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TITLE 22EXAMINING BOARDS
PART 35TEXAS STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS
CHAPTER 801LICENSURE AND REGULATION OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS
SUBCHAPTER CGUIDELINES FOR PROFESSIONAL THERAPEUTIC SERVICES AND CODE OF ETHICS
RULE §801.44Relationships with Clients

(a) A licensee shall provide marriage and family therapy professional services only in the context of a professional relationship.

(b) A licensee shall make known in writing to a prospective client the important aspects of the professional relationship, including but not limited to, the licensee's status as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, including any probationary status or other restrictions placed on the licensee by the board, office procedures, after-hours coverage, fees, and arrangements for payment (which might affect the client's decision to enter into the relationship).

(c) A licensee shall obtain an appropriate consent for treatment before providing professional services. A licensee shall make reasonable efforts to determine whether the conservatorship, guardianship, or parental rights of the client have been modified by a court. Prior to the commencement of therapy services to a minor client who is named in a custody agreement or court order, a licensee shall obtain and review a current copy of the custody agreement or court order in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship. A licensee shall maintain these documents in the client's record. When federal or state statutes provide an exemption to secure consent of a parent or guardian prior to providing services to a minor, a licensee shall follow the protocol set forth in such federal or state statutes.

(d) A licensee shall make known in writing to a prospective client the confidential nature of the client's disclosures and the clinical record, including the legal limitations of the confidentiality of the mental health record and information.

(e) No commission or rebate or any other form of remuneration shall be given or received by a licensee for the referral of clients for professional services. A licensee employed or under contract with a chemical dependency facility or a mental health facility, shall comply with the requirements in Health and Safety Code, §164.006 (relating to Soliciting and Contracting with Certain Referral Sources). Compliance with Health and Safety Code, Chapter 164 (relating to Treatment Facilities Marketing and Admission Practices) shall not be considered as a violation of state law regarding illegal remuneration.

(f) A licensee shall not exploit his/her position of trust with a client or former client.

(g) A licensee shall not engage in activities that seek to meet the licensee's personal needs instead of the needs of the client.

(h) A licensee shall not provide marriage and family therapy services to family members, personal friends, educational associates, business associates, or others whose welfare might be jeopardized by such a dual relationship.

(i) A licensee shall set and maintain professional boundaries with clients and former clients.

(j) A licensee may disclose confidential information to medical or law enforcement personnel if the licensee determines that there is a probability of imminent physical injury by the client to the client or others or there is a probability of immediate mental or emotional injury to the client.

(k) In group therapy settings, the licensee shall take reasonable precautions to protect individuals from physical or emotional trauma resulting from interaction within the group.

(l) A licensee shall make a reasonable effort to avoid non-therapeutic relationships with clients or former clients. A non-therapeutic relationship is an activity initiated by either the licensee or the client for the purposes of establishing a non-therapeutic relationship. It is the responsibility of the licensee to ensure the welfare of the client if a non-therapeutic relationship arises.

(m) A licensee shall keep accurate records of therapeutic services to include, but not be limited to, dates of services, types of services, progress or case notes, and billing information for a minimum of 5 years for an adult client and 5 years beyond the age of 18 years of age for a minor.

(n) Records created by licensees during the scope of their employment by educational institutions; by federal, state, or local government agencies; or political subdivisions or programs are not required to comply with the requirements of subsection (m) of this section.

(o) A licensee shall bill clients or third parties for only those services actually rendered or as agreed to in writing.

(p) A licensee shall terminate a professional relationship when it is reasonably clear that the client is not benefiting from it. Upon termination, if the client still requires mental health services, the licensee shall make reasonable efforts in writing to refer the client to appropriate services.

(q) A licensee who engages in technology-assisted services must provide the client with the licensee's license number and information on how to contact the board by telephone, electronic communication, or mail. The licensee must comply with all other provisions of this chapter.

(r) A licensee shall offer only those services that are within his or her professional competency, and the services provided shall be within accepted professional standards of practice and appropriate to the needs of the client.

(s) A licensee shall base all services on an assessment, evaluation, or diagnosis of the client.

(t) A licensee shall evaluate a client's progress on a continuing basis to guide service delivery and shall make use of supervision and consultation as indicated by the client's needs.

(u) A licensee shall not promote or encourage the illegal use of alcohol or drugs by clients.

(v) A licensee shall not knowingly offer or provide professional services to an individual concurrently receiving professional services from another mental health services provider except with that provider's knowledge. If a licensee learns of such concurrent professional services, the licensee shall take immediate and reasonable action to inform the other mental health services provider.

(w) A licensee shall refrain from providing services while impaired by medication, drugs, or alcohol.

(x) Upon termination of a relationship, if professional counseling or other marriage and family therapy services are still necessary, the licensee shall take reasonable steps to facilitate the transfer to appropriate care.

(y) A licensee shall not aid or abet the unlicensed practice of marriage and family therapy services by a person required to be licensed under the Act. A licensee shall report to the board knowledge of any unlicensed practice.

(z) A licensee shall not enter into a non-professional relationship with a client's family member or any person having a personal or professional relationship with a client, if the licensee knows or reasonably should have known such a relationship could be detrimental to the client.


Source Note: The provisions of this §801.44 adopted to be effective April 20, 1994, 19 TexReg 2386; amended to be effective April 11, 2001, 26 TexReg 2713; amended to be effective July 2, 2006, 31 TexReg 5111; amended to be effective May 18, 2008, 33 TexReg 3758; amended to be effective March 31, 2013, 38 TexReg 1982; amended to be effective November 23, 2014, 39 TexReg 9011; amended to be effective March 26, 2017, 42 TexReg 1253

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