The Board of Examiners in Counseling exists in order to ensure that the practice of counseling and marriage and family therapy contributes to the general welfare and public interest of the state and its citizens. The Board authorizes and qualifies practitioners by establishing standards for the education, training, and character of Licensed Counselors and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists. In addition, the Board establishes regulations, conducts hearings, and initiates other actions that govern the issuing, denial, exemption, and revocation of licenses to counseling and therapy practitioners.
WVBEC COVID-19 UPDATE
The West Virginia Board of Examiners in Counseling is aware that in-state colleges, universities, and schools have closed their campuses due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak.
For those WV LPCs and LMFTs who will be utilizing technology-assisted counseling or therapy, also known as distance counseling, the Board recommends the following:
1) The licensee should be reminded that the standards of counseling and marriage and family therapy practice set forth in W. Va. Code § 30-31-1 et seq., Board rules, and professional code(s) of ethics as per W. Va. Code § 27-1-11 and §27-8-10, also apply to technology-assisted counseling and therapy. Technology-Assisted counseling or therapy shall be held to the same standards of appropriate practice as those in-person settings.
2) The licensee should be aware of the potential problems unique to technology-assisted counseling or therapy in that the counseling relationship, client identity, and other counseling related matters may be compromised.
3) The licensee should limit the practice of technology-assisted counseling or therapy to the areas of competence in which proficiency has been gained through education, training, and experience. Additionally, the licensee should continually assess both their professional and technical competence when providing technology-assisted counseling or therapy.
4) The licensee should understand and inform clients of the limits to confidentiality and risks to the possible access or disclosure of confidential data and information that may occur during electronic service delivery.
5) The licensee must take reasonable steps to ensure that security measures are in place for obtaining,protecting, verifying, and controlling access to client data.
6.a.) Forthe WV Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) providing distance counseling to a client physically present in WV, the licensee shall adhere to "Section H - Distance Counseling, Technology, and Social Media" of the current version of the ACA Code of Ethics. In addition, the board recommends the LPC review the NBCC Policy Regarding the Provision of Distance Professional Services to provide further guidance and ethical considerations when providing technology assisted counseling.
For the licensees of this Board providing technology-assisted counseling or therapy to persons (clients) physically located outside of the State of West Virginia:
The licensee is advised to check the regulations of the licensing board for the state in which the client is located to ensure compliance with the laws and rules of that jurisdiction, as certain states prohibit counseling/therapy by an individual who is unlicensed by that state.
Licensees of other states should be advised that all persons providing counseling or marriage and family therapy via technology-assisted delivery to persons (clients) physically present in the State of West Virginia shall be licensed in West Virginia, except as provided in West Virginia Code 30-31-11(b)(2):
Nothing in the article requires licensing of the following persons pursuant to this article: A nonresident professional counselor or marriage and family therapist who holds a license or other authorization to engage in the practice of professional counseling or marriage and family therapy issued by another state, the qualifications for which in the opinion of the board are at least as stringent as those provided in section eight and section nine of this article, and who renders counseling services in this state for no more than thirty days in any calendar year.
For additional information, please refer to the following links: