The governor shall appoint the members of the board subject to confirmation by the legislature.
The governor may only remove a member of the board for good cause.
The board shall hold an annual meeting and may hold special meetings at the call of the chair or a majority of the board members.
(a) There is established the Board of Marital and Family Therapy.
(b) The board consists of three persons licensed under this chapter and two members of the public.
Notwithstanding that a specific act is within the definition of the 'practice of marital and family therapy,' a person licensed under this chapter may not perform the act if the person lacks the appropriate education, training, and experience related to the act.
AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act) applies to regulations and proceedings under this chapter.
Article 02. MARITAL AND FAMILY THERAPY LICENSES
(a) A person may not supervise a person under this chapter unless approved by the board to be a supervisor.
(b) A person who supervises a licensee under this section must
(1) have practiced marital and family therapy for five years;
(2) be licensed under this chapter; and
(3) meet the minimum standards established by the board for approved supervisors.
The board shall issue a license to practice marital and family therapy to a person who
(1) is licensed or certified for the practice of marital and family therapy in another state that has requirements for the license or certificate that are substantially equal to or greater than the requirements of this state; and
(2) meets the requirements of AS 08.63.100 (a)(1), (2), and (3)(A).
Article 03. GENERAL PROVISIONS
A person who is not licensed under this chapter or whose license is suspended or revoked, or whose license has lapsed, who knowingly uses in connection with the person's name the words or letters 'L.M.F.T.,' 'L.M.F.C.,' 'Licensed Marital and Family Therapist,' 'Licensed Marriage and Family Counselor,' or other letters, words, or insignia indicating or implying that the person is licensed as a marital and family therapist by this state or who in any way, orally or in writing, directly or by implication, knowingly holds out as being licensed by the state as a marital and family therapist in this state is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
(a) The board shall issue a temporary license for the practice of marital and family therapy to an applicant who satisfies the requirements of AS 08.63.100 (a)(1), (2), and (3)(A), (B), and (C) and has been approved by the board to take the marital and family therapy examination.
(b) A person may practice under a temporary license until the board issues the results of the first marital and family therapy examination given after issuance of the person's temporary license and either issues or denies a license under AS 08.63.100 to the person.
(c) If a licensee under this section fails the marital and family therapy examination, the board may not renew the person's temporary license.
Before the performance of services, a licensed marital and family therapist shall ensure that the client was furnished a copy of a professional disclosure statement that contained
(1) the name, title, business address, and business telephone number of the marital and family therapist;
(2) a description of the formal professional education of the marital and family therapist, including the institutions attended and the degrees received from the institutions;
(3) the marital and family therapist's areas of specialization and the services available;
(4) the marital and family therapist's fee schedule listed by type of service or hourly rate;
(5) a description of the exception to confidentiality contained in AS 08.63.200(a)(6); and
(6) at the bottom of the first page of the statement, the following sentence: 'This information is required by the Board of Marital and Family Therapy, which regulates all licensed marital and family therapists,' followed by the name, address, and telephone number of the board's office.
(a) The board shall
(1) establish objective examination requirements and training and education requirements for persons who apply for a license to practice marital and family therapy;
(2) examine applicants and issue licenses to qualified applicants;
(3) establish continuing education requirements for license renewal;
(4) adopt a code of ethical practice for marital and family therapy;
(5) hold hearings and order the disciplinary sanction of a person who violates this chapter or a regulation of the board;
(6) ensure that licensees are aware of the requirements of AS 47.17.020;
(7) establish standards for supervisors and supervision under this chapter;
(8) enforce the provisions of this chapter and adopt regulations necessary to carry out its duties under this chapter.
(b) The board may order a licensed marital and family therapist to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if the board has credible evidence sufficient to conclude that the marital and family therapist's physical or mental capacity to practice safely is at issue.
(a) The board shall issue a four-year license for the supervised practice of marital and family therapy to a person who meets the requirements of AS 08.63.100 (a)(1), (2), and (3)(A) - (B).
(b) A licensee under this section may practice only
(1) under the direct supervision of a supervisor approved by the board under AS 08.63.120 ; and
(2) in a clinic, social service agency, or other setting approved by the board.
(c) A license for supervised practice expires four years from the date of issuance and may not be renewed.
(d) A licensee under this section shall submit to the board for its approval a proposed plan for satisfying the supervision requirements of AS 08.63.100 (a)(3)(C).
(e) A licensee under this section shall use the title 'marital therapy associate,' 'family therapy associate,' or other title that is approved by the board.
(f) The board shall revoke a license for supervised practice if the person fails the examination required under AS 08.63.100 two or more times.
In this chapter, unless the context indicates otherwise,
(1) 'advertise' includes issuing or causing to be distributed a card, sign, or device to a person, or causing, permitting, or allowing a sign or marking on or in a building or structure, or in a newspaper, magazine, or directory, or on radio or television, or using other means designed to secure public attention;
(2) 'board' means the Board of Marital and Family Therapy;
(3) 'course' means a class of at least three credit hours in a graduate program at an accredited educational institution or an institution approved by the board;
(4) 'department' means the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development;
(5) 'practice of marital and family therapy' means the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders that are referenced in the standard diagnostic nomenclature for marital and family therapy, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, within the context of human relationships, particularly marital and family systems; marital and family therapy involves
(A) the professional application of assessments and treatments of psychotherapeutic services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating the diagnosed emotional and mental disorders;
(B) an applied understanding of the dynamics of marital and family interactions, along with the application of psychotherapeutic and counseling techniques for the purpose of resolving intrapersonal and interpersonal conflict and changing perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors in the area of human relationships and family life;
(6) 'supervision' means face-to-face consultation, direction, review, evaluation, and assessment of the practice of the person being supervised, including direct observation and the review of case presentations, audio tapes, and video tapes.
(a) After a hearing, the board may impose a disciplinary sanction under AS 08.01.075 on a person licensed under this chapter when the board finds that the person
(1) secured a license through deceit, fraud, or intentional misrepresentation;
(2) engaged in deceit, fraud, or intentional misrepresentation in the course of providing professional services or engaging in professional activities;
(3) advertised professional services in a false or misleading manner;
(4) has been convicted of a felony or of another crime that affects the person's ability to practice competently and safely;
(5) failed to comply with a provision of this chapter or a regulation adopted under this chapter, or an order of the board;
(6) continued to practice after becoming unfit due to
(A) professional incompetence;
(B) addiction or severe dependency on alcohol or another drug that impairs the person's ability to practice safely;
(7) engaged in unethical conduct in connection with the delivery of professional services to clients;
(8) engaged in sexual misconduct with a client during the course of therapy, either within or outside the treatment setting, or within two years after therapy or counseling with the client has terminated; in this paragraph, 'sexual misconduct' includes sexual contact, as defined in regulations adopted under this chapter, or attempted sexual contact, regardless of the client's or former client's consent or lack of consent.
(b) The board may summarily suspend the license of a licensee who refuses to submit to a physical or mental examination under AS 08.63.050(b). A person whose license is suspended under this subsection is entitled to a hearing by the board within seven days after the effective date of the order. If, after a hearing, the board upholds the suspension, the licensee may appeal the suspension to a court of competent jurisdiction.
(a) A person licensed under this chapter may not reveal to another person a communication made to the licensee by a client about a matter concerning which the client has employed the licensee in a professional capacity. This section does not apply to
(1) a case conference or case consultation with other mental health professionals at which the patient is not identified;
(2) the release of information that the client in writing authorized the licensee to reveal;
(3) information released to the board as part of a disciplinary or other proceeding;
(4) situations where the rules of evidence applicable to the psychotherapist-patient privilege allow the release of the information;
(5) a communication to a potential victim or to law enforcement officers where a threat of imminent serious physical harm to an identified victim has been made by a client; or
(6) a disclosure revealing a communication about an act that the licensee has reasonable cause to suspect constitutes unlawful or unethical conduct that would be grounds for imposition of disciplinary sanctions by a person licensed to provide health or mental health services, if the disclosure is made only to the licensing board with jurisdiction over the person who allegedly committed the act, and the disclosure is made in good faith.
(b) Notwithstanding (a) of this section, a person licensed under this chapter shall report incidents of
(1) child abuse or neglect as required by AS 47.17;
(2) harm or assaults suffered by an elderly person or disabled adult as required by AS 47.24.
(c) Information obtained by the board under (a)(3) of this section is confidential and is not a public record for purposes of AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.140.
(a) The board shall issue a license to practice marital and family therapy to a person who
(1) applies on a form provided by the board;
(2) pays the fee established under AS 08.01.065 ;
(3) furnishes evidence satisfactory to the board that the person
(A) has not engaged in conduct that is a ground for imposing disciplinary sanctions under AS 08.63.210 ;
(B) holds a master's degree or doctorate in marital and family therapy or allied mental health field from a regionally accredited educational institution approved by the board for which the person completed a course of study that included instruction substantially equivalent to the following:
(i) three courses or nine semester or 12 quarter hours of course work in marital and family therapy;
(ii) three courses or nine semester or 12 quarter hours of course work in marital and family studies;
(iii) three courses or nine semester or 12 quarter hours of course work in human development;
(iv) one course or three semester or four quarter hours of course work in professional studies or professional ethics and law;
(v) one course or three semester or four quarter hours of course work in research; and
(vi) one year of supervised clinical practice in marital and family therapy;
(C) after receiving a degree described in (B) of this paragraph, has
(i) practiced marital and family therapy, including 1,500 hours of direct clinical contact with couples, individuals, and families; and
(ii) been supervised in the clinical contact for at least 200 hours, including 100 hours of individual supervision and 100 hours of group supervision approved by the board;
(D) has received training related to domestic violence; and
(E) has passed a written or oral examination administered by the board.
(b) Under regulations adopted by the board, a person who holds a master's or doctorate degree in marital and family therapy or allied mental health field from a regionally accredited educational institution approved by the board, but whose course of degree study did not include all the courses or clinical practice requirements set out in (a)(3)(B) of this section may substitute post-degree courses or practice, as approved by the board, to satisfy the requirements of (a)(3)(B) of this section.
(c) An applicant who fails an examination given under this section may not retake the examination for a period of six months from the date of the examination that the applicant failed.
(d) A license issued under this section shall be renewed biennially by the applicant on a date set by the department and approved by the board. It shall be renewed by payment of the fee established under AS 08.01.065 and by satisfaction of the continuing education requirements established by the board for the renewal of licenses issued under this section.