Missouri Code of State Regulations
Division 2095 - Committee for Professional Counselors
Chapter 3 - Professional Responsibility
Section 20 CSR 2095-3.010 - Scope of Coverage

Current through Register Vol. 48, No. 18, September 15, 2023

PURPOSE: This rule describes the scope of coverage and organization of the ethical standards for counselors, authorized in section 337.520(12), RSMo.

(1) The ethical standards for counselors (hereinafter standards) shall apply to a licensed professional counselor, registered supervisor that is a licensed professional counselor, provisional licensed professional counselor, counselor-in-training, and an applicant for licensure and/or supervision (hereinafter referred to as counselor or counselors). A violation of these standards constitutes unprofessional conduct and is sufficient reason for disciplinary action pursuant to section 337.525, RSMo.

(2) A counselor shall practice within the boundaries of his/her competence, based upon education, training, and experience.

(3) A counselor shall not accept any form of remuneration that exploits the therapeutic relationship and a counselor shall not allow the pursuit of financial gain or other personal benefit to interfere with the exercise of sound, professional judgment and skills.

(4) A counselor shall not misrepresent his/her licensure status or educational credentials.

(5) A counselor shall display his/her license or provisional license in a conspicuous place that is readily accessible to a client or patient.

(6) When administering, scoring, or interpreting any tests or appraisal instruments, a counselor shall be adequately educated and trained. For the purpose of this rule, adequate training shall be defined as formal, graduate course work that involves the administration and interpretation of the instrument or advance training, such as seminars sponsored by the test publisher. A licensed professional counselor shall have training in diagnostic and assessment tools commonly used in the assessment process.

(7) A client or patient (hereinafter referred to as client) is an individual for whom professional counseling, as defined in section 337.500(7), RSMo, is provided. A corporate entity or other organization can be a client when the therapeutic relationship is between the counselor and individuals within the entity or organization.

(A) When a corporation or other organization is the client, rules of confidentiality apply to information pertaining to the organization; include personal information about an individual when obtained in the proper course of a contract. The information about an individual subject to confidential control of the organization, not of the individual, can be made available to the organization, unless specifically stated in the contract to that individual that there is a reasonable expectation by that individual that the information was obtained in a separate therapeutic relationship with the individual and is subject to therapist/client confidentiality.

(8) For the purpose of the ethical standards for counselors, a therapeutic relationship shall encompass any of the following:

(A) A mutual understanding of the counseling process as evidenced by a signed informed consent agreement as defined in 20 CSR 2095-3.015(1)(A)-(H);

(B) Utilization of professional counseling skills as defined in section 337.500(7), RSMo;

(C) Utilization of the therapeutic relationship to assist the client in learning to relate to themselves and others;

(D) A relationship between a counselor and client seeking professional counseling service as defined in 337.500(7), RSMo; and

(E) Within the limitations of the law, a relationship in which the counselor shall not interfere with the client's right to make life decisions.

(9) For the purpose of these ethical standards for counselors, an exploitive relationship shall be defined as any relationship between the registered supervisor and counselor-in-training or provisional licensed professional counselor, or counselor and client that may exploit or cause harm to the counselor-in-training, provisional licensed professional counselor or client.

(A) For the purpose of these standards, to exploit means to take unfair advantage of the client, counselor-in-training, or provisional licensed professional counselor.

(10) The counselor shall not undertake or continue a therapeutic relationship with a client when the objectivity or competency of the counselor is or is reasonably expected to be impaired because of emotional, mental, psychological, or substance abuse disorder. If a counselor's objectivity or competency becomes impaired due to an emotional, mental, psychological or substance abuse disorder after a therapeutic relationship has been initiated, the counselor shall terminate the therapeutic relationship by notifying the client in writing of the termination and provide written documentation that the client was informed concerning the termination of the therapeutic relationship.

(A) Documentation shall be in writing and include information that a referral(s) was made.

(11) A counselor shall not delegate therapeutic or supervisory responsibilities to a person that is not qualified or does not possess the appropriate credentials for the therapy or services to be provided.

(12) While providing psychotherapy or professional counseling or within the twenty-four (24) months following completion or termination of psychotherapy or professional counseling a counselor shall not engage in the following:

(A) Sexual intercourse, defined as any genital contact with the client including, but not limited to, vaginal intercourse, sodomy, oral and/or anal copulation, or any penetration of the anal or vaginal opening by any body part or object;

(B) Kissing with the mouth, lips, or tongue;

(C) Touching or caressing of the client's breasts, genitals, or buttocks;

(D) Touching or caressing the other body parts of a client in an exploitive manner;

(E) Exposing one's breast, genitals or buttocks in an exploitive manner or encouraging another to expose him/herself for the purpose of the counselor's sexual gratification; and

(F) Deliberate or repeated comments or gestures of an exploitive nature.

AUTHORITY: sections 337.520 and 337.525, RSMo 2000.* This rule originally filed as 4 CSR 95-3.010. Original rule filed Oct. 16, 1986, effective Jan. 30, 1987. Rescinded and readopted: Filed July 3, 1990, effective Dec. 31, 1990. Rescinded and readopted: Filed Dec. 1, 2004, effective June 30, 2005. Moved to 20 CSR 2095-3.010, effective Aug. 28, 2006. Amended: Filed Nov. 21, 2008, effective May 30, 2009.

*Original authority: 337.520, RSMo 1985, amended 1989, 1993, 1995 and 337.525, RSMo 1985, amended 1989.

Disclaimer: These regulations may not be the most recent version. Missouri may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
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