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RULE §681.49Advertising and Announcements

(a) Information used by a licensee in any advertisement or announcement must not contain information which is false, inaccurate, misleading, incomplete, out of context, deceptive or not readily verifiable. Advertising includes, but is not limited to, any announcement of services, letterhead, business cards, commercial products, and billing statements.

(b) False, misleading, or deceptive advertising or advertising that is not readily subject to verification includes advertising that:

  (1) makes any misrepresentation of fact or omits a fact necessary to make the statement misleading;

  (2) makes any representation likely to create an unjustified expectation about the results of a mental health care service or procedure;

  (3) compares a mental health care professional's services with another health care professional's services unless the comparison can be factually substantiated;

  (4) contains a testimonial that includes false, deceptive, or misleading statements, or fails to include disclaimers or warnings as to the credentials of the person making the testimonial;

  (5) causes confusion or misunderstanding as to the credentials, education, or licensure of a mental health care professional;

  (6) advertises or represents that health care insurance deductibles or co-payments may be waived or are not applicable to health care services to be provided if the deductibles or co-payments are required;

  (7) advertises or represents that the benefits of a health benefit plan will be accepted as full payment when deductibles or co-payments are required;

  (8) makes a representation that is designed to take advantage of the fears or emotions of a particularly susceptible type of patient; or

  (9) advertises or represents in the use of a professional name a title or professional identification that is expressly or commonly reserved for or used by another profession or professional.

(c) A licensee who retains or hires others to advertise or promote the licensee's practice remains responsible for the statements and representations.

(d) The highest academic degree in counseling or a counseling-related field earned from an accredited school may be used when advertising or announcing counseling treatment intervention to the public or in counseling-related professional representations. A degree in counseling or a counseling-related field received at a foreign university may be used if the degree would be accepted as a transfer degree by an accredited school.

(e) Notwithstanding the foregoing, a licensee may advertise or announce his or her other degrees from an accredited school if the subject of the degree is specified.

(f) The Council imposes no restrictions on advertising by a licensee with regard to the use of any medium, the licensee's personal appearance, or the use of his or her personal voice, the size or duration of an advertisement by a licensee, or the use of a trade name.

(g) All advertisements or announcements of counseling including telephone directory listings by a person licensed by the Council must clearly state the licensee's licensure status by the use of a title such as "Licensed Counselor", or "Licensed Professional Counselor", or "LPC", or a statement such as "licensed by the Texas Behavioral Executive Council" with reference to the "Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors."

(h) An LPC Associate must indicate Associate status on all advertisements, billing, and announcements of counseling treatment by the use of the term "LPC Associate. "On all advertisements, billings and announcements of counseling treatment by an LPC Associate, the Associate's name must be followed by the name of the supervisor.

(i) A licensee is required to hold the art therapy specialty designation in order to use the title "art therapist" or the initials "AT." A licensee who does not hold the designation may use art therapy as a counseling method but may not use the title or initials.

(j) A licensed professional counselor who is a Council-approved supervisor may use the designation "LPC-S" when advertising their supervisory status.

Source Note: The provisions of this §681.49 adopted to be effective November 19, 2020, 45 TexReg 8139

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