Reviewof the Florida Statutes and Rules
Oneof the primary roles of the legislature is providing protection tothe members of the public. Basing on the delicate and precious natureof life, any act which puts the life and health of the citizens indanger should be handled with a lot of care. The legislature, as aresult, formulates rules which help to guide various professionalpractices. In this paper, I will provide a review of the 25 sectionsof Florida Statutes and regulations which set the minimum requirementfor the different health professions.
`Inspite of that, other disciplines captured by the chapter includemental health counseling and marriage and family therapy. The sectiongives the minimum entry requirements for the jobs and guides theconduct of the practitioners while discharging their duties set bythe board. Most of these rules apply in the State of Floridahowever, there are provisions which take care of the practitionersfrom the other states. The chapter finally concludes by the deliveryof the penalties for going against the rules. The penalties can be asuspension of the practitioner or even expulsion from the professionsdepending on the magnitude of the offense. In some cases where theapplicants fail to meet the requirements, the board has the right todeny them the registration, certificates and license
Chapter491: Clinical, Counseling, and Psychotherapy Services
Thelegislature has to ensure that the lives of the citizen areprotected. It can only be achieved by ensuring that services offeredto the members of the public meet certain standards. Scholars havecome to a conclusion that most services are sensitive and verycrucial for the survival of each citizen this regard, the lawmakershave to come up with the threshold requirements that one mustachieve, to be allowed to join any professions and continue offeringthe services.
491.004:Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, andMental Health Counseling
Theboard is formed by members from the various departments and made upof nine members. Appointment of the members is made the governmentunder the confirmation of the Senate. Out of these nine people, eachof the three health departments contributes two individuals and theremaining three are selected from the people. The board is chargedwith the duty of enforcing and implementing the rules among otherfunctions.
491.0045:Intern registration requirements
Thissection sets out the requirements that should be met by individualsto be registered in their various fields. According to the section,any person with qualifications lower than post-graduate must firstundergo internship to be licensed. The section also provides thatvarious health professionals can only achieve certification from theboard, upon reaching the required education level and adhering to theapplication procedures.
491.0046:Provisional license requirements
Underthis section, any person who needs to be authorized by the board musthave met the necessary academic qualifications. Upon convincing theadministrative department through the application, the applicant willbe provided with the separate provisional license which expires aftera span of two years.
491.005:Licensure by examination.
491.0057:Dual licensure as a marriage and family therapist
Thissection clearly states that a person can receive a permit for bothmarriage and family therapy only after the board is convinced thatthe individual has either a license to practice psychology, mentalhealth counseling or advanced nursing (the license must have beenactive for not less than three years). The applicant must also provetheir capability to the board by passing the test offered by theboard
491.006:Licensure or certification by endorsement
Accordingto this rule, individuals be issued with certificates in the in therespective fields by the department after they have followed thestipulated rules for applying for the license or certificate. Theapplicant should provide information that can convince the board thatthe applicant has been licensed for the duration of more than threeyears in the same or related field in another state. Moreover, heshould prove he has always observed the rules under the statutes intheir previous practices and is therefore not under anyinvestigation. The individual must also have the minimum educationqualifications and any other requirements.
491.0065:Requirement for instruction on HIV and AIDS
Anyperson who needs to be licensed by the board is required to havecompleted the recommended course work in HIV and AID or have a validreason for the incomplete course work at the time of application forthe license.
491.007:Renewal of license, registration, or certificate
Thesection provides that the Board has the duty of coming up with waysthrough which licenses can be renewed. The individual should pay arenewal fee of not more than $250 for practitioners and $100 forinterns. It also requires the applicant to have undergone themandatory continuing education during the practice.
491.008:Inactive status reactivation of licenses fees.
Itprovides that for any inactive license to be activated uponapplication, the holder ought to make a payment of $50 as anactivation fee. The applicant is also required to have fullycompleted the further education among other rules for licensure.
491.0085:Continuing education and laws and regulations courses approval ofproviders, programs, and courses proof of completion
Thesection requires the approval of the course content of the continuingeducation programs to be done by the board. It also requires theapplication providers to pay not more than $200 for the renewal ofthe programs.
Underthis section, a person can be denied licensure if the board findsthat the individual has tried to use orthodox means to get licensed, has a license for a profession that is already revoked by anotherstate or country, has gone against the profession rules during thepractice, has carried out an advertisement that is consideredmisleading, has used other people`s names in the publication otherthan the practitioner`s own name, has closely associated with otherpeople who are found to have violated the profession rules or hasprovided assistance to unqualified people to practice the profession.
Itprovides that sexual harassment to the patients and any relatedmisconduct is totally not allowed during the practice of theprofession.
491.0112:Sexual misconduct by a psychotherapist penalties
Underthis section, sexual harassment to the patient committed by thepsychotherapist is a third-degree offense and is subject topunishment as clearly stated in sections 775.082 and 775.083.
491.012:Violations penalty injunction
Accordingto this section, it is against the law for any individual to use anyof the titles used in the statutes unless the person is registeredand licensed by the relevant bodies. In spite of that, use thelicense of other health professionals as their own or use a licenseor certificate that is already nullified by the board and use falsedocuments to obtain a permit is considered a violation of the code ofconduct. The violation of these laws, therefore, amounts to theoffense of the first degree and the department has the powers torecommend the appropriate punishment for the individuals ororganization that go against these statutes.
Thissection clarifies that the chapter in any way does not interfere withthe practice of the other professions unless the individuals in theother professions use the title described in this chapter to practicethe various profession against the laws. This law also bans peoplewho are employed by either the government or private organizationfrom being provided by license, provisional license, certificate orregistration by the board.
491.0141:Practice of hypnosis.
Thissection allows individuals registered by the board to practice theprofession of hypnosis. It continues further to state that thechapter does not hinder such people from the practice, provided thatthe individuals do not engage in practices that affect the professionguided by this chapter.
491.0143:Practice of sex therapy
Fromthis section, a sex therapist is a person who has met the minimumrequirements according to the department and therefore is licensed.It, therefore, falls under the jurisdiction of the board to come upwith the qualifications for entry into the profession.
491.0144:The practice of juvenile sexual offender therapy
Juvenilesexual offender therapist is an individual who has met therequirements needed by the board and has been licensed by the boardexcept the case presented in Section 490.0145
491.0147:Confidentiality and privileged communications
Thesection requires the professionals under this chapter to thetreatment of the client information with a lot of secrecy. However,it provides that the secrecy of the information can be slightlylifted in a case where their client is a criminal, where there existsome disputes between the client and the practitioner, where clientagree in written form or where the secrecy is viewed as a potentialharm to the customer, practitioner, family members of the customer orthe entire community.
Thisrequires the psychotherapist to have clear records of the servicesoffered to the customer. The sections authorize the board todetermine the nature of the files, information contained in thereports and the duration for keeping the reports.
491.0149:Display of license use of professional title on promotionalmaterials
Itis a requirement of the section that any practitioner must make theirlicense to be easily seen while carrying out their duties. Suchinformation is also required to appear in the documents relating tothe professional. The interns and provisional licensees in thevarious professions are also not exempted from this law.
Chapter64B4-2: Definitions Applicable to Marriage and Family Therapy andMental Health Counseling
64B4-2.001:Experience for Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy andMental Health Counseling
Thissection of the rules requires the professional to have a minimumexperience of two years in the mentioned areas. The two years shouldinclude 1500 hours during which the health professional is engaged indirect contact with the patients. According to this section of therules, a person is only entitled to postmaster clinical experience ifhe or she satisfies the requirements provided in the other sections.
64B4-2.002:Supervision of Clinical Social Work, Marriage, and Family Therapy and
Basingon the rules, supervision refers to the interaction between qualifiedinstructor and the student that allows the intern to acquire therequired knowledge and skills. The intern can therefore only achievecredit upon meeting certain conditions as one hour of supervision inevery week and 1500 hours of direct contact with psychotherapypatients. The student is also required to makes submission of recordsof the psychotherapy with the patient in either written or videorecorded forms to the supervisor. Lastly, this section provides thatgroup supervision is also allowed as long as this is alternated byindividual supervision.
Therules define qualified supervisor as a person who has the license topractice the various professions and therefore meets the requirementsas stipulated in the rules.
64B4-2.003:Conflict of Interest in Supervision
Thissection states that any supervision offered by any person related tothe intern is not considered for the award of the license and thatthe supervisor should not be offered payment for the actual hoursspent during supervision to be considered as the applicant`semployee.
64B4-2.005:Place of Practice
Placeof practice is defined as an actual physical location in the healthprofessional cover under the chapter has been posted.
64B4-2.006:Mental Health Professional
Mentalhealth professional refers to a person licensed by the American Boardof Psychiatry and Neurology to provide medical services to patientswith various mental conditions. The phrase can also refer to anyregistered medical practitioner under Section 464.012 of Floridastatutes
Chapter64B4-31: Definitions used in Mental health Counseling
64B4-31.007:Licensed Mental Health Counselor or the Equivalent
Underthis section, a licensed mental health counselor or a qualifiedsupervisor is a person who meets the following conditions must be aregistered mental health counselor in Florida State or any othercountry. The individual must also possess license to practice thementioned professions in any country where the applicant wassupervised. Lastly, the practitioner must be a registeredpsychologist in any state where the person underwent supervision andhas minimum experience of three years in psychotherapy.
Underthis section, a research course refers to any course which aims atpreparing the learners to fully carry out research in theirrespective professions and present the results in an ethical manner.
Inorder to meet the requirements for certification, the students arerequired to cover the following course content: counseling theoriesand practice human growth and development diagnosis and treatmentof psychopathology human sexuality group theories and practiceindividual evaluation and assessment career and lifestyleassessment research and program evaluation social and culturalfoundations counseling in community settings substance abuselegal, ethical, and professional standards issues.
Inconclusion, it clear that the laws stipulated in the Florida Statute491 and ruled 64B4 adequately provides protection to the citizens.Through the definitions of the terms used in the section, the majorpossible sources of confusion have been significantly reduced. Therules are also continually updated taking the several changes in theprofession into consideration. This means that the practitioners alsohave to get further training to meet the new requirements by theboard. There are also provisions in the chapter that protect thepatients from the rude behaviors of the practitioners. All thepossible sources of threats to the health and safety of the membersof the public during the practice of the profession are well-takencare of. The statutes and the rules also do not overlap into theother professions and therefore avoid any possible confusion. It isclearly stated in some sections of the chapter that the law provideddo not in any way interfere with the activities of the otherprofessions not mentioned in the articles. This further makes aclear-cut boundary between the rules guiding the practice of thespecified profession and the other rules.
The2016 Florida Statutes,Chapter 491. Retrieved fromhttp://floridasmentalhealthprofessions.gov/resources/on 11thJan, 2017.
The2016 Florida administrative codes, chapter 64B4. Retrieved fromhttp://floridasmentalhealthprofessions.gov/resources/on 11thJan, 2017