Mental Health Practitioners

Advisory Notice: Proposed rules to implement continuing education law, effective January 1, 2017
The Board of Regents has proposed the addition of sections 79-9.8, 79-10.8, 79-11.8 and 79-12.8 to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. These proposed rules are necessary to implement Chapter 486 of the Laws of 2013, as amended by Chapter 15 of the Laws of 2014, which established the requirement for licensees to complete continuing education, acceptable to the Department, in order to register and practice as a licensed mental health counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed creative arts therapist or licensed psychoanalyst, as of January 1, 2017. You can access the proposed rules online at:

Mental health counselors:

Marriage and family therapists:

Creative arts therapists:


A Notice of Proposed Rule Making concerning the proposed rules was published in the State Register on November 10, 2015 for a 45-day period of public comment. It is anticipated that the proposed rules will be presented to the Board of Regents for permanent adoption at the January 2016 Regents meeting, after the expiration of the public comment period required by the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA).

If you have any comments on the proposed rules, please submit them by December 28, 2015, which is the end of the SAPA required public comment period, to Douglas Lentivech, Deputy Commissioner, Office of the Professions, 89 Washington Ave., 2nd Floor, Albany, NY 12234-1000 or by email to

Mental Health Practioners include Creative Arts Therapists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Mental Health Counselors, and Psychoanalysts.

Creative arts therapists are trained in psychotherapy and in specific arts disciplines, which may include dance/movement therapy, drama therapy, music therapy, poetry therapy and art therapy. They have training in areas that include clinical practice and human development as well as the use of the creative arts to provide appropriate services, and multicultural and artistic traditions.

Read more about the profession of Creative Arts Therapists.

Practitioners, called marriage and family therapists, are trained in individual psychotherapy and family systems to assess and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, and address an array of relationship issues within the context of marital/couple, family and various relational systems.

Read more about the profession of Marriage and Family Therapists.

Practitioners, called mental health counselors, are trained in counseling and psychotherapy to treat individuals with mental and emotional disorders and other behavioral challenges. Mental health counselors address mental health, human relationship, education and career concerns within ethical, developmental, preventive and treatment contexts. Mental health counselors demonstrate a concern for the short-term and long-term well-being of individuals, couples, families, groups and organizations.

Read more about the profession of Mental Health Counselors.

Practitioners, called psychoanalysts, may use verbal and non-verbal communications to uncover the unconscious blocks that may be affecting the individual’s behavior and personality. Psychoanalysts treat a range of conditions including anxiety, depression and phobias.

Read more about the profession of Psychoanalysts.

Last Updated: December 9, 2015