Please share this information with Qualified Supervisors and Florida impending Graduate students and Registered Interns

CS/HB 373 — Mental Health Counseling Interns
by Health Quality Subcommittee; Rep. Burgess and others (SB 858 by Senator Legg)
The bill requires that a clinical social work, marriage and family, or mental health counseling intern practice under the supervision of a licensed clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, or mental health counselor, as applicable, at all times. It clarifies that an intern may only practice if the supervising or another licensed mental health professional is onsite.

The bill limits the duration of a registered internship to five years, with a grandfathering provision for licenses issued before April 1, 2017. These intern registrations expire March 31,2022, and may not be renewed or reissued. The internship may only be renewed if the registration is issued after April 1, 2017, and the intern has passed the theory and practice examination required for full licensure.
The bill prohibits a person who has held a provisional license from applying for an intern registration in the same profession.
3/24/2016 • Approved by Governor • Chapter No. 2016-80


Florida Laws & Rules

Florida Laws & Rules

On February 9, 2016 the Florida Board of CSW, MFT and MHC approved the language that defines Supervision of a Registered Intern by a Qualified Supervisor.  The rule is in effect now.   Changes allow face-to-face electronic methods and specifies that just using the telephone for supervision is not allowed.  Here is the new section in full.  Feel free to comment or ask questions below.  Please print the text out and discuss it with your Supervisees and Qualified Supervisors.

 64B4-2.002 Definition of “Supervision” for Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling.

 Supervision is the relationship between the qualified supervisor and intern that promotes the development of responsibility, skills, knowledge, attitudes and adherence to ethical, legal and regulatory standards in the practice of clinical social work, marriage and family therapy and mental health counseling. Supervision is contact between an intern and a supervisor during which the intern apprises the supervisor of the diagnosis and treatment of each client, client cases are discussed, the supervisor provides the intern with oversight and guidance in diagnosing, treating and dealing with clients, and the supervisor evaluates the intern’s performance.

(1) An intern shall be credited for the time of supervision required by Section 491.005, F.S., if the intern:

(a) Received at least 100 hours of supervision in no less than 100 weeks; and,
(b) Provided at least 1500 hours of face-to-face psychotherapy with clients; and,
(c) Received at least 1 hour of supervision every two weeks.

(2) The supervision shall focus on the raw data from the intern’s face-to-face psychotherapy with clients. The intern shall make the raw data directly available to the supervisor through such means as written clinical materials, direct observation and video and audio recordings. Supervision is a process distinguishable from personal psychotherapy or didactic instruction.

(3) The supervisor and intern may utilize face-to-face electronic methods (not telephone only communication) to conduct the supervisory sessions; however, the supervisor and intern must have in-person face-to-face contact for at least 50% of all of the interactions required in subsection (1) above. Prior to utilizing any online or interactive methods for supervision, the supervisor and the intern shall have at least one in-person face-to-face meeting. The supervisor and the intern are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the clients during both in-person and online or interactive supervisory sessions.

NOTE: from Dr. Waltz – The Board was asked at their last meeting (February 11th, 2016) to clarify IF the 50% of supervision allowed by face-to-face electronic means had to alternate with in person face-to-face.  The Board replied NO but reiterated that no more than 50% of clinical supervision could be by face-to-face electronic means.  

(4) If an intern obtains group supervision, each hour of group supervision must alternate with an hour of individual supervision. Group supervision must be conducted with all participants present in-person. For the purpose of this section, individual supervision is defined as one qualified supervisor supervising no more than two (2) interns and group supervision is defined as one qualified supervisor supervising more than 2 but a maximum of 6 interns in the group.

Rulemaking Authority 491.004(5), 491.0045, 491.005(1)(c), (3)(c), (4)(c) FS. Law Implemented 491.005(1)(c), (3)(c), (4)(c) FS. History–New 7-6-88, Amended 3-21-90, Formerly 21CC-2.002, 61F4-2.002, Amended 1-7-96, 12-16-96, Formerly 59P-2.002, Amended 11-13-97, 10-28-98, 1-1-07, 3-14-07, 2-9-16.

– Catherine L. Waltz, PhD, is an adjunct professor in the graduate program of the School of Social Work, Barry University.  She is a continuing education provider in the state of Florida providing courses on professional ethics, laws and rules, supervision, mental health error preventionlegalscales and a specialist in domestic violence. 

The educational commentaries provided by Dr. Waltz do not constitute a legal opinion.  If legal advice is needed, it is recommended that contact be made with an attorney qualified in the jurisdiction in which you practice or is applicable to your case.  We recommend that you use your knowledge of the law and your code of ethics in conjunction with this and any other information when deciding upon your course of action.


What does “continue in supervision” Entail?

October 12, 2015

Entail – verb – inˈtāl, enˈtāl/ involve (something) as a necessary or inevitable part or consequence. “a situation that entails considerable risks” synonyms: involve, necessitate, require, need, demand Rule 64B4-3.008(1) requires that a Registered Interns “…continue in supervision …until until he or she is in receipt of a license to practice the profession for which he or she has […]

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Recent actions by the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling:

September 9, 2015

As hard as it might be to believe it really isn’t okay to borrow money from a client.  For me that is an obvious breech of our fiduciary relationship with our clients.  I think we all know that committing fraud or conspiring to commit fraud through insurance, Medicare and Medicaid billing isn’t okay either.  Again, […]

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Is the new Pixar movie “Inside Out” a fair example of our internal struggles?

June 22, 2015

I have been intrigued by the implications of this movie since I saw the first trailer some time ago.  The new Pixar film “Inside Out” reminds me of the many conversations that I have had with clients over the past 30+ years.  So many clients talk about “that voice in my head” or “the committee” […]

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Fraud – What is it? What’s the harm?

February 8, 2015

By Catherine L. Waltz, PhD, LCSW June 16, 2014 revised February 9th, 2015 I have noticed a number of disciplinary cases involving some form of fraud in the minutes of the past quarter’s Board meetings.  These cases are another example of intentional deception to the detriment of some “other”.  The cases I reviewed were frauds […]

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Exemptions to Licensure

December 9, 2014

Exemptions to Licensure © Catherine L. Waltz, PhD, LCSW July 17, 2014 – Revised and Shared with Beginning Counselors of Florida on October 31, 2014 Frequently I am asked when providing continuing education on any of our required courses, “How do agencies (or programs) have unlicensed employees (or trainees) providing counseling services?”  There is confusion […]

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What Is Supposed to Happen in an Hour of Supervision?

November 19, 2014

Eye on Florida Laws and Rules What Is Supposed to Happen in an Hour of Supervision? © Catherine L. Waltz, PhD, LCSW November 19, 2014 Registered interns and licensed mental health professionals often want to know just what constitutes supervision.  Questions about supervision are posted online on Facebook and LinkedIn, emailed to me and sometimes […]

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IMPORTANT UPDATE! For: “I want to start a private practice. What do I need to know?”

October 30, 2014

© Catherine L. Waltz, PhD, LCSW October 29, 2014 This post updates the information previously posted on October 19th based on statutes that are in the process of being changed.  Registered Interns should read this commentary thoroughly.  The prior post has been edited and out-dated information deleted. I’m a Registered Intern; can I have a […]

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I want to start a private practice. What do I need to know?

October 21, 2014

© Catherine L. Waltz, PhD, LCSW October 19, 2014, revised October 29, 2014 I’ve been licensed and working for a while but I really want to be in private practice.  What do I need do first?  I’m a Registered Intern; can I have a private practice? These questions and others have been posed to me […]

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