The 491 Board issued a new rule today that (a) allows registered mental health counselor interns to use their telehealth therapy hours towards their 1,500 face-to-face psychotherapy hours (but only if the intern and client had a therapeutic relationship prior to 3/19/20) and (b) permits qualified supervisors to conduct all supervision hours with interns via webcam. We very much appreciate the efforts of the 491 Board to help ensure adequate client access to therapy appointments during this difficult time.
64B4ER20-20 Definition of “Face-to-Face psychotherapy” (1) “Face-to-face psychotherapy” for clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and mental health counselors registered pursuant to Section 491.0045, F.S.. includes face-to-face electronic methods, not including telephone only communication, so long as the registered intern establishes and adheres to the following: (a) The registered intern has an established qualified supervisor and maintains the same qualified supervisor for the duration of the application of this rule; (b) The registered intern has a written telehealth protocol and safety plan in place with their current qualified supervisor which includes the provision that the qualified supervisor must be readily available during the electronic therapy session: and (c) The registered intern and the client have an existing therapeutic relationship established prior to the effective date of this rule. (2) Notwithstanding 64B4-2.002(3) and (4), F.A.C.. a qualified supervisor may utilize face-to-face electronic methods (not telephone only communication) to conduct all supervisor sessions for internship hours. Rule makine Authority 491.004(5), 491 .005(1)(c), (3)(c), (4)(c) FS. Law Implemented 491.005W(c), (3)(c), (41(c)