The AMHCA Ethics Committee has developed a statement on state portability issues that has been forwarded to state counseling boards and related state agencies and officials.
As an AMHCA member, please contact your state counseling board and state legislators if they reside in the state that does not currently allow transitional sessions to make this AMHCA Ethics Committee statement a reality.
Statement by the AMHCA Ethics Committee on “The need for States to offer licensure portability during the COVID-19 pandemic”
The coronavirus crisis has brought to light and created an urgency regarding a long-standing ethical dilemma faced by many clinical mental health counselors (CMHCs). This crisis has also increased, probably exponentially, the number of CMHCs practicing technology supported counseling and communications. When a client crosses state lines, the counselor's obligation to that client does not immediately cease. Section B.5 of the AMHCA Code of Ethics (2020) clearly states: "CMHCs do not abandon or neglect their counseling clients.” There are some state licensing rules or laws that have failed to recognize this ethical obligation and have therefore forced CMHC’s into a position that is unethical. We are therefore asking all states, that have not already done so, to allow some transitional sessions to take place across state lines when there is already an established counseling relationship, until such time as it would be possible for the counselor to either acquire a license in the state where the client is now located, or allow a sufficient number of sessions for closure and allowing the client to transition to a counselor who is licensed in that state.
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