HB 1134 requires only persons who are certified under this chapter can practice as a certified counselor or certified adviser, and may be engaged in private practice counseling in a setting other than an agency. Changes to the scope of practice for certified counselors and certified advisers include removing the requirement to apply global assessments from the 4th edition of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (published in 1994) when diagnosing mental disorders or functioning impairments. It adds to the scope of practice the risk assessment of a client’s mental, emotional, or behavioral problems according to the definition of mild, moderate, and severe mental, emotional, or behavioral problems as defined by the secretary in rule; and requiring clients with a severe mental, emotional, or behavioral problem to be referred to a licensed health care practitioner, also defined by the secretary in rule, for diagnosis and treatment.
The language changes allow certified counselors and certified advisers to counsel clients with absent to mild mental, emotional, or behavioral problems. Certified counselors may guide clients with moderate metal, emotional, or behavioral problems, but cannot be the sole treatment provider for clients with severe mental, emotional, or behavioral problems. However, if the client is referred by licensed health care practitioner, as defined by the secretary in rule, to a certified counselor, they may work with the client as part of a treatment plan developed by the referring practitioner.
Finally, HB 1134 removes the language that allowed certified counselors the ability to solely treat clients that refused in writing a referral of treatment and diagnosis from a physician or other licensed practitioner. This also includes treatment plans developed by the certified counselor and a consultant or supervisor.