TITLE XXX
OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS

Chapter 330-A
MENTAL HEALTH PRACTICE

Section 330-A:1

    330-A:1 Purpose; Application. –
I. The purpose of this chapter is to regulate mental health practice by practitioners in the state to assure that the services provided are effective and of a quality consistent with the standard of care within each profession, and to safeguard the public against harm which may be caused by untrained, unskilled, or unlicensed practitioners. Specifically, this chapter applies to practitioners providing mental health services to persons with a diagnosis specified in the most current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, or an equivalent of such manual as determined by the board. This chapter shall assure that all consumers of mental health services shall receive an individual mental health diagnosis and, according to this diagnosis, shall receive consultation from a specific and appropriate mental health practitioner.
II. This chapter shall not be construed to prevent or restrict the traditional right of ministers and clergy to give individual or group counseling.

Source. 1998, 234:1, eff. Oct. 31, 1998.

Section 330-A:2

    330-A:2 Definitions. –
In this chapter:
I. "Alternative provider" means a person who, for remuneration, engages in any aspect of mental health practice as defined in RSA 330-A:2, VI, but does not hold a license issued under this chapter to practice as a licensed pastoral psychotherapist, clinical social worker, clinical mental health counselor, or marriage and family therapist, and who has registered with the board prior to July 1, 2007.
II. "Board" means the board of mental health practice.
II-a. "Board investigator" means a board member who is responsible for overseeing the activities of the professional conduct investigation committee.
II-b. "Communication of alleged misconduct" or "allegation" means a written statement received by the board describing a claim of professional misconduct of a licensee under this chapter. The term "allegation" shall include but not be limited to, such uses as "allegation of professional misconduct," "letter of alleged misconduct," "statement of alleged misconduct," and "submission of allegation of misconduct."
II-c. "Complaint" means a communication of alleged misconduct containing information that, as the board shall determine, if true, could violate ethical codes, administrative rules, or the law. A matter is considered a complaint when the board orders the change of status from allegation to complaint.
III. "Client" means a person who seeks or obtains psychotherapy.
IV. "Former client or patient" means a person who was given psychotherapy within the previous 7 years.
V. "Mental health discipline" means the disciplines of those licensed as pastoral psychotherapists, clinical social workers, school social workers, clinical mental health counselors, and marriage and family therapists.
VI. "Mental health practice" means the observation, description, evaluation, interpretation, diagnosis, and modification of human behavior by the application of psychological and systems principles, methods, and procedures for the purpose of preventing or eliminating symptomatic, maladapted, or undesirable behavior and of enhancing interpersonal relationships, work and life adjustments, personal effectiveness, behavioral health, and mental health, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of the psychological and social aspects of physical illness, accident, injury, or disability. Mental health practice may include, but shall not be limited to, those services based on diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders and psycho-educational or consultative techniques integral to the treatment of such disorders when diagnosis is specified in the most current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, or an equivalent of such manual as determined by the board. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, no person licensed or registered under this chapter shall assess the need for medications, prescribe medications, or otherwise practice medicine as defined in RSA 329.
VII. "Mental health practitioner" means persons licensed under this chapter as pastoral psychotherapists, clinical social workers, school social workers, clinical mental health counselors, or marriage and family therapists. For purposes of this chapter, the term clinical social worker shall include independent clinical social worker.
VII-a. "Professional conduct investigator" means a trained mental health practitioner licensed by the board who acts as the agent of the board under the guidance of the board investigator and is authorized to discover facts and make reports to the board.
VIII. "Psychotherapist" means a clinical social worker, school social worker, pastoral psychotherapist, clinical mental health counselor, or marriage and family therapist licensed under this chapter who performs or purports to perform psychotherapy. This definition shall include psychiatrists licensed as physicians under RSA 329 and advanced registered nurse practitioners licensed under RSA 326-B:18 as psychiatric nurse practitioners.
IX. "Psychotherapy" means the professional treatment, assessment, or counseling of a mental or emotional illness, symptom, or condition.
X. "Sexual relations" means the intentional touching of any part of the client's body or any verbal or nonverbal communication for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of either party.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2005, 293:10. 2007, 83:1. 2010, 244:1, 2. 2012, 233:2, eff. July 1, 2013; 269:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2013. 2020, 6:30-32, eff. Mar. 9, 2020.

Section 330-A:3

    330-A:3 Board. –
I. There shall be a board of mental health practice composed of the following members: one licensed pastoral psychotherapist, one licensed clinical social worker, one licensed school social worker, one licensed marriage and family therapist, one licensed clinical mental health counselor, one member from a community mental health center, one member from a community health center, and 3 public members. The members shall be appointed to a term of 3 years by the governor with the approval of the council. The members of the board shall elect a chairperson on an annual basis. No discipline's representative and no individual public member shall serve as chairperson for more than 2 years consecutively.
II. The board members shall not serve more than 2 consecutive 3-year terms.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2006, 168:1. 2010, 244:3. 2012, 233:3, eff. July 1, 2013. 2019, 228:1, eff. Sept. 10, 2019. 2020, 6:33, eff. Mar. 9, 2020.

Section 330-A:4

    330-A:4 Committees Established; Duties. –
I. The board may create an advisory committee for each mental health discipline it licenses for the purpose of assisting the board in its responsibilities under RSA 330-A:10, II, and RSA 330-A:10, VII-XV. The board member of each mental health discipline shall serve as the chair of that advisory committee. The balance of the membership of each of the advisory committees shall be composed of at least 2 persons and no more than 4 persons licensed in the mental health discipline of that committee.
I-a. The board may create a professional conduct investigation committee for the purpose of assisting the board in its responsibilities under RSA 330-A:28 and RSA 330-A:29. A board investigator, appointed by the chairperson of the board with the advice of the board, shall serve as the chair of the professional conduct investigation committee. The balance of the membership of the professional conduct investigation committee shall be composed of one licensed clinical social worker, one licensed clinical mental health counselor, and additional members from the professions licensed by the board to a maximum of 12 members.
II. Committee members other than the chair shall be appointed by the board and shall serve at the pleasure of the board for no more than 2 consecutive, 3-year terms.
III. The board shall not form any standing committees other than those specified in this chapter.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2006, 168:2. 2010, 244:4. 2012, 233:4, eff. July 1, 2013. 2021, 197:79, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 330-A:5

    330-A:5 Repealed by 2015, 276:108, XIII, eff. July 1, 2015. –

Section 330-A:6

    330-A:6 Qualifications; Administrative Members. –
I. Each non-public member of the board and the advisory committees shall be a resident of this state and licensed under the provisions of this chapter.
I-a. Each non-public member of the board and all licensed mental health professionals performing board-related duties otherwise immune from civil action pursuant to RSA 330-A:27, IV shall comply with and be subject to all provisions of this chapter and that licensee's professional ethical code in performing board-related duties.
II. Each public member of the board shall be a person who is not, and never was a member of the mental health profession or the spouse of any such person, and who does not have, and never has had, a material financial interest in either the provision of mental health services, a health insurance company, health maintenance organization, or an activity directly related to mental health practice, including representation of the boards or profession for a fee, at any time during the 5 years preceding appointment.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2006, 168:3, eff. July 23, 2006.

Section 330-A:7

    330-A:7 Repealed by 2021, 197:84, I, eff. July 1, 2021. –

Section 330-A:8

    330-A:8 Removal of Members; Vacancies. – The governor and council may remove any member of the board for misconduct, incompetence, neglect of duty, or other sufficient cause after the member has been given a written statement of the charges and an opportunity to be heard regarding such charges. Any vacancy in the membership of the board occurring otherwise than by expiration of a member's term shall be promptly filled for the unexpired term.

Source. 1998, 234:1, eff. Oct. 31, 1998.

Section 330-A:9

    330-A:9 Organization and Meetings. –
I. The board shall hold regular annual meetings. Other meetings of the board shall be held at such times and upon such notice as the rules of the board provide. A majority of the members of the board who have been approved by the governor and council shall constitute a quorum.
II. When a quorum is not available for just and timely resolution of a specific matter, former board members or advisory committee members may be appointed by the board to serve as acting board members for purposes of obtaining the minimum quorum in the resolution of that specific matter or when a particular profession cannot be represented in an adjudicatory hearing.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2006, 168:5. 2010, 244:6; 368:29. 2011, 231:6. 2015, 76:1, eff. Aug. 1, 2015. 2019, 228:2, eff. Sept. 10, 2019. 2021, 197:80, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 330-A:10

    330-A:10 Board; Responsibilities and Rulemaking Authority. –
The board shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to:
I. Procedures for expedited licensure for applicants from other states who qualify under RSA 330-A:26.
II. The qualifications of applicants in addition to those requirements set by statute.
III. How an applicant shall be examined, including:
(a) Time and place of examination.
(b) The subjects to be tested.
(c) Passing grade.
(d) Disposition of examination papers.
IV. Ethical standards, as promulgated by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, required to be met by each pastoral psychotherapist licensed under this chapter, and how a license may be revoked for violation of these standards.
V. Ethical standards, as promulgated by the National Association of Social Workers, required to be met by each licensed clinical social worker, and how a license may be revoked for violation of these standards.
VI. Ethical standards, including those promulgated by the American Clinical Mental Health Counselors Association, required to be met by each licensed clinical mental health counselor, and how a license may be revoked for violations of these standards.
VII. Ethical standards, including those promulgated by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, required to be met by each licensed marriage and family therapist, and how a license may be revoked for violations of these standards.
VIII. Compliance with the mental health client bill of rights as authorized under RSA 330- A:15.
IX. Procedures, standards, and supervision requirements for candidates for licensure as a member of one of the licensed mental health disciplines, consistent with the standards established by the advisory committee for each of the licensed mental health disciplines. All candidates for licensure shall be documented with the board. The supervision shall be at a location mutually convenient to both the supervisor and the candidate for licensure.
X. Establishment of the scope of practice for each mental health discipline licensed under this chapter, consistent with the standards established by the advisory committee for each of the licensed mental health disciplines.
XI. Procedures for assuring the continuing competence of persons licensed under this chapter including, but not limited to, continuing education requirements, provided that at least 3 hours of the required continuing education units for biennial renewal shall be from a nationally recognized, evidence-based or best practices training organization in the area of suicide prevention, intervention, or post-vention and how mental illness, substance use disorders, trauma, or interpersonal violence directly impacts risk for suicide.
XII. How licensees shall provide evidence of good professional character and reliability to satisfy the board that they shall faithfully and conscientiously avoid professional misconduct and otherwise adhere to the requirements of this chapter.
XIII. Procedures for accepting and responding to written complaints, publicizing the complaint procedure, standards of and procedures for conducting investigations, investigator training requirements, and procedures for conducting disciplinary hearings under this chapter.
XIV. The content of the materials and information to be distributed under RSA 330-A:14.
XV. Procedures for receiving and addressing complaints against licensees who have had a personal or professional relationship with a board member.
XVI. Requirements to be met by licensees relative to the disclosure of information to patients and the general public concerning the nature of mental health care and the responsibilities of mental health practitioners to clients in RSA 330-A:15, XV. Procedures and mechanisms for providing interdisciplinary collaboration among the mental health disciplines.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2005, 151:1. 2006, 168:6, 7. 2010, 244:7, 8; 368:15. 2011, 231:7. 2012, 233:12, I. 2015, 27:1, eff. July 6, 2015. 2019, 207:1, eff. Sept. 10, 2019. 2020, 6:29, 34, eff. Mar. 9, 2020. 2021, 197:81, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 330-A:10-a

    330-A:10-a Completion of Survey; Rulemaking. – The board shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, requiring, as part of the license renewal process, completion by licensees of a survey or opt-out form provided by the office of rural health, department of health and human services, for the purpose of collecting data regarding the New Hampshire primary care workforce, pursuant to the commission established in RSA 126-T. Any rules adopted under this section shall provide the licensee with written notice of his or her opportunity to opt-out from participation in the survey.

Source. 2017, 131:10, eff. June 16, 2017. 2019, 254:12, eff. July 1, 2019.

Section 330-A:11

    330-A:11 Receipts and Disbursements. – All monies derived from the provisions of this chapter shall be received and accounted for by the office of professional licensure and certification and shall be deposited in the state treasury.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2015, 276:82, eff. July 1, 2015.

Section 330-A:12

    330-A:12 Fees. –
I. The board shall establish fees pursuant to RSA 541-A for supervisory agreements; applications for licensed pastoral psychotherapist, independent clinical social worker, school social worker, licensed social worker, licensed social work associate, clinical mental health counselor, marriage and family therapist, and conditional licenses; renewal of license; renewal of dual license; reinstatement of license; inactive license status; reactivation of an inactive license; examination of applicants; transcribing and transferring records; and other services, including investigations and hearings conducted under this chapter.
II. [Repealed.]

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2010, 244:9. 2012, 233:5, eff. July 1, 2013. 2017, 192:16, eff. July 1, 2017. 2020, 6:35, eff. Mar. 9, 2020. 2021, 183:6, eff. Oct. 9, 2021.

Section 330-A:13

    330-A:13 Repealed by 2021, 197:84, II, eff. July 1, 2021. –

Section 330-A:14

    330-A:14 Information on Sexual Misconduct. – The board shall inform all applicants for licensure under this chapter that the board deems sexual misconduct as provided in RSA 330-A:36 to be unethical, unprofessional, and dishonorable conduct subject to disciplinary action by the board. The board shall make available to all licensees, or persons applying for licensure, under this chapter information and materials, as determined by the board, pursuant to rules adopted under RSA 541-A, regarding such sexual misconduct.

Source. 1998, 234:1, eff. Oct. 31, 1998.

Section 330-A:15

    330-A:15 Mental Health Client Bill of Rights. – The board shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A for the provision of informed consent for client or patient rights, based on the professional codes of ethics as they apply in the variety of settings in which licensed mental health providers practice. When addressing the client or patient rights, reasonable accommodations shall be made for those persons who cannot read or who have communication impairments and those who do not understand English.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2012, 269:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2013.

Section 330-A:15-a

    330-A:15-a Processing License Applications; Criminal History Record Check. –
I. License applications shall be processed as follows:
(a) The board shall either request additional information or documentation within 15 days or act on an application for licensure as a mental health practitioner within 30 days of receipt of a completed application.
(b) The board shall review complete applications received at least 10 days prior to a regularly scheduled meeting at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
II. Every applicant for initial licensure shall submit to the board a criminal history record release form, as provided by the New Hampshire division of state police, department of safety, which authorizes the release of his or her criminal history record, if any, to the board.
III. The applicant shall submit with the release form a complete set of fingerprints taken by a qualified law enforcement agency or an authorized employee of the department of safety. In the event that the first set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern, a second set of fingerprints shall be necessary in order to complete the criminal history records check. If, after 2 attempts, a set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern, the board may, in lieu of the criminal history records check, accept police clearances from every city, town, or county where the person has lived during the past 5 years.
IV. The board shall submit the criminal history records release form and fingerprint form to the division of state police which shall conduct a criminal history records check through its records and through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Upon completion of the records check, the division of state police shall release copies of the criminal history records to the board. The board shall maintain the confidentiality of all criminal history records information received pursuant to this section.
V. The applicant shall bear the cost of a criminal history record check.

Source. 2019, 228:3, eff. Sept. 10, 2019.

Section 330-A:15-b

    330-A:15-b Telemedicine. – Persons licensed by the board shall be permitted to provide services through the use of telemedicine. "Telemedicine" means the use of audio, video, or other electronic media for the purpose of diagnosis, consultation, or treatment.

Source. 2020, 27:26, eff. July 21, 2020.

Section 330-A:16

    330-A:16 Repealed by 2012, 233:12, II, eff. July 1, 2013. –

Section 330-A:17

    330-A:17 Pastoral Psychotherapists. –
The board shall issue a pastoral psychotherapist license to any person who satisfactorily meets all of the following requirements or their equivalent:
I. Has passed a satisfactory proctored examination in pastoral counseling. The examination shall be set and defined by the board.
II. Has a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college.
III. Has a Master of Divinity degree, or an equivalent, from a school of theology accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.
IV. Has been authorized by a denomination or faith group through ordination, consecration, or equivalent means to exercise specific religious leadership and service within and on behalf of the denomination or faith group.
V. Has completed one unit of full-time clinical pastoral education or its equivalent.
VI. Has given evidence of serving at least 3 years as a clergy person, demonstrating growing maturity in one's identity and role as a professional religious leader.
VII. Has received a doctoral degree in pastoral psychotherapy based on a program the content of which was primarily psychology, pastoral psychotherapy, and clinical studies, or its equivalent in both subject matter and extent of training.
VIII. Has done at least 1,375 hours of pastoral counseling while receiving at least 250 hours of interdisciplinary supervision of that counseling, dealing with the theological and psychological dimensions of human development.
IX. Has given evidence of having undergone sufficient theological and psychotherapeutic investigation of one's own intrapsychic and interpersonal processes so that one is able to protect the client from the pastoral psychotherapist's problems and to deploy oneself to the maximum benefit of the client.
X. Has given evidence of:
(a) An understanding of the counseling and psychotherapeutic process;
(b) An ability to develop the counseling or psychotherapeutic relationship;
(c) An ability to perform a leadership role in the context of the religious community; and
(d) An ability to integrate one's professional role and personal identity.
XI. Has attained the level of Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors or an equivalent organization.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2010, 244:11, eff. July 1, 2010.

Section 330-A:18

    330-A:18 Clinical Social Workers. –
The board shall issue a clinical social worker license to any person who meets all of the following requirements or their equivalent:
I. Has received a college undergraduate degree.
II. Has received a 2-year master's degree or doctorate degree in social work from a school approved by the Council on Social Work Education.
III. Has completed a minimum of 2 years of post-masters experience including completion of a minimum of 3,000 hours of post-masters, supervised clinical experience by a board approved licensed independent clinical social worker or licensed clinical mental health counselor supervisor, or any other supervisor based on reasonable and specific criteria established in rules adopted under RSA 330-A:10. A current master licensed alcohol and drug counselor (MLADC) license issued by the board of licensing for alcohol and other drug use professionals under RSA 330-C may be substituted for up to 1,500 hours of the required 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. Where substitution of the full 1,500 hours is denied by the board, the MLADC applicant shall be provided the rationale for the board's denial. The board shall not deny the substitution of hours solely based on the MLADC applicant's clinical supervisor holding an MLADC license.
IV. Has passed a national proctored examination approved by the board.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2010, 244:12, 13, eff. July 1, 2010. 2018, 364:6, eff. Sept. 30, 2018. 2019, 74:1, eff. Aug. 17, 2019.

Section 330-A:18-a

    330-A:18-a School Social Workers. –
I. The board shall issue a school social worker license to any person who:
(a) Is currently certified as a school social worker by the department of education, bureau of credentialing, and was certified as of the effective date of this section; or
(b) Has completed all of the following requirements or their equivalent:
(1) Has received a college undergraduate degree.
(2) Has received a 2-year master's degree or doctorate degree in social work from a school approved by the Council on Social Work Education.
(3) Has completed a minimum of 2 years of post-masters experience including completion of a minimum of 3,000 hours of post-masters, supervised school social work experience by a board approved licensed independent school social worker or licensed clinical mental health counselor supervisor, or any other supervisor based on reasonable and specific criteria established in rules adopted under RSA 330-A:10.
(4) Has passed a national proctored examination approved by the board.
II. Any school social worker who chooses to seek licensure under RSA 330-A:18-a, I, shall notify the office of licensure and certification in writing of his or her intent to be licensed. The office of licensure and certification shall grant licenses under RSA 330-A:18-a, I, within 10 days of receipt of notification.
III. The office of licensure and certification shall exempt licensees licensed in accordance with paragraph II from fees for the initial license period which shall extend beyond that individual's certification as a school social worker by 3 months and shall include an additional year for those whose certifications from the department of education would expire prior to July 1, 2020. Following that time, that individual shall be eligible for renewal under the rules established by the board and upon payment of the applicable fee.

Source. 2020, 6:28, eff. Mar. 9, 2020.

Section 330-A:18-b

    330-A:18-b Licensed Social Workers: Initial License. –
I. An applicant for an initial license as a licensed social worker shall comply with the following requirements:
(a) Graduate with a bachelor's degree in social work from a college or university approved by the Council on Social Work Education.
(b) Complete 300 hours of social work or mental health education within the degree-granting program or separately.
(c) Complete 4,000 hours of supervised work experience.
(d) Complete 300 hours of supervised practical training within the degree-granting program, as part of the supervised work experience or separately.
(e) Pass a national proctored examination approved by the board.
(f) Meet other criteria as established by the board.
II. The scope of practice of a licensed social worker shall be the screening, assessment, treatment planning, and treatment of mental health conditions as defined in this section as follows:
(a) The performance of clinical evaluation including the screening and assessment of mental health disorders, the assessment and identification of symptoms of co-occurring mental health disorders and differential diagnosis indicators, and the development of preliminary mental health disorder diagnoses for further assessment and confirmation by an appropriate professional. This includes severity assessment and assessment of dangerousness to self or others.
(b) The performance of treatment planning and case management referrals including co-occurring substance use disorders and medical conditions, case management and service coordination including implementation of treatment plans, consultation, coordination of care with mental health and other community providers, ongoing assessment of progress and needs, and client advocacy, education, and documentation.
(c) The performance of counseling, including:
(1) Individual, group, family, and significant other counseling; and
(2) Crisis prevention and intervention to include enlisting the support of trained personnel to manage risk of harm to self or others.
(d) Adherence to professional and ethical responsibilities as determined by the board.
III. During the first 2 years of licensure, a licensed social worker may engage in practice only under clinical supervision of a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed mental health counselor, a master licensed drug and alcohol counselor, a psychiatric APRN, or a licensed mental health provider approved by the board. The supervising clinician shall sign off on any clinical diagnostic assessment and treatment plan established by a licensed social worker.

Source. 2021, 183:7, eff. Oct. 9, 2021.

Section 330-A:18-c

    330-A:18-c Licensed Social Work Associate: Initial License. –
I. An applicant for an initial license as a licensed social work associate shall comply with the following requirements:
(a)(1) Graduate with a bachelor's degree in clinical mental health, social work, psychology, behavioral health counseling, human services discipline, or equivalent program from an accredited college or university.
(2) Complete 300 hours of social work or mental health education within the degree-granting program or separately.
(3) Complete 4,000 hours of supervised work experience.
(4) Complete 300 hours of supervised practical training within the degree-granting program, as part of the supervised work experience or separately.
(5) Pass a national proctored examination approved by the board.
(6) Meet other criteria as established by the board; or
(b)(1) Graduate with an associate's degree in clinical mental health, social work, psychology, behavioral health counseling, human services discipline, or equivalent program.
(2) Complete 300 hours of social work or mental health education within the degree-granting program or separately.
(3) Complete 6,000 hours of supervised work experience.
(4) Complete 300 hours of supervised practical training within the degree-granting program, as part of the supervised work experience or separately.
(5) Pass a national proctored examination approved by the board.
(6) Meet other criteria as established by the board.
II. The scope of practice of a licensed social work associate shall be the screening, assessment, treatment planning, and treatment of mental health conditions under clinical supervision as defined in this section as follows:
(a) The performance of clinical evaluation including the screening and assessment of mental health disorders, the assessment and identification of symptoms of co-occurring mental health disorders and differential diagnosis indicators, and the development of preliminary mental health disorder diagnoses for further assessment and confirmation by an appropriate professional. This includes severity assessment and assessment of dangerousness to self or others.
(b) The performance of treatment planning and case management referrals including cooccurring substance use disorders and medical conditions, case management and service coordination including implementation of treatment plans, consultation, coordination of care with mental health, substance use treatment and other community providers, ongoing assessment of progress and needs, and client advocacy, education, and documentation.
(c) The performance of counseling, including:
(1) Individual, group, family, and significant other counseling; and
(2) Crisis prevention and intervention to include enlisting the support of trained personnel to manage risk of harm to self or others.
(d) Adherence to professional and ethical responsibilities as determined by the board.
III. A licensed social work associate may engage in practice only under clinical supervision of a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed mental health counselor, a master licensed drug and alcohol counselor, a psychiatric APRN, or a licensed mental health provider approved by the board. The supervising clinician shall sign off on any clinical diagnostic assessment and treatment plan established by a licensed social work associate.

Source. 2021, 183:7, eff. Oct. 9, 2021.

Section 330-A:18-d

    330-A:18-d Social Work; Conditional License. –
I. Applicants for licensure under this section may apply to the board for conditional licensure. To receive a conditional license, applicants shall comply with the following requirements:
(a) Clinical Social Worker:
(1) Hold a master's or doctoral degree in social work or social welfare from a CSWE approved program.
(2) Obtain a board approved supervisory agreement with documented intent to pursue licensure as a clinical social worker under this chapter.
(3) Meet other criteria as reasonably established by the board.
(b) School Social Worker:
(1) Hold a master's or doctoral degree in social work or social welfare from a CSWE approved program.
(2) Obtain a board approved supervisory agreement, with documented intent to pursue licensure as a clinical social worker under this chapter.
(3) Meet other criteria as reasonably established by the board.
(c) Licensed Social Worker:
(1) Hold a bachelor's degree in social work or social welfare from a CSWE approved program.
(2) Obtain a board approved supervisory agreement consistent with RSA 330-A:18-b, III, with documented intent to pursue licensure as a licensed social worker under this chapter.
(3) Meet other criteria as reasonably established by the board.
(d) Licensed Social Work Associate:
(1) Hold an associate's or bachelor's degree in clinical mental health, social work, psychology, behavioral health counseling, human services discipline, or equivalent program from an accredited college or university.
(2) Complete 300 hours of social work or mental health education within the degree-granting program or separately.
(3) Complete 300 hours of supervised practical training within the degree-granting program, as part of the supervised work experience or separately.
(4) Obtain a board approved supervisory agreement consistent with RSA 330-A:18-c, III, with documented intent to pursue licensure as a licensed social work associate under this chapter.
(5) Meet other criteria as reasonably established by the board.
(e) Clinical Mental Health Counselor:
(1) Hold a master's or doctoral degree in clinical mental health counseling from a CACREP accredited institution or its equivalent which has received regional accreditation from the Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges.
(2) Obtain a board approved supervisory agreement with documented intent to pursue licensure as a clinical mental health counselor under this chapter.
(3) Meet other criteria as reasonably established by the board.
(f) Marriage and Family Therapist:
(1) Hold a master's or doctoral degree in family therapy from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education or has a master's degree or doctorate degree with a concentration in the field of marriage and family therapy from a regionally accredited institution or has a clinical membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
(2) Obtain a board approved supervisory agreement with documented intent to pursue licensure as a marriage and family therapist under this chapter.
(3) Meet other criteria as reasonably established by the board.
II. Conditional licenses issued under this section shall be valid for a period not to exceed 2 years from the date of issuance. Applicants in good standing with the board may apply for a one-time renewal of a conditional license.

Source. 2021, 183:7, eff. Oct. 9, 2021.

Section 330-A:19

    330-A:19 Clinical Mental Health Counselors. –
The board shall issue a clinical mental health counselor license to any person who meets all of the following requirements or their equivalent:
I. Has a 60 credit master's or doctoral degree in clinical mental health counseling from a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited institution or its equivalent which has received regional accreditation from the Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges.
II. Has passed the clinical mental health counselor's proctored examination of the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc.
III. Has completed a minimum of 2 years of post-masters experience including completion of a minimum of 3,000 hours of post-masters, supervised clinical experience by a board approved licensed independent clinical social worker or licensed clinical mental health counselor supervisor, or any other supervisor based on reasonable and specific criteria established in rules adopted under RSA 330-A:10. A current master licensed alcohol and drug counselor (MLADC) license issued by the board of licensing for alcohol and other drug use professionals under RSA 330-C may be substituted for up to 1,500 hours of the required 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. Where substitution of the full 1,500 hours is denied by the board, the MLADC applicant shall be provided the rationale for the board's denial. The board shall not deny the substitution of hours solely based on the MLADC applicant's clinical supervisor holding an MLADC license.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2010, 244:14, eff. July 1, 2010. 2018, 364:7, eff. Sept. 30, 2018. 2019, 74:2, eff. Aug. 17, 2019.

Section 330-A:20

    330-A:20 Repealed by 2019, 74:7, eff. Aug. 17, 2019. –

Section 330-A:21

    330-A:21 Marriage and Family Therapists. –
The board shall issue a marriage and family therapist license to any person who meets all of the following requirements or their equivalent:
I. Has a master's degree or a doctorate degree in marriage and family therapy from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, or has a master's degree or a doctorate degree with a concentration in the field of marriage and family therapy from a regionally accredited institution, or has clinical membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
II. Has passed the national proctored examination of the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards.
III. Has completed a minimum of 2 years of post-master's experience in a mental health counseling setting, including completion of a minimum of 3,000 hours of supervised practice of marriage and family therapy under supervision approved by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy or the board, and has completed 200 hours of face-to-face supervision by a supervisor approved by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy or the board. Supervision standards shall be equivalent to an American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy approved supervisor, or approved alternate supervision as defined by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Commission on Supervision. A current master licensed alcohol and drug counselor (MLADC) license issued by the board of licensing for alcohol and other drug use professionals under RSA 330-C may be substituted for up to 1,500 hours of the required 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. Where substitution of the full 1,500 hours is denied by the board, the MLADC applicant shall be provided the rationale for the board's denial. The board shall not deny the substitution of hours solely based on the MLADC applicant's clinical supervisor holding an MLADC license.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2010, 244:15, eff. July 1, 2010. 2019, 74:3, eff. Aug. 17, 2019.

Section 330-A:22

    330-A:22 Candidates for Mental Health Licensure. –
I. [Repealed.]
II. The supervision of a candidate for mental health licensure by a person licensed under this chapter shall include the following:
(a) Regular meetings shall be held between the supervisor and the candidate at locations mutually convenient to both the supervisor and the candidate.
(b) The supervisor shall assume professional responsibility for the candidate in a written agreement on record with the board. The supervisor must assume both professional and legal responsibility in the agreement.
III. If the supervisor ceases to supervise and assume professional responsibility for the candidate, the licensing board shall be notified in writing.
IV. Each supervisor's agreement shall be approved by the licensing board before becoming effective, and shall remain in effect only as long as the supervisor accepts responsibility for the candidate.
V. No candidate shall engage in independent or private mental health practice or offer to render, or render services, except as provided in this section, or as otherwise licensed by the state of New Hampshire.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2010, 368:28, VI, eff. Dec. 31, 2010. 2019, 74:4, eff. Aug. 17, 2019; 207:2, eff. Sept. 10, 2019.

Section 330-A:23

    330-A:23 Unlawful Practice; Penalty. –
I. Except as provided in RSA 330-A:34, it shall be unlawful for any person to be engaged in mental health practice unless that person is licensed by the board, working as a candidate under the direct supervision of a person licensed by the board, conditionally licensed by the board, or engaged in the practice of other mental health services as an alternative provider as defined in RSA 330-A:2, I. The license or the registration of such person shall be current and valid. It shall be unlawful for any person to practice as or to refer to oneself as a pastoral psychotherapist, a clinical social worker, a school social worker, a licensed social worker, a licensed social work associate, a clinical mental health counselor, or a marriage and family therapist, or use the word "psychotherapist," or any variation thereof, in such person's title unless that person is licensed by the board or working as a candidate under the direct supervision of a person licensed or conditionally licensed by the board. Psychiatrists licensed under RSA 329 and psychiatric nurse practitioners licensed under RSA 326-B:18 may refer to themselves as psychotherapists.
II. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, any person who violates paragraph I or paragraph III of this section or who violates any of the other provisions of this chapter relating to pastoral psychotherapy, clinical social work, licensed social work, clinical mental health counseling, or marriage and family therapy, or, having had his or her license suspended or revoked, shall continue to represent himself or herself as a licensed pastoral psychotherapist, clinical social worker, school social worker, licensed social worker, licensed social work associate, clinical mental health counselor, or marriage and family therapist, or as a psychotherapist, shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor if a natural person, and a felony if any other person, and each violation shall be deemed a separate offense.
III. Any person whose license under this chapter has been suspended or revoked by the board for disciplinary action under RSA 330-A:27 or sexual misconduct under RSA 330-A:36 shall not engage in mental health practice as defined in RSA 330-A:2, VI unless and until the suspension or revocation of the license has been lifted.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2005, 293:11. 2006, 76:19. 2012, 233:6, eff. July 1, 2013. 2021, 183:8, eff. Oct. 9, 2021.

Section 330-A:24

    330-A:24 Injunction. – The board may request the attorney general to commence an action to enjoin the operation of any person engaged in practicing unlicensed therapy in violation of this chapter. Said action shall be filed in the superior court.

Source. 1998, 234:1, eff. Oct. 31, 1998.

Section 330-A:25

    330-A:25 Civil Claims. – Any person injured by the actions of a person engaged in the practice of unlicensed therapy in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter may bring a civil action to recover damages suffered by reason of the violations.

Source. 1998, 234:1, eff. Oct. 31, 1998.

Section 330-A:26

    330-A:26 Applicants From Other States. –
I. The board shall license any applicant who is licensed in any other state, provided the other state's licensure requirements are substantially equivalent to or higher than those of this state.
II. An applicant whose state licensure meets the requirements in paragraph I shall be allowed to practice in this state not more than 30 days after the application is received by the board, pending final approval or denial of the license for other reason by the board. The board shall adopt rules under RSA 330-A:10, I relative to procedures for expedited licensure for applicants from other states.
III. The board shall waive provisions of this chapter requiring supervised work experience and practical training and grant a license as a clinical social worker, clinical mental health counselor, marriage and family therapist, or pastoral psychotherapist to any applicant who presents proof of active licensed practice, in good standing, in another jurisdiction of the United States for a period of 5 years or more.

Source. 1998, 234:1, eff. Oct. 31, 1998. 2017, 220:1, eff. Sept. 8, 2017. 2018, 364:8, eff. Sept. 30, 2018. 2019, 228:4, eff. Sept. 10, 2019. 2021, 197:82, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 330-A:26-a

    330-A:26-a Repealed by 2019, 234:2, eff. Nov. 1, 2020. –

Section 330-A:27

    330-A:27 Disciplinary Action. –
I. The board may, for just cause, undertake an investigation or disciplinary proceedings:
(a) Upon its own initiative.
(b) Upon referral from any of the advisory committees.
(c) Upon written, signed, and sworn statement of any person which charges that a person licensed under this chapter has committed misconduct under paragraph II and which specifies the grounds for such charges.
II. Misconduct sufficient to support disciplinary proceedings under this section shall include any allegations of:
(a) The practice of fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice under this chapter.
(b) Conviction of a felony or any offense involving moral turpitude.
(c) Any unprofessional conduct or dishonorable conduct, unworthy of and affecting the practice of the profession, including sexual misconduct as provided in RSA 330-A:36.
(d) Unfitness or incompetency by reason of negligent habits or other causes, or negligent or willful acts performed in a manner inconsistent with the health or safety of persons under the care of the licensee.
(e) Addiction to the use of alcohol or other habit-forming drugs to a degree which renders the licensee unfit to practice under this chapter.
(f) Mental or physical incapacity to practice under this chapter, as established by an independent medical or psychiatric evaluation.
(g) Willful or repeated violation of the provisions of this chapter.
(h) Suspension or revocation of a license or registration, similar to one issued under this chapter, in another jurisdiction and not reinstated.
(i) Any misconduct according to the law, rule, or ethical requirements applicable at the time of the alleged misconduct.
III. The board may take disciplinary action in any one or more of the following ways:
(a) By reprimand.
(b) By suspension, limitation, or restriction of a license for a period of up to 5 years.
(c) By revocation of a license.
(d) By requiring the person to participate in a program of continuing education, supervision, or treatment in the area or areas in which the person has been found deficient.
(e) By assessing administrative fines in amounts established by the board which shall not exceed $2,000 per offense, or, in the case of continuing offenses, $200 for each day up to a total not exceeding $2,000.
IV. No civil action shall be maintained against the board or any member of the board or its agents or employees with regard to any action or activity taken in the performance of any duty or authority established by this chapter. No civil action shall be maintained against any organization or its members or against any other person for or by reason of any good faith statement, report, communication, or testimony to the board or determination by the board in relation to proceedings under this chapter. Agents of the board granted immunity from civil action shall include persons assigned by the board to supervise disciplined licensees under board-imposed disciplinary requirements. Agents granted civil immunity shall not include supervisors of candidates for licensure. Any member of the board, employee, or agent shall comply with the ethical standards of his or her profession.
V. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to restrict the right of appeal under RSA 541.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2005, 151:2. 2012, 269:5, 6, eff. Jan. 1, 2013.

Section 330-A:28

    330-A:28 Investigations and Complaints. –
I. The board shall investigate possible misconduct by licensees and other matters within the scope of this chapter. Investigations may be conducted formally, after issuance of a board order setting forth the general scope of the investigation, or informally, after a board vote to seek additional information, without such an order. In either case, information gathered subsequent to the initiation of and during such investigations shall be exempt from the public disclosure provisions of RSA 91-A, except to the extent such information may later become the subject of a public disciplinary hearing. The existence of a complaint and status of the investigation, without disclosing the identity of those involved, shall be subject to the disclosure provisions of RSA 91-A. The board may disclose information acquired in an investigation to law enforcement only if it involves suspected criminal activity, to health licensing agencies in this state or any other jurisdiction if the licensee has or is seeking additional licenses, or as required by specific statutory requirements or court orders. A licensee under this chapter shall be promptly informed of the nature and scope of any pending investigation.
I-a. Any board member who has had a personal relationship or has worked in a professional capacity with a complainant or with a licensee against whom a complaint has been filed or whose personal or professional views regarding the licensee or the complainant could prevent the board member from being impartial in considering the complaint shall recuse himself or herself from any investigation or disciplinary action against such licensee. If the chairperson of the board is recused the remaining board members shall elect an acting chairperson from among the board. The chairperson or acting chairperson shall appoint a former board member or a member from the appropriate advisory committee to replace the recused board member during the investigation and proceedings against the licensee. The replacement board member shall be from the same mental health discipline as the recused member.
II. After determining the nature and scope of an investigation or hearing, the board may employ or retain hearing officers, legal counsel, medical advisors, mental health advisors, or investigators through the office of professional licensure and certification to assist with that investigation or hearing. Members of the board are not eligible for retention.
III. The form taken by an investigation is a matter reserved to the discretion of the board. The board may, with just cause, conduct investigations on an ex parte basis only if there is an imminent danger to life or health of a client.
IV. (a) The board or its designee may administer oaths or affirmations, preserve testimony, and issue subpoenas for witnesses and for documents and objects only in a formal investigation or an adjudicatory hearing, except that subpoenas for mental health records as provided in paragraph V may be issued at any time.
(b) The board may serve a subpoena on a licensee by certified mail in accordance with the procedures and fee schedules used in superior court.
(c) Any subpoena related to appearance at a hearing or investigatory proceeding issued by the board shall be annotated "Fees Guaranteed by the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice" in order to be valid.
(d) A minimum of 48 hours' notice shall be given for compliance with a subpoena issued under this chapter.
V. Subject to the limitations of RSA 330-A:32, and this section, the board may, with just cause and at any time, subpoena copies of mental health records from its licensees and from hospitals and other health care providers licensed in this state. Such subpoenas shall be served by certified mail or by personal delivery. A minimum of 15 days' advance notice shall be allowed for complying with a subpoena duces tecum issued under this section. The board shall obtain, handle, archive, and destroy mental health records as follows:
(a) In the event that the client/patient owning the privilege is the person who has made the allegations against the licensee, the board may access the records of such client/patient. The allegation statement form provided by the board and initial follow up correspondence shall clearly indicate that the making of allegations of misconduct by a client/patient who is the owner of the privilege shall override the privacy of that record for the purpose of the board's confidential investigations and proceedings. The client/patient's identity, however, shall not be disclosed to the public in any manner or in any proceeding of the board without his or her consent. In the event that the client/patient named in the complaint is a child, the legitimate assertion of the privilege by one natural or adoptive parent or legal guardian is sufficient for this paragraph to apply. The board may act on that parent or guardian's initiation of complaint regardless of the objection of the other parent or guardian.
(b) In the event that the person who has made the allegations against the licensee is not the owner of the privilege for the records of the client/patient named in the complaint whose treatment is under investigation by the board, the records for an investigation shall be treated as follows:
(1) When the board reviews the initial allegations and upon all further reviews of the case by the board, the identity of the named client/patient shall be redacted from the documents reviewed by the board.
(2) Upon issuance by the board of an order of investigation and prior to the assignment of the case to the investigation team, the name of the client/patient under this subparagraph shall be provided to the immediate investigation team in order to determine the need for recusal of those members before accepting the assignment in a manner as described in subparagraph (g).
(3) The record of a client/patient under this subparagraph that has been specifically named in the complaint may be obtained by the board's investigation team as specified:
(A) The board may order its administrator or investigator to request permission from the client/patient to obtain the record for the investigation, informing the client/patient about the bounds of confidentiality of such records and the nature of the investigation process. If the client/patient grants permission, the board may obtain the copies of the record from the licensee.
(B) If the client/patient denies permission for access to the record, or if the board chooses to omit the request for permission, the procedures of subparagraphs (c)(4), (5), (6), and (8) shall apply to the handling of those records and requests for interviews.
(4) Personally identifiable information pertaining to a client/patient under this subparagraph shall remain known only to the immediate investigation team assigned to the case, which may include an administrative prosecution unit attorney, a professional conduct investigator, the board administrator, and only those additional investigative assistants as the immediate investigation team deems necessary to accomplish the investigation of the case.
(5) All communication beyond the immediate investigation team, with the professional conduct committee, consultants, or the board, pertaining to these clients/patients shall be conducted without the use of personally identifiable information.
(6) At the conclusion of the investigation and prior to review of the report of investigation, the identity of the client/patient under subparagraph (b) shall be disclosed to members of the board to determine the need for recusal of its members as described in subparagraph (g) of this section.
(7) The identity of a client/patient defined in subparagraph (b) shall not be disclosed to the public in any manner or in any proceeding of the board without his or her consent.
(c) Records of client/patients who are not named in the initial allegations shall be treated as follows:
(1) If the investigation team wishes to obtain records of, or contact, clients/patients not named in the original order of investigation, the investigation team shall make its request to the board with reasons for the request, shall specify the scope of cases and types of records requested, and shall state the name of the individual authorized to contact any client/patient.
(2) Upon issuance of an order of investigation by the board pertaining to treatment of patients defined in this subparagraph, the names of the clients/patients that fulfill the criteria of selection may be made available to the immediate investigation team for purposes of determining whether recusal issues pertain to their selection for the investigation as described in subparagraph (g).
(3) If the board orders investigation into client/patient cases who are not named in the original allegations, it shall specify whether these clients/patients may be contacted directly by the investigation team.
(4) For records requested under this subparagraph, a licensee shall be instructed to provide records that are redacted of personally identifiable information as specified in subparagraph (f). Each record shall be marked with an identifying code and the licensee shall provide to the board administrator the contact information for corresponding clients/patients.
(5) The board administrator shall separately store in a secure manner the list of these client/patient codes with corresponding contact information.
(6) In the event the investigation team has just cause to verify its redacted copies against originals of the records of specified cases, it shall request permission of the board giving reason for its request. If the board grants permission, the investigation team may have access to the identified records. Originals of the records may be viewed at a time and location determined by the investigation team. The investigation team may request a copy of the identified original records be sent to the immediate investigation team. The investigation team may then proceed to review the original or copies of the identified records in comparison with the redacted copies to ascertain their completeness and accuracy. Copies and corrections to the redacted records may be made by the investigation team, after which any identified copies in the possession of the investigation team shall be destroyed and original records returned to the licensee.
(7) When permission has been granted by the board pursuant to subparagraph (c)(1) to contact clients/patients pertaining to this subparagraph, access to the contact information is limited to the professional conduct investigators and administrative prosecution unit attorneys assigned to the case, the administrative clerk who manages the confidential files of the case, and any assistants specifically approved by the board for contact.
(8) The member of the immediate investigation team making contact with clients/patients pursuant to subparagraph (c)(1), shall request permission from the clients/patients to conduct an interview and shall include an explanation that they may grant or refuse permission for such interview and that there are no adverse personal consequences of any kind for refusal to grant permission or for withdrawing permission at any time in the process. The investigation team member may inform the clients/patients that refusal to participate may prevent the investigation to proceed or reach a conclusion. The investigation team member shall predicate continuation of the interview on the client/patient's agreement to a confidentiality agreement concerning the licensee and the existence of the investigation.
(9) At the conclusion of the investigation and prior to review of the report of investigation, the identity of the client/patient under this paragraph shall be disclosed to members of the board to determine the need for recusal of its members as described in subparagraph (g).
(10) The identity of each client/patient shall be redacted by the administrator or investigation team from any documents reviewed by the board.
(11) The identity of a client/patient defined in this subparagraph shall not be disclosed to the public in any manner or in any proceeding of the board without his or her consent.
(d) The mental health records obtained through subparagraphs (a), (b), and (c) shall, if archived, be treated as follows:
(1) At or before the conclusion of the licensee investigation case, including all disciplinary action and completion, remediation and sanctions ordered and completed, and completion of all appeals, and appeal periods, the client/patient records shall be reduced to those clients/patients and sections of records that had been included in the prosecution, defense, deliberation, and determination of the case. Client/patient materials not pertinent to the above shall be destroyed;
(2) Materials retained in subparagraph (d)(1) pertaining to clients/patients other than the complainant shall be redacted of all personally identifiable information; and
(3) The identification and contact information collected during the investigation for clients/patients other than the complainant shall be destroyed prior to archiving.
(e) The archived mental health records shall be destroyed according to the attorney general's archive destruction schedule.
(f) For the purposes of this paragraph:
(1) "Record" means health information collected from or about an individual that:
(A) Is created or received by a health care provider, health plan, employer, or health care clearinghouse; and
(B) Relates to the individual, the past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual, the provision of health care to an individual, or the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual.
(2) "Personally identifiable information" means information which identifies an individual or which a reasonable person would believe can be used to identify an individual, which includes common and uncommon identifiers, including but not limited to name, address, birth date, social security number, court docket number, insurance policy number, and any other identifiers of an individual and of the individual's known relatives, household members, and employers that a reasonable person would believe could identify the individual to whom the record pertains.
(g) In the process of determining recusal, the security of the client/patient's identity shall be preserved, as follows:
(1) Before engaging in any cases as defined in subparagraph (a), board members, investigators, and others as specified in this paragraph with access to case files shall first review the name of the client/patient before proceeding with the case. If a conflict of interest is revealed, that person shall recuse himself or herself from the case.
(2) Before engaging in any cases defined in subparagraph (b), the immediate investigation team members at the onset of investigation, board members at the time of reviewing the findings of the formal investigation, and any others authorized in this paragraph to have access to the case prior to commencing review of such cases shall first determine if there is a need for recusal. The name and town of the client/patient shall be embedded in a list of at least 12 other names and towns prepared by the board administrator. The list shall be reviewed by the team member in the presence of the board administrator. Telephonic review is permitted. The member shall not retain a written record of the list. The member shall indicate which if any names would present reasons for recusal for that member. If the names indicated by the member do not include the client/patient as known to the administrator, then the member shall be permitted to participate in the case.
(3) If a client/patient as defined in subparagraphs (b) or (c) testifies or intends to attend the hearing of the case involving his or her treatment, in which the board may see the client/patient inadvertently or directly, the client/patient's name shall be revealed to the board members so that they may have the opportunity to recuse themselves prior to the proceeding, and the client/patient shall be informed beforehand of such disclosure.
(4) For recusal issues pertaining to clients/patients selected under paragraph (c) of this section, the investigation team shall review the names of the clients/patients who qualify for the scope of investigation as defined in the order by the board, after which team members shall determine if recusal issues occur. The names and towns of the selected clients/patients shall be embedded in a list containing at least 25 percent other names and towns prepared by the board administrator. The list shall be reviewed by the team member in the presence of the board administrator. Telephonic review is permitted. The member shall not retain a written record of the list. Each member shall indicate which if any names would present reasons for recusal for that member. If the names indicated by the member do not include the clients/patients as known to the administrator, then the member shall be permitted to participate in the case. If a case presents a recusal issue, then the investigation team shall either disqualify clients/patients from the list or shall disqualify the team member from handling those cases, as the expeditious handing of the investigation and the interests of justice require.
(5) When board members review the reports of investigations that include case information pertaining to clients/patients as defined in subparagraph (c), they shall review their names prior to reading such reports in the following manner:
(A) If there are 10 or fewer cases with individual clinical information presented, then the methods of testing for recusal shall follow the recusal procedures of subparagraph (g)(2).
(B) When the report includes clinical information pertaining to more than ten cases, then the recusal methods of subparagraph (g)(4) shall apply.
(C) When such clients'/patients' information is presented only in aggregate form, no recusal is required.
(h) Testimony by clients/patients shall be handled with utmost regard for their privacy and protection of their identity from public disclosure.
(1) A client/patient as defined under subparagraphs (b) or (c) shall not be compelled to testify at a board hearing.
(2) If a client/patient as defined in subparagraphs (b) or (c) testifies at a hearing, his or her identity shall be screened from the public view and knowledge, although the respondent and attorneys shall be within the view of the client/patient. The board may view the client/patient. The public's access to the view or information that would identify the client/patient shall be restricted. At the board's discretion, the hearing may be closed to the public for the duration of the client/patient's testimony.
(3) If a client/patient who is party to the complaint requests such privacy safeguards as in subparagraph (h)(2), the accommodations of that subparagraph may likewise be made at the discretion of the board.
(i) Licensees shall comply with board requests for client/patient records and all redaction requirements specified under this section. Failure to comply with lawful requests of the board under this section may subject the licensee to discipline as the board may determine.
VI. All licensees shall have the duty to notify the board of their current business and residence addresses, and shall notify the board of any change to either address within 30 days of the change.
VII. Except for good cause shown, the board shall mail a copy of any allegations of misconduct to any licensee who is the subject of the allegation. Allegations that do not rise to the level of complaint shall not require a response from the licensee. In the case of allegations meeting the level of complaint, licensees shall provide a detailed and good faith written response as directed by the board. The licensee shall provide complete copies of the licensee's office records concerning any client identified in the complaint pursuant to RSA 330-A:28, V. The licensee shall respond to such request within a reasonable time period of not less than 30 days, as the board shall specify in its written request. The detailed complaint and licensee's response shall be exempt from disclosure under RSA 91-A unless the licensee successfully petitions the board to make them available pursuant to RSA 91-A:4.
VIII. Any person may file a written complaint, as described in RSA 330-A:27, I, with the board which charges that a person licensed under this chapter has committed misconduct. The board may dismiss complaints when the undisputed allegations do not warrant disciplinary actions and may settle complaints informally with the consent of the licensee. Some or all of the allegations in a complaint may be consolidated with another complaint or with issues which the board chooses to investigate or hear on its own motion. If an investigation of a complaint results in an offer of settlement by the licensee, the board may settle the allegations against the licensee without the consent of a complainant, provided that the complainant is given an opportunity to comment on the terms of the proposed settlement. Prior to the settlement or other negotiated termination of proceedings, the board shall provide the licensee with a summary of the investigation, which shall include an overview of the evidence, including incriminating and exculpatory elements.
IX. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, if an allegation of professional misconduct arises in the course of a court-ordered evaluation against a mental health practitioner under this chapter, the board shall not make the determination of a complaint concerning any allegation of professional misconduct, or proceed with the formal investigation of, or prosecution against, the mental health practitioner unless the court has first determined, after a closed hearing conducted on the allegation, that a substantial basis exists to refer the allegation to the board for its consideration. Such closed hearing shall be given priority on the court's calendar and the allegation shall be considered confidential. After any determination has been made, the court shall then order the allegation be placed under seal and remain confidential. If the court fails to make a determination under this paragraph by the time of the final disposition of the case, the board may proceed with a determination on the allegation. Provided, however, that an exception to the court review of the allegation under this paragraph shall exist if:
(a) The board in its preliminary review of the allegation considers that gross misconduct may have occurred or that client/patient safety may be in jeopardy; or
(b) The licensee has affirmatively waived the court's review of the allegation.
X. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, including RSA 330-A:28, VII, the existence of an allegation of misconduct shall be confidential and shall not be required to be reported by the licensee to any person. Insurance carriers and certifying bodies shall be prohibited from asking about the existence of such allegations and shall not hold the existence of such allegations in this chapter against the licensee in any way including but not limited to denial of any professional privileges, or increased costs, fees, or charges.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2005, 151:3. 2006, 168:9, 10. 2010, 368:16. 2011, 231:8. 2012, 269:7-10. 2015, 276:84, eff. July 1, 2015.

Section 330-A:29

    330-A:29 Hearings. –
I. Any complaint not dismissed or settled informally shall be heard by the board. Such hearing shall be an open public hearing. Any member of the board shall have the authority to preside at such a hearing and to issue oaths or affirmations to witnesses.
II. The board shall furnish the respondent and the complainant, if any, at least 15 days' written notice of the date, time, and place of a hearing, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. Such notice shall include an itemization of the issues to be heard, and, in the case of a disciplinary hearing, a statement as to whether the action has been initiated by a written complaint or upon the board's own motion, or both. If a written complaint is involved, the notice shall provide the complainant with a reasonable opportunity to intervene as a party.
III. The board may, before or after the commencement of an adjudicatory hearing, dispose of disciplinary or licensure allegations arising under this chapter by order of dismissal, settlement, default, consent order, or summary judgment order. In disciplinary hearings, the board may hold prehearing conferences which shall be exempt from the provisions of RSA 91-A, but all final disciplinary actions, including those which occur without holding a public hearing, shall be publicly released at the time they are served upon the parties.
IV. The respondent shall be heard in his or her defense either in person or by counsel and may produce witnesses and testify in his or her behalf. A record of the hearing shall be taken and preserved. The hearing may be adjourned from time to time.
V. Every final disciplinary action and other adjudicatory decisions made final by the board shall be reduced to writing and served upon the parties. Such decisions shall not be public until they are served upon the parties.
VI. The board shall have no obligation or authority to appoint or provide an attorney to any person appearing at a board hearing or investigation.
VII. Final licensure and disciplinary actions of the board may be appealed to the supreme court under the procedures set forth in RSA 541. However, no sanction imposed by the board shall be stayed during appeal.

Source. 1998, 234:1, eff. Oct. 31, 1998. 2021, 197:83, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 330-A:30

    330-A:30 Temporary Suspension Where Imminent Threat. – In cases involving imminent danger to life or health, the board may order suspension of a licensee pending hearing for a period of not more than 90 days. In such cases, the basis for the board's finding of imminent danger to life or health shall be reduced to writing and combined with a hearing notice which complies with RSA 330-A:29, II. A licensee may be allowed additional time to prepare for a hearing, but any additional time for preparation shall result in an extension of license suspension commensurate with the additional time extended.

Source. 1998, 234:1, eff. Oct. 31, 1998.

Section 330-A:31

    330-A:31 Expirations, Renewals, Reinstatements, and Inactive Status. –
I. Licenses shall be valid for a period of 2 years and shall become invalid on the expiration date unless renewed. It shall be the duty of the board to notify every person licensed by the board under this chapter of the date of expiration of the license and the amount of the fee that shall be required for its renewal for 2 years. Such notice shall be mailed at least 2 months in advance of the date of expiration of such license. Renewal shall be conditional upon filing a timely and complete renewal application and payment of the fee as set by the board.
II. If a license is not renewed it may be reinstated not later than 6 months after the date of license expiration upon payment of the fee and compliance with rules adopted by the board. A license may be placed on inactive status pursuant to rules adopted by the board.
III. Upon the request of a person licensed by the board who is a member of any reserve component of the armed forces of the United States or the national guard and is called to active duty, the board shall place such person's license on inactive status. The license may be reactivated, after notification to the board, within one year of the person's release from active status by payment of the renewal fee and with proof of completion of the most current continuing education requirement unless still within the renewal period.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2005, 151:4. 2010, 244:16. 2012, 269:3. 2015, 76:2, eff. Aug. 1, 2015.

Section 330-A:32

    330-A:32 Privileged Communications. – The confidential relations and communications between any person licensed under provisions of this chapter and such licensee's client are placed on the same basis as those provided by law between attorney and client, and nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require any such privileged communications to be disclosed, unless such disclosure is required by a court order or allowed by federal law pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) or 42 C.F.R. Part 2. Confidential relations and communications between a client and any person working under the supervision of a person licensed under this chapter which are necessary and customary for diagnosis and treatment are privileged to the same extent as though those relations or communications were with the supervising person licensed under this chapter, unless such disclosure is required by a court order. This section shall not apply to hearings conducted pursuant to RSA 135-C:27-54 or RSA 464-A.

Source. 1998, 234:1, eff. Oct. 31, 1998. 2019, 200:1, eff. Sept. 8, 2019.

Section 330-A:33

    330-A:33 Prior Certification. – Any psychologist, pastoral psychotherapist, clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, or clinical mental health counselor who was certified on July 1, 1998, under the provisions of former RSA 330-A, shall be issued a license in the respective discipline by the board.

Source. 1998, 234:1, eff. Oct. 31, 1998.

Section 330-A:34

    330-A:34 Persons Exempted. –
I. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit:
(a) The psychotherapy activities, services, or use of official title of a person in the employ of a federal, state, county, or municipal agency, other political subdivision, or duly chartered educational institution, insofar as such activities and services are a part of the duties of such person in that salaried position.
(b) The psychotherapy activities and services of a student, intern, or resident in a mental health discipline regulated by the board, who is pursuing a course of study approved by a regionally accredited degree-granting institution or at another training site approved as providing qualifying training and experience constituting a part of the supervised course of study.
(c) The counseling activities and services of rabbis, priests, ministers, Christian Science practitioners, clergy, or members of religious orders when their counseling activities are within the scope of the performance of their regular or specialized ministerial duties and are performed under the auspices or sponsorship of an established and legally recognized church or denomination.
(d) The psychotherapy activities and services of any other person providing mental health services as an employee of or consultant to an institution, facility, or nonprofit institution or agency which provides clinical mental health services and which provides clinical supervision of its staff and which assumes professional, ethical, and legal responsibility for such mental health services.
(e) The psychotherapy activities and services of physicians licensed under RSA 329, advanced registered nurse practitioners licensed under RSA 326-B:18, psychologists licensed under RSA 329-B, and master licensed alcohol and drug counselors licensed under RSA 330-C:16.
II. This chapter shall not be construed to prevent or restrict the mental health practice activities of individuals who volunteer their services to non-profit charitable organizations and receive no remuneration for their services.

Source. 1998, 234:1. 2005, 293:12, eff. July 1, 2005 at 12:01 a.m. 2019, 74:5, eff. Aug. 17, 2019.

Duty to Warn of Violent Acts of Clients

Section 330-A:35

    330-A:35 Civil Liability; Duty to Warn. –
I. Any person licensed under this chapter has a duty to warn of, or to take reasonable precautions to provide protection from, a client's violent behavior when the client has communicated to such licensee a serious threat of physical violence against a clearly identified or reasonably identifiable victim or victims, or a serious threat of substantial damage to real property.
II. The duty may be discharged by, and no monetary liability or cause of action shall arise against, any person licensed under this chapter if the licensee makes reasonable efforts to communicate the threat to the victim or victims, notifies the police department closest to the client's or potential victim's residence, or obtains civil commitment of the client to the state mental health system.
III. No monetary liability and no cause of action may arise concerning client privacy or confidentiality against any person licensed under this chapter for information disclosed to third parties in an effort to discharge a duty under paragraph II.

Source. 1998, 234:1, eff. Oct. 31, 1998.

Sexual Misconduct

Section 330-A:36

    330-A:36 Sexual Misconduct Subject to Disciplinary Action. – Sexual relations with a client or a former client shall be considered sexual misconduct and shall be subject to disciplinary action under RSA 330-A and the duty to inform established in RSA 330-A:37.

Source. 1998, 234:1, eff. Oct. 31, 1998.

Section 330-A:37

    330-A:37 Sexual Misconduct; Duty to Inform. –
I. If, during the course of mental health therapy a client alleges that a person licensed under this chapter has engaged with the client in sexual misconduct as defined in RSA 330-A:36, the person licensed under this chapter shall have a duty to inform the client in the manner provided for in paragraph II.
II. The duty may be discharged by, and no monetary liability or cause of action may arise against, any person licensed under this chapter, if the licensee informs the client of the unethical, unprofessional, and dishonorable conduct of the previous psychotherapist's actions. Any person licensed under this chapter shall also advise the client that such sexual misconduct is cause for disciplinary action by the board.
III. No civil or criminal liability shall arise concerning client privacy or confidentiality against a person licensed under this chapter for information disclosed to the board or any other statutorily created medical occupational licensing board conducting disciplinary proceedings in discharging the responsibilities established under this subdivision, provided that such information is disclosed in good faith.
IV. No civil action shall be maintained against any board member, the board, or its agents or employees, or against any organization or its members, including, but not limited to, any member of a professional standards review organization listed in RSA 507:8-c, I, or against any other person for or by reason of any statement, report, communication, or testimony to the board, or determination by the board in relation to disciplinary proceedings under this section provided that such statement, report, communication, or determination is made in good faith.
V. If the client decides to report such sexual misconduct to the board, the person licensed under this chapter shall provide, either directly or indirectly through referral, support and advocacy to such client in reporting the incident to the board.

Source. 1998, 234:1, eff. Oct. 31, 1998.