Members of TNAMFT Board and Legislative Committee accompanied lobbyist Jenny Ford to the quarterly meeting of the Board for Licensed Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Clinical Pastoral Therapists to advocate for MFTs in Tennessee. Dr. Randall Phillips, Dr. Weston Crafton, and Robbie Hutchens attended the first in-person meeting hosted since the onset of the pandemic. Enclosed are the updates announced at this quarter’s meeting.

LMFTs in TN - A total of 1,087 LMFTs are practicing in Tennessee at this time. [832 Active, 249 Temporary, and 6 Certified].  

New Executive Director - Upon the December retirement of Teddy Wilkins, Diana Hundley has been hired as the new executive director of the unit. She has 25 years of experience and has worked on ten boards related to healthcare. In addition, more staff changes relative to our board are in process.

Telehealth Supervision - The board clarified that supervision through tele-health is approved, and it is no longer necessary to approach the regulatory board to ask for a waiver due to hardship. The expansive nature of the new tele-health law has redefined a health care provider, and the terms of this law supersede regulation. The tele-health law expires in May of 2022 and will require additional advocacy if it is to remain. It was noted that supervisees must ensure that their supervisor is and remains qualified to fulfill that role as they pursue state licensure.

MFT Jurisprudence - The administration of the former MFT jurisprudence exam will resume until the new exam is ready. The new MFT jurisprudence exam is unavailable at this time due to staff changes in IT, but the MFT exam remains on the docket for implementation.

MFT Rules Amendments - The approved MFT rules were not delivered at the June 4 meeting but should be delivered to our team in the coming weeks. After our team’s review, the rules will return to the regulatory board and enter the rule-making process, advancing to the offices of the Attorney General and Secretary of State. Following a waiting period for public comment, the proposed rules will move to the General Assembly’s Joint Government Operations Committee for review. When recommended by the Committee they will then be added to MFT’s rules and regulations.

Regulatory Board Member Nominees - President Mike Runcie submitted the names of two well qualified LMFTs for the emerging open position on the regulatory board. Dr. Sean Ridge of Johnson University and Eboni Long of Lee University are among the nominees currently being considered for the position by Governor Lee. 

LicensureCoursework - The board reminded licensure applicants that valid coursework determines the acceptability of an LMFT application, not the name or description of a particular degree. This has been a particular challenge for out-of-state applicants and can be problematic for some in-state applicants. The regulatory board is recommending applicants contact respective state associations for coaching/mentoring before submitting an application to prevent delays or a rejection of their application. 

Accreditation - The board may require CACREP accreditation for an LPC license by 2025. The board did not take a position on the LMFT license. 

Portability Compact - The LPC portability compact has moved through the legislature in the last legislative session and is expected to pass in 2022. Currently, a compact infrastructure has not been developed for marriage and family therapists. Click here to read AAMFT’s proposed portability law

Submitted by the TNAMFT Legislative Committee

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