To assist the public by identifying and regulating the practice of qualified mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists.
Through prudent management of resources and courteous, prompt service:
- Issue new and renew licenses to qualified persons
- Deter and discipline misconduct by licensees, registered interns, and license applicants
- Communicate information about licensure, practice, and discipline
- Work cooperatively with professional associations, educational institutions, employers of professionals, consumers, and government and credentialing agencies to develop policies and standards and establish guidelines for professional practice
- Develop and maintain standards of education and training, experience, and examination for entry into the professions of mental health counseling and marriage and family therapy
The Board’s goals are to:
- Maintain a credentialing and discipline process that is fair, prompt, clear, and accurate
- Provide clear and accurate information to applicants, licensees, and the interested public
- Balance the needs and concerns of the consumers and professionals when setting policies, standards, and processes
- Develop partnerships that will facilitate expanding services, educating constituents, and removing barriers to licensure
In 1989, the State of Oregon passed a licensing law for Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists. Oregon Revised Statues (ORS) 675.705-835, is a "title act". It restricts the use of certain titles, "Licensed Professional Counselor" or "Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist", to individuals who have obtained licensure from the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists.
It does not prevent the practice of counseling, or marriage and family therapy ... "as long as the person does not represent to the public by title that the person is licensed".
However, 1995 and 1999 law changes make it illegal to practice "psychology" without a license or exemption and those new provisions are interpreted and enforced by the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners.
The counselor and therapist licensing law addresses educational/training standards for counselors and therapists, a mechanism for the disclosure of relevant information by licensees, and provides a means to adopt and enforce ethical standards for practice.
The law creates an eight-member citizen board appointed by the Governor, which administers the law through the adoption of Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR Chapter 833). This is a policy board, responsible for making decisions regarding licensure within the authority granted by the law.
The Board serves the public by making sure the licensee has met the standards set by the state for education, supervised training, and has passed an examination to indicate that the licensee has the basic knowledge necessary to practice within the standards described in law and rules. Through regulation, the Board verifies that licensees continue their education and provide written disclosure of information to clients, including an explanation of the licensee’s approach to counseling, training, and client rights. The Board investigates complaints regarding violations of the law and rules and the competency of licensees.
Diversity is a core value for the Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists: No person shall be subjected to any discriminatory action because of race, religion, color, national origin, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, age, or mental or physical disability.
Affirmative Action Plan
It is the policy of the State of Oregon that employment without discrimination is recognized as and declared to be a civil right. The State of Oregon is committed to achieving a workforce that represents the diversity of Oregon community and is a leader in providing its citizens fair and equal employment opportunity.
The Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists is committed to achieving a work force that represents the diversity of Oregon’s population and to providing fair and equal employment opportunities. The Board is committed to an affirmative action program that provides equal opportunities for all persons regardless or race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or disability. The Board provides an environment for each applicant and employee that is free from sexual harassment, as well as harassment and intimidation on account of an individual’s race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status or disability. The Board employment practices are consistent with the State’s Affirmative Action Plan Guidelines and with state and federal laws, which preclude discrimination.
All state agencies are required to report on a set of key performance measures (KPM) annually that are reviewed and approved as part of Oregon’s budget development process.