest of the public shall be the primary guide in determining the appropriate professional conduct of all persons whose activities are regulated by the board. Regardless of the delivery method, whether in person, by phone or electronically, these standards shall apply to the practice of marriage and family therapy.

B. Persons licensed or registered by the board shall:

1. Practice in a manner that is in the best interest of the public and does not endanger the public health, safety, or welfare;

2. Practice only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, and appropriate professional experience and represent their education, training, and experience accurately to clients;

3. Stay abreast of new marriage and family therapy information, concepts, applications, and practices that are necessary to providing appropriate, effective professional services;

4. Be able to justify all services rendered to clients as necessary and appropriate for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes;

5. Document the need for and steps taken to terminate a counseling relationship when it becomes clear that the client is not benefiting from the relationship. Document the assistance provided in making appropriate arrangements for the continuation of treatment for clients, when necessary, following termination of a counseling relationship;

6. Make appropriate arrangements for continuation of services, when necessary, during interruptions such as vacations, unavailability, relocation, illness, and disability;

7. Disclose to clients all experimental methods of treatment and inform client of the risks and benefits of any such treatment. Ensure that the welfare of the client is not compromised in any experimentation or research involving those clients;

8. Neither accept nor give commissions, rebates or other forms of remuneration for referral of clients for professional services;

9. Inform clients of the purposes, goals, techniques, procedures, limitations, potential risks, and benefits of services to be performed; the limitations of confidentiality; and other pertinent information when counseling is initiated and throughout the counseling process as necessary. Provide clients with accurate information regarding the implications of diagnosis, the intended use of tests and reports, fees, and billing arrangements;

10. Select tests for use with clients that are valid, reliable, and appropriate and carefully interpret the performance of individuals not represented in standardized norms;

11. Determine whether a client is receiving services from another mental health service provider, and if so, refrain from providing services to the client without having an informed consent discussion with the client and having been granted communication privileges with the other professional;

12. Use only in connection with one's practice as a mental health professional those educational and professional degrees or titles that have been earned at a college or university accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or credentials granted by a national certifying agency, and that are counseling in nature;

13. Advertise professional services fairly and accurately in a manner that is not false, misleading or deceptive; and

14. Not engage in conversion therapy with any person younger than 18 years of age.

C. In regard to patient records, persons licensed by the board shall:

1. Maintain written or electronic clinical records for each client to include treatment dates and identifying information to substantiate diagnosis and treatment plan, client progress, and termination;

2. Maintain client records securely, inform all employees of the requirements of confidentiality and provide for the destruction of records that are no longer useful in a manner that ensures client confidentiality;

3. Disclose or release client records to others only with clients' expressed written consent or that of their legally authorized representative in accordance with § 32.1-127.1:03 of the Code of Virginia;

4. Ensure confidentiality in the usage of client records and clinical materials by obtaining informed consent from clients or their legally authorized representative before (i) videotaping, (ii) audio recording, (iii) permitting third party observation, or (iv) using identifiable client records and clinical materials in teaching, writing, or public presentations; and

5. Maintain client records for a minimum of five years or as otherwise required by law from the date of termination of the counseling relationship with the following exceptions:

a. At minimum, records of a minor child shall be maintained for five years after attaining the age of majority (18 years) or 10 years following termination, whichever comes later;

b. Records that are required by contractual obligation or federal law to be maintained for a longer period of time; or

c. Records that have transferred to another mental health service provider or given to the client or his legally authorized representative.

D. In regard to dual relationships, persons licensed by the board shall:

1. Avoid dual relationships with clients that could impair professional judgment or increase the risk of harm to clients. Examples of such relationships include familial, social, financial, business, bartering, or close personal relationships with clients. Marriage and family therapists shall take appropriate professional precautions when a dual relationship cannot be avoided, such as informed consent, consultation, supervision, and documentation to ensure that judgment is not impaired and no exploitation occurs;

2. Not engage in any type of romantic relationships or sexual intimacies with clients or those included in a collateral relationship with the client and also not counsel persons with whom they have had a sexual intimacy or romantic relationship. Marriage and family therapists shall not engage in romantic relationships or sexual intimacies with former clients within a minimum of five years after terminating the counseling relationship. Marriage and family therapists who engage in such relationship or intimacy after five years following termination shall have the responsibility to examine and document thoroughly that such relations do not have an exploitive nature, based on factors such as duration of counseling, amount of time since counseling, termination circumstances, client's personal history and mental status, or adverse impact on the client. A client's consent to, initiation of or participation in sexual behavior or involvement with a marriage and family therapist does not change the nature of the conduct nor lift the regulatory prohibition;

3. Not engage in any romantic relationships or sexual relationship or establish a counseling or psychotherapeutic relationship with a supervisee or student. Marriage and family therapists shall avoid any nonsexual dual relationship with a supervisee or student in which there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the supervisee or student or the potential for interference with the supervisor's professional judgment; and

4. Recognize conflicts of interest and inform all parties of the nature and directions of loyalties and responsibilities involved.

E. Persons licensed by this board shall report to the board known or suspected violations of the laws and regulations governing the practice of marriage and family therapy.

F. Persons licensed by the board shall advise their clients of their right to report to the Department of Health Professions any information of which the licensee may become aware in his professional capacity indicating that there is a reasonable probability that a person licensed or certified as a mental health service provider, as defined in § 54.1-2400.1 of the Code of Virginia, may have engaged in unethical, fraudulent or unprofessional conduct as defined by the pertinent licensing statutes and regulations.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 19, eff. July 9, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 7, eff. January 11, 2006; Volume 23, Issue 21, eff. July 25, 2007; Volume 25, Issue 20, eff. July 23, 2009; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016; Volume 37, Issue 24, eff. August 18, 2021.

18VAC115-50-120. Disciplinary action.

A. Action by the board to revoke, suspend, deny issuance or removal of a license, or take other disciplinary action may be taken in accordance with the following:

1. Conviction of a felony, or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, or violation of or aid to another in violating any provision of Chapter 35 (§ 54.1-3500 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia, any other statute applicable to the practice of marriage and family therapy, or any provision of this chapter;

2. Procurement of a license, including submission of an application or supervisory forms, by fraud or misrepresentation;

3. Conducting one's practice in such a manner as to make it a danger to the health and welfare of one's clients or the general public or if one is unable to practice marriage and family therapy with reasonable skill and safety to clients by reason of illness, abusive use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or other type of material or result of any mental or physical condition;

4. Intentional or negligent conduct that causes or is likely to cause injury to a client or clients;

5. Performance of functions outside the demonstrable areas of competency;

6. Violating or abetting another person in the violation of any provision of any statute applicable to the practice of marriage and family therapy, or any part or portion of this chapter;

7. Failure to comply with the continued competency requirements set forth in this chapter; or

8. Performance of an act likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public.

B. Following the revocation or suspension of a license, the licensee may petition the board for reinstatement upon good cause shown or as a result of substantial new evidence having been obtained that would alter the determination reached.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 19, eff. July 9, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 24, eff. September 8, 2004; Volume 22, Issue 7, eff. January 11, 2006; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 24, 2016.

18VAC115-50-130. Reinstatement following disciplinary action.

A. Any person whose license has been suspended or who has been denied reinstatement by board order, having met the terms of the order, may submit a new application and fee for reinstatement of licensure.

B. The board in its discretion may, after an administrative proceeding, grant the reinstatement sought in subsection A of this section.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3505 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 7, eff. January 11, 2006.

FORMS (18VAC115-50).

Licensure Application - Marriage and Family Therapist, MFT Form 2 (rev. 2/2011)

Verification of Licensure, MFT Form 2-VL (rev. 2/2011)

Verification of Supervision – Post-Graduate Degree Supervised Experience, MFT Form 2-VS (rev. 2/2011)

Licensure Verification of Out-of-State Supervisor, MFT Form 1-LV (rev. 2/2011)

Quarterly Evaluation, MFT Form 1-QE (rev. 2/2011)

Coursework Outline Form, MFT Form 2-CO (rev. 2/2011)

Verification of Internship, MFT Form 2-VI (rev. 2/2011)

Verification of Internship Hours Towards the Residency, MFT Form 2-IR (rev. 2/2011)

Supervision Outline - Examination Applicants Only, MFT Form 2-SO (rev. 2/2011)

Verification of Clinical Practice 5 of Last 6 Years Immediately Preceding Submission for Application of Licensure, Endorsement Applicants Only, Form MFT-ECP (rev. 2/2011)

Registration of Supervision - Post Graduate Degree Supervised Experience, MFT Form 1 (rev. 2/2011)

Application for Reinstatement of a Lapsed License (rev. 8/2007)

Continuing Education Summary Form (LMFT) (rev. 3/2009)

Applications Instructions - Temporary Licensure as a Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy (rev. 12/2019)

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.