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Counseling WAC Definitions

The Washington Administrative Code


NOTE: Some definitions vary by counseling field, as noted below.

    In the counseling field:

What does the WAC term "Associate" mean? What does the WAC term "Licensure candidate" mean?
What does the WAC phrase "Approved educational program" mean? What does the WAC term "Licensed counselor" mean?
What does the WAC phrase, "Equally qualified licensed mental health practitioner" mean? What does the WAC term "Nationally recognized" mean?
What does the WAC term "Group supervision" mean? What does the WAC phrase, "One-on-one supervision"  mean?
What does the WAC phrase "Independent social work,” mean? What does the WAC term, "Peer" mean?
What does the WAC term "Immediate supervision" mean? What does the WAC phrase, "Supervision of supervision" mean?

A.

"Associate" means a pre-licensure candidate who has a graduate degree in a mental health field under RCW 18.225.090 and is gaining the supervision and supervised experience necessary to become a licensed independent clinical social worker, a licensed advanced social worker, a licensed mental health counselor, or a licensed marriage and family therapist. Associates may not independently provide social work, mental health counseling, or marriage and family therapy for a fee, monetary or otherwise.  Associates must work under the supervision of an approved supervisor. [WAC 246-809-010 (1)]

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"Approved educational program" (three meanings)

1) (for the licensure of mental health counselors and mental health counselor associates), means any college or university accredited by an accreditation body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or United States Department of Education.  [WAC 246-809-210(1)]

2) (for licensure of independent clinical and advanced social workers and independent clinical and advanced social work associates) means a master's or doctoral educational program in social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.  [WAC 246-809-310(1)]

3) (for licensure of marriage and family therapists and marriage and family therapist associates), means:

     Any college or university accredited by a national or regional accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation or its successor; or

     A program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), at the time the applicant completed the required education. [WAC 246-809-110(1).]

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"Approved setting" includes facilities, agencies or private practice where an applicant works with individuals, families, couples or groups under the supervision of an approved supervisor.

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"Approved supervisor" (for LMHCAs) means a qualified licensed mental health counselor or equally qualified licensed mental health practitioner who has been licensed without restrictions for at least two years.  (Must also meet approved supervisor standards and responsibilities listed in WAC 246-809-334.)

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"Approved supervisor" for LMFTAs) means a licensed marriage and family therapist, or an equally qualified licensed mental health practitioner.  (Must also meet approved supervisor standards and responsibilities listed in WAC 246-809-334.)

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 "Approved supervisor" (for LICSWAs) means a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW), licensed advanced social worker (LASW) (for LASWs only), or an equally qualified licensed mental health practitioner. (Must also meet approved supervisor standards and responsibilities listed in WAC 246-809-334.)

Also See Counseling Washington’s list of Approved Supervisors.

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E.

 "Equally qualified licensed mental health practitioner", means a licensed mental health counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed psychologist, licensed physician practicing as a psychiatrist, or licensed psychiatric nurse practitioner. (Same for all.)

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G.

"Group supervision", means face-to-face supervision with an approved supervisor, involving one supervisor and no more than six licensure candidates. (Same for all)



I.

"Independent social work,” “independent mental health counseling,” or “Independent marriage and family therapy" means the practice of these disciplines without being under the supervision of an approved supervisor. [WAC 246-809-010 (2)]

 

"Immediate supervision" means a meeting with an approved supervisor, involving one supervisor and no more than two licensure candidates. [WAC 246-809-110 (1)].

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L.

"Licensure candidate" means an individual who is accruing supervised clinical experience required for licensure.

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"Licensed counselor", means a licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed mental health counselor, licensed advanced social worker, or licensed independent clinical social worker regulated under chapter 18.225 RCW. [WAC 246-809-010(3)]


 

N.

"Nationally recognized standards" (for licensure of independent clinical and advanced social workers and independent clinical and advanced social work associates) means the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, revised October 2004 published by the Council on Social Work Education revised October 2004 or any future revisions.  [WAC 246-809-310(6)].

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O.

"One-on-one supervision", (for licensure of independent clinical and advanced social workers and independent clinical and advanced social work associates) means face-to-face supervision with an approved supervisor, involving one supervisor and one licensure candidate.


 

P.

"Peer" means a co-worker who is not the licensure candidate's employer or supervisor.

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S.

"Supervision of supervision" means supervision by an approved supervisor for the purpose of training and qualifying a licensee to act as an approved supervisor for purposes of chapter 18.225 RCW and WAC 246-809-234.  (Same for all.)

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