Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Proposed Text

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Action:
Unprofessional conduct/conversion therapy
Stage: Proposed

Part I
General Provisions

18VAC125-20-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms, in addition to the words and terms defined in § 54.1-3600 of the Code of Virginia, when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"APA" means the American Psychological Association.

"APPIC" means the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers.

"Board" means the Virginia Board of Psychology.

"Candidate for licensure" means a person who has satisfactorily completed the appropriate educational and experience requirements for licensure and has been deemed eligible by the board to sit for the required examinations.

"Conversion therapy" means any practice or treatment that seeks to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of any gender. Conversion therapy does not include:

1. Psychological services that provide assistance to a person undergoing gender transition; or

2. Psychological services that provide acceptance, support, and understanding of a person or facilitates a person's coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual-orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices, as long as such services do not seek to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity in any direction.

 "Demonstrable areas of competence" means those therapeutic and assessment methods and techniques, and populations served, for which one can document adequate graduate training, workshops, or appropriate supervised experience.

"Internship" means an ongoing, supervised and organized practical experience obtained in an integrated training program identified as a psychology internship. Other supervised experience or on-the-job training does not constitute an internship.

"NASP" means the National Association of School Psychologists.

"NCATE" means the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

"Practicum" means the pre-internship clinical experience that is part of a graduate educational program.

"Professional psychology program" means an integrated program of doctoral study designed to train professional psychologists to deliver services in psychology.

"Regional accrediting agency" means one of the six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the United States Secretary of Education established to accredit senior institutions of higher education.

"Residency" means a post-internship, post-terminal degree, supervised experience approved by the board.

"School psychologist-limited" means a person licensed pursuant to § 54.1-3606 of the Code of Virginia to provide school psychology services solely in public school divisions.

"Supervision" means the ongoing process performed by a supervisor who monitors the performance of the person supervised and provides regular, documented individual consultation, guidance and instruction with respect to the skills and competencies of the person supervised.

"Supervisor" means an individual who assumes full responsibility for the education and training activities of a person and provides the supervision required by such a person.

Part VI
Standards of Practice; Unprofessional Conduct; Disciplinary Actions; Reinstatement

18VAC125-20-150. Standards of practice.

A. The protection of the public health, safety, and welfare and the best interest of the public shall be the primary guide in determining the appropriate professional conduct of all persons whose activities are regulated by the board. Psychologists respect the rights, dignity and worth of all people, and are mindful of individual differences.

B. Persons licensed by the board shall:

1. Provide and supervise only those services and use only those techniques for which they are qualified by training and appropriate experience. Delegate to their employees, supervisees, residents and research assistants only those responsibilities such persons can be expected to perform competently by education, training and experience. Take ongoing steps to maintain competence in the skills they use;

2. When making public statements regarding credentials, published findings, directory listings, curriculum vitae, etc., ensure that such statements are neither fraudulent nor misleading;

3. Neither accept nor give commissions, rebates or other forms of remuneration for referral of clients for professional services. Make appropriate consultations and referrals consistent with the law and based on the interest of patients or clients;

4. Refrain from undertaking any activity in which their personal problems are likely to lead to inadequate or harmful services;

5. Avoid harming patients or clients, research participants, students and others for whom they provide professional services and minimize harm when it is foreseeable and unavoidable. Not exploit or mislead people for whom they provide professional services. Be alert to and guard against misuse of influence;

6. Avoid dual relationships with patients, clients, residents or supervisees that could impair professional judgment or compromise their well-being (to include but not limited to treatment of close friends, relatives, employees);

7. Withdraw from, adjust or clarify conflicting roles with due regard for the best interest of the affected party or parties and maximal compliance with these standards;

8. Not engage in sexual intimacies or a romantic relationship with a student, supervisee, resident, therapy patient, client, or those included in collateral therapeutic services (such as a parent, spouse, or significant other) while providing professional services. For at least five years after cessation or termination of professional services, not engage in sexual intimacies or a romantic relationship with a therapy patient, client, or those included in collateral therapeutic services. Consent to, initiation of, or participation in sexual behavior or romantic involvement with a psychologist does not change the exploitative nature of the conduct nor lift the prohibition. Since sexual or romantic relationships are potentially exploitative, psychologists shall bear the burden of demonstrating that there has been no exploitation;

9. Keep confidential their professional relationships with patients or clients and disclose client records to others only with written consent except: (i) when a patient or client is a danger to self or others, (ii) as required under § 32.1-127.1:03 of the Code of Virginia, or (iii) as permitted by law for a valid purpose;

10. Make reasonable efforts to provide for continuity of care when services must be interrupted or terminated;

11. Inform clients of professional services, fees, billing arrangements and limits of confidentiality before rendering services. Inform the consumer prior to the use of collection agencies or legal measures to collect fees and provide opportunity for prompt payment. Avoid bartering goods and services. Participate in bartering only if it is not clinically contraindicated and is not exploitative;

12. Construct, maintain, administer, interpret and report testing and diagnostic services in a manner and for purposes which are appropriate;

13. Keep pertinent, confidential records for at least five years after termination of services to any consumer;

14. Design, conduct and report research in accordance with recognized standards of scientific competence and research ethics; and

15. Report to the board known or suspected violations of the laws and regulations governing the practice of psychology; and

16. Not engage in conversion therapy with any person under 18 years of age.