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Professional FAQs

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Download tips and information here.

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Visit the Professionals Page in the program area web pages.

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This profession/occupation does not have Continuing Education requirements.

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You can find the information on the Continuing Competency page in the program area.

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Visit the program's Professionals Page.

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Q: Where can I find out about the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) and the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB)?

A: There's now a guide to the data banks created just for health care practitioners. For an overview of the kind of data collected, the steps for submitting a self-query, and more useful information, download the brochure, or visit the data banks' website at www.npdb-hipdb.hrsa.gov.

Q: Is teletherapy permitted in Colorado?

A: See the related policies on the appropriate Mental Health Program website, which strongly recommend that first contact with the client and any initial evaluations are made face-to-face for teletherapy.  Links for each of  the mental health "Laws, Rules and Policies" pages are provided below:


Q: Do you need a license to practice hypnotherapy?


A: If you practice hypnotherapy, you must be licensed or listed in the State Database of the Board of Registered Psychotherapists.

Q: Are licensed or registered psychotherapists required to have malpractice insurance?

A: There is no requirement for malpractice insurance as a provider of psychotherapy services under the Colorado Mental Health Statute. However, as a practical matter, malpractice insurance is strongly advised for any psychotherapist engaged in private practice.

Q: What is the State Database of the Board of Registered Psychotherapists?

A: Pursuant to §12-43-702.5, C.R.S., any registered psychotherapist is required to record their name, current address, educational qualifications, disclosure statements, therapeutic orientation or methodology, or both, and years of experience in each specialty area with the State Board of Registered Psychotherapists for inclusion in the State Database. Beginning July 1, 2011, additional mandatory disclosure requirements are also in place.

Q: If listed on the Mental Health State Database, am I eligible to take the NCE Examination?

A: No. Being listed in the Mental Health State Database does not qualify the registered person to take any mental health examination with the exception of the Jurisprudence Examination.

Q: Do volunteers for a teen crisis line need to be listed in the State Database of the Board of Registered Psychotherapists?

A: If the volunteers are providing referral and/or informational services to callers, they are not required to be listed in the State Database. A person whose primary practice is psychotherapy or who holds him or herself out to the public as being able to practice psychotherapy for compensation is required to be listed in the State Database.

Q: Is clinical supervision of licensed clinical social workers, marriage and family therapis, professional counselors or registered psychotherapists required under the Colorado Mental Health Statute?

A: Supervision is not required for registered or licensed psychotherapists in Colorado.

Q: Can a third party, someone other than a client, file a grievance against a mental health professional?


A:
Yes, anyone can file a grievance against any mental health professional regulated by the Colorado Mental Health Statute provided that it is filed in good faith.

Q: If a licensed or registered psychotherapist is providing services in multiple states, who has jurisdiction over them?

A:
Any state(s) that licenses or certifies the psychotherapist.

Q: How can I file a complaint against a mental health facility?

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Contact the Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health.

Q: Can a licensee or registered psychotherapist release the name of a client to a collection agency without the client's permission, if the client has not paid for or is in arrears for services provided?

A:
Yes. However, it is considered good practice to inform the client at the outset of therapy that use of a collection service is practiced by the therapist and the name, current address, and phone number of the client may be provided to the collection agency if the client does not pay for psychotherapy services. This is frequently included in the disclosure statement provided to clients at the beginning of therapy.

Q: Are fees or fee disputes for psychotherapy services regulated by the State of Colorado?

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No. Fees or any fee disputes between consumers and providers of psychotherapy services are not within the jurisdiction of the Mental Health Boards.

Q: Is the mandatory disclosure statement required for clients who are court ordered for therapy?

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No. Mandatory disclosure is not required for a person seeking therapy pursuant to a court order.

Q: If a client refuses to sign the disclosure statement, is the therapist required to discontinue or terminate therapy until the statement is signed?

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No. The therapist should note on the disclosure statement where the signature appears that the client refused to sign and indicate the date the disclosure statement was provided to the client.

Q: A 15-year-old client living with her boyfriend seeks the services of a psychotherapist because she is alleging that her boyfriend raped her. She does not want her parents to know. Is the therapist required to obtain parental permission prior to treating the client?

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No. The client is considered emancipated because she does not reside with her parents or guardian, and may consent to mental health care (§19-1-103(45), C.R.S.).

Q: If parents have joint/shared custody of their child who is a minor, is a licensed or registered psychotherapist required to have both parents give consent to treat?

A:
Often, only one parent is required to give consent for treatment, although in many cases it is considered best practice to involve both parents and to request court documents prior to the first visit for confirmation of parental decision making authority.

Q: A therapist providing couples therapy is asked by one spouse to testify in a contested divorce dispute. Is the therapist required to obtain permission from the other spouse prior to releasing information or agreeing to testify?

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Yes. Permission to disclose confidential information about the other spouse is required.

Q: An attorney, by court, serves a psychotherapist with a subpoena duces tecum to appear at a deposition and bring records of a client suing a manufacturing firm she is representing. Is the therapist required to release such records to the attorney?

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No. The therapist cannot release records to the attorney without a release from the client. A subpoena duces tecum is an order to appear in court or at a deposition and bring documents or records to that proceeding. It does not constitute permission to release confidential information. You may need to get a protective order from the court.

Q: What constitutes mandatory reporting?

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If you have reasonable belief that a prohibited activity occurred and reporting would not violate client confidentiality, you are required to report to the appropriate licensing Board.

Q: Are psychologists, social workers, licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, addiction counselors or registered psychotherapists required to report child abuse?

A: Yes, mental health professionals are specifically cited under the Colorado Children's Code (please refer to Title 19 of the Colorado Revised Statutes) to report child abuse; they are also required to report child abuse under the Colorado Mental Health Statute as it is considered a generally accepted standard of these professions to report child abuse.

Q: Is it permissible to accept gifts from clients?

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This depends on the type of gift, its monetary value, and any expectations by the client associated with the gift. If there is any perceived adverse risk to the client-therapist relationship, it is advisable not to accept the gift.

Q: Are special advocates or parenting coordinators exempt from Board jurisdiction under the Colorado Mental Health Statute?

A:
SB 11-187 removed the exemption previously provided in §12-43-215, C.R.S. which applied to mental health professionals acting within the scope of a court appointment to undertake custodial evaluations in domestic relations causes in the courts of this state or mental health professionals acting within the scope of a court appointment to undertake domestic and child abuse evaluations for purposes of legal proceedings within this state, effective July 1, 2011.

Q: What are rules and regulations regarding the release of records? What does a facility do with records when they close?

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Please refer to the record-keeping rule for your profession, or for more information contact an attorney.


Q: How long are therapists required to keep client records?


A: Each Board has established its own rule with regards to record-keeping. Please refer to the appropriate Board rule for your profession:


Q: Do licensees or registered psychotherapists have a duty to report unprofessional conduct by another licensed or registered psychotherapist?

A: Yes, unless making such a report would violate a client's confidentiality (i.e. disclosing information about the client of the reporting therapist without consent of the client is prohibited).

Q: As a licensed or registered psychotherapist, am I required to disclose prior disciplinary actions against me to my clients?


A: Under the Michael Skolnik Transparency Act of 2010, reporting requirements were extended to mental health professionals who apply to renew a license, certification or registration, on or after July 1, 2011. If you have questions specific to the requirements in the Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act, please visit their website at www.dora.colorado.gov/professions/hppp.

Q: What are the generally accepted ethical standards of practice? Where can I find them documented for my profession?

A: Contact your local professional association found on our "Other Links" tab of the mental health homepages.


Q: Are registered psychotherapists allowed to perform general or technical psychometric testing, scoring, or interpretation of test results?

A:
Yes, provided that they meet the minimum standards for testing under §12-43-228, C.R.S. and are competent in the use of those tests.

Q: Is "marriage and family counseling" a protected term reserved only for licensed marriage and family therapists?

A:
No. "Marriage and Family Therapist" and "LMFT" are the only protected terms for licensed marriage and family therapists in Colorado.

Q: Can certified domestic violence counselors or certified addiction counselors, or registered psychotherapists invoke a 72-hour hold and treat order?


A: Yes, provided they have achieved the appropriate level of certification to practice independently.

Q: Can a licensed mental health provider who uses a sliding scale bill insured clients at a higher rate for psychotherapy services than they do for uninsured clients?

A:
No.

Q: Are licensed or registered psychotherapists required to treat clients regardless of their ability to pay?

A: No.

Q: When do applicants/therapists need to be listed in the State Database of the Board of Registered Psychotherapists?

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Pursuant to § 12-43-702.5, C.R.S., applicants not currently licensed or certified as a mental health provider in Colorado must list themselves as a registered psychotherapist in the State Database. This includes applicants/therapists who are complying with their two year experience and supervision.

Q: Legislative changes effective July 1, 2011, revised the content of the mandatory disclosure form. What are those changes and where can I find a sample of the disclosure form?

A: Revisions to the mandatory disclosure form can be reviewed in SB 11-187. A sample of the form and checklist are available on the "Professionals/Licensing Services" tabs for each of the mental health boards.

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Q: Am I required to report the inquiry to my insurance company?

A: Maybe.  Please contact your insurance agency and/or review the terms of your contract.

Q: Do I need a lawyer?

A: We cannot advise on this: it is up to each individual.

Q: What if I have never had an inquiry filed against me before?

A: All inquiries are reviewed and processed accordingly.

Q: Do I need a release of information from the complainant to respond to the inquiry?  How much confindential information can I disclose in my response?


A: No.  Confidentiality does not apply when responding to a complaint or grievance.

Q: Does it matter if a third party initiated the inquiry?


A:
No.

Q: Why must I limit my response to 10 pages or less? What does "unbound" mean?


A:
It is the Boards position that 10 pages or less is sufficient to respond to the specifics of an inquiry. When preparing your response, please do not use paper clips, staples, or any binding material because the response must be copied for Board members and staff.

Q: If a parent without child custody files a complaint against me, what level of confidentiality should I maintain in my response? Will the parent see my response, even if it violates confidentially and could be detrimental for therapy purposes?

A:
You may request your response not be forwarded to the parent filing the inquiry.
 

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Q: What are the requirements for social work licensure?

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The requirements for each type of social work license are listed below.
Licensed Social Worker (LSW): Requires a Master's degree in social work from a CSWE approved school and passage of the Masters, Advanced Generalist, or Clinical level ASWB exam.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW): requires a Master's degree in social work from a CSWE approved program, passage of the Advanced Generalist or Clinical level ASWB exam, completion of two (2) years, 3360 hours post degree supervised experience with at least 96 hours of supervision (48 hours of which must be individual supervision).
In addition to passing the appropriate level ASWB exam, all candidates for social work licensure must also submit a completed, signed application, submit the appropriate fee, and take and pass the Jurisprudence Examination.

Q: Do I have to submit a Social Work application to Colorado prior to taking the exam?

A:
Yes, you must submit an application, fee, and an official transcript in a sealed envelope for approval to take the ASWB exam. Passage of both the appropriate level ASWB exam, and Colorado Jurisprudence exam are required to obtain licensure. }

Q: Does Colorado have reciprocity?

A:
Colorado does not have reciprocity with any state, however, licensure may be obtained through licensure by endorsement. Licensure by endorsement requires the applicant to send a verification of licensure form to the state where the applicant is currently licensed. That State Board, in turn, would complete the form, verifying what requirements were met for licensure in that state. Upon receipt of the verification form, if the requirements are equivalent for the level of licensure requested, the Colorado Board would accept them as such, and upon receipt of an application, fee, and proof of completion of an approved jurisprudence workshop, issue a license. If the state the applicant is licensed in does not verify requirements met, and/or requirements are not equivalent, the applicant must provide documentation proving such. Read Rule 12 in the Colorado Social Work Examiners Rules for more information.

Q: Can applicants transfer post-degree supervised experience and post-degree supervised hours from another state?

A: Post-degree supervised experience and post-degree supervised hours may be accepted from another state if:

  1. Experience and supervision were done concurrently.
  2. After July 1, 1998 the hours were provided by a LCSW, LSW, or equivalent.
  3. All hours are documented on a Colorado State Social Work Post-Degree Experience and Supervision Form.

Q: Can post-degree work experience and supervision hours completed in another state be used for licensing purposes in Colorado?

A: Yes. Work experience obtained under the supervision of a LCSW or equivalent is acceptable.

Q: Must post-degree work experience requirements be completed before taking the Advanced or Clinical Social Work Examinations?

A: No.

Q: What is considered a passing examination score in Colorado?

A: Colorado uses the national pass/fail status established by the Association of Social Work Boards (AWSB) Examination Committee. Colorado does not specify nor use numeric scores. For additional information, please refer to the “Exam Development” link on the ASWB web site at: http://www.aswb.org/.

Q: Can I take the Advanced or Clinical Examination and receive the Licensed Social Worker License?

A:
Yes. You may pass either the Advanced Generalist or Clinical Examination to fulfill the examination requirement for licensure as a Clinical Social Worker.

Q:  How long are examination results valid?

A:
See Rule 17(d)(4). Exam Results. Pass/fail examination results will be valid for up to five years after the date of the examination.

Q. How often may a social work license applicant take the Advanced or Clinical Examinations?

A:
The Advanced or Clinical Examination may be retaken no sooner than 90 days from the most recent administration of such examination to the failing candidate.

Q: How many hours of post-degree experience and supervision do applicants need?

A: The minimum requirements to be completed over a 24-month period are 3,360 hours of work experience and 96 hours of supervision, of which 48 hours must be face-to-face contact.

Q: Are post-degree supervision forms required from each supervisor?

A: Yes. If multiple supervisors are used to account for post-degree supervision experience, each supervisor must complete a supervision form.

Q: When do social work applicants/therapists need to be listed in the State Database Directory?

A:
Social Work applicants who are completing their two-year post degree experience and supervision must either be licensed as a social worker (LSW) OR become listed as an registered psychotherapist in the State Database or Registered Psychotherapists pursuant to §12-43-702.5, C.R.S.

Q: How can I get licensed as a school social worker?

A: Information regarding school social workers must be obtained from the Department of Education. Their phone number is (303) 866-6600.

Q: What is the Jurisprudence Examination requirement?

A:
All applicants for Licensed Social Worker and Clinical Licensed Social Worker shall pass a Board approved Jurisprudence Examination as one of the requirements for licensure.

Q: What is the Jurisprudence Examination?

A:
The Jurisprudence Examination is designed to test your knowledge, skills, and resources to solve routine and complex practice scenarios. Each question has one correct answer. It is "open book" to encourage the development of personal resources to address practice questions.

Q: How often may a social work license applicant take the Jurisprudence Examination?

A: The Jurisprudence Examination may be taken as often as the applicant needs to take it to Pass. There are no restrictions on the number of times it may be taken.

Q: When are results of the Jurisprudence Examination reported to the applicant?

A:
The Office of Licensing within the Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of Professions and Occupations, sends notice to applicants who fail the Jurisprudence Examination with information from the website on downloading and retaking the examination. Notice is not provided to applicants who pass the examination as they are licensed if eligible.

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1560 Broadway, Suite 1350, Denver, CO 80202 Email
(303) 894-7800 - Phone (303) 894-7693 - Fax