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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1806 (March 30, 2024).

49 Pa. Code § 41.1. Definitions.

GENERAL


§ 41.1. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   APA—American Psychological Association.

   ASPPB—Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.

   Accredited college or university—An institution which is recognized as an institution of higher education under 22 Pa. Code (relating to education) or which is accredited by a regional accrediting association recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation (CORPA).

   Accredited hospital—A facility which is recognized as a hospital under 28 Pa. Code (relating to health and safety), or which is defined as a health care facility in section 103 of the Health Care Facilities Act (35 P.S. §  448.103).

   Act—The Professional Psychologists Practice Act (63 P.S. § §  1201—1218).

   Board—The State Board of Psychology of the Commonwealth.

   Bodily injury—Impairment of physical condition or substantial pain.

   Bureau—The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs of the Department of State of the Commonwealth.

   CPA—Canadian Psychological Association.

   Child—An individual under 18 years of age.

   Child abuse—Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly doing any of the following:

     (i)   Causing bodily injury to a child through any recent act or failure to act.

     (ii)   Fabricating, feigning or intentionally exaggerating or inducing a medical symptom or disease which results in a potentially harmful medical evaluation or treatment to the child through any recent act.

     (iii)   Causing or substantially contributing to serious mental injury to a child through any act or failure to act or a series of these acts or failures to act.

     (iv)   Causing sexual abuse or exploitation of a child through any act or failure to act.

     (v)   Creating a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to a child through any recent act or failure to act.

     (vi)   Creating a likelihood of sexual abuse or exploitation of a child through any recent act or failure to act.

     (vii)   Causing serious physical neglect of a child.

     (viii)   Engaging in any of the following recent acts:

       (A)   Kicking, biting, throwing, burning, stabbing or cutting a child in a manner that endangers the child.

       (B)   Unreasonably restraining or confining a child, based on consideration of the method, location or duration of the restraint or confinement.

       (C)   Forcefully shaking a child under 1 year of age.

       (D)   Forcefully slapping or otherwise striking a child under 1 year of age.

       (E)   Interfering with the breathing of a child.

       (F)   Causing a child to be present at a location while a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. §  7508.2 (relating to operation of methamphetamine laboratory) is occurring, provided that the violation is being investigated by law enforcement.

       (G)   Leaving a child unsupervised with an individual, other than the child’s parent, who the actor knows or reasonably should have known meets one or more of the following criteria:

         (I)   Is required to register as a Tier II or Tier III sexual offender under 42 Pa.C.S. Chapter 97, Subchapter H (relating to registration of sexual offenders), where the victim of the sexual offense was under 18 years of age when the crime was committed.

         (II)   Has been determined to be a sexually violent predator under 42 Pa.C.S. §  9799.24 (relating to assessments) or any of its predecessors.

         (III)   Has been determined to be a sexually violent delinquent child as defined in 42 Pa.C.S. §  9799.12 (relating to definitions).

         (IV)   Has been determined to be a sexually violent predator under 42 Pa.C.S. §  9799.58 (relating to assessments) or has to register for life under 42 Pa.C.S. §  9799.55(b) (relating to registration).

     (ix)   Causing the death of the child through any act or failure to act.

     (x)   Engaging a child in a severe form of trafficking in persons or sex trafficking, as those terms are defined under section 103 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (Division A of Pub.L. No. 106-386).

   ChildLine—An organizational unit of the Department of Human Services, which operates a 24-hour a day Statewide toll-free telephone system for receiving reports of suspected child abuse, referring reports for investigation and maintaining the reports in the appropriate file.

   Client—A person, system, organization, group or family for whom a psychologist provides psychological services.

   Client/patient—A person, system, organization, group or family for whom a psychologist provides psychological services. In the case of individuals with legal guardians, including minors and legally incapacitated adults, the legal guardian shall be the client/patient for decisionmaking purposes. The minor, legally incapacitated adult or other person actually receiving the service shall be the client/patient for issues specifically reserved to the individual, such as confidential communications in a therapeutic relationship and issues directly affecting the physical or emotional safety of the individual, such as sexual or other exploitive dual relationships.

   Delegated supervisor—A person to whom the primary supervisor has delegated up to 1 hour of the 2 hours of required weekly supervision who holds a current license, certificate or registration from a health related board within the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs or a person who is exempt from licensure under section 3(4)—(8) of the act (63 P.S. §  1203(4)—(8)), who meets the requirements in §  41.33(a) and (b) (relating to supervisors).

   Doctoral degree in a field related to psychology—A degree awarded upon successful completion of a program which, within 1 year from the award of the doctoral degree, meets one of the following:

     (i)   Is accredited by the APA or the CPA.

     (ii)   Is designated by the ASPPB/National Register Designation Project.

     (iii)   Is offered by a foreign college or university whose standards are equivalent to the ASPPB/National Register Designation Project criteria.

   Doctoral degree in psychology—A degree awarded upon successful completion of a program in psychology which, within 1 year from the award of the doctoral degree, meets one of the following criteria:

     (i)   Is accredited by the APA or the CPA.

     (ii)   Is designated by the ASPPB/ National Register Designation Project.

     (iii)   Is offered by a foreign college or university whose standards are equivalent to the ASPPB/National Register Designation Project Criteria.

   Graduate training in psychology—The completion of 15 graduate semester hours in a doctoral degree program in psychology that includes any of the following:

     (i)   Provides in its core program required instruction in ethics, research design and methodology, statistics and psychometrics. In addition, requires students to demonstrate competence in each of the following four substantive content areas (this criterion will typically be met by requiring a minimum of three graduate semester hours in each area): biological bases of behavior—for example, physiological psychology, comparative psychology, neuropsychology, sensation and perception, psycho-pharmacology; cognitive-affective bases of behavior—for example, learning, thinking, motivation, emotion; social bases of behavior—for example, social psychology, group processes, organizational and systems theory; individual differences—for example, human development, personality theory, abnormal psychology.

     (ii)   Includes supervised practicum, internship, field or laboratory training appropriate to the practice of psychology.

     (iii)   Includes course requirements in specialty areas of psychology.

   Immediate family member—Parent/guardian, child, sibling, spouse or other family member with whom the client/patient lives.

   Jurisdiction—A state, territory or country.

   Mandated reporter—A person who is required under 23 Pa.C.S. §  6311 (relating to persons required to report suspected child abuse) to make a report of suspected child abuse. For purposes of this chapter, the term includes licensed psychologists and psychology students, residents, interns, trainees and other unlicensed individuals with graduate training in psychology who are supervised by licensed psychologists.

   National Register—The Council for the National Register of Health Service Providers.

   Parent—A biological parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian.

   Perpetrator—An individual who has committed child abuse as defined in this section. The following apply:

     (i)   This term includes only the following:

       (A)   A parent of the child.

       (B)   A spouse or former spouse of the child’s parent.

       (C)   A paramour or former paramour of the child’s parent.

       (D)   An individual 14 years of age or older who is a person responsible for the child’s welfare or who has direct contact with children as an employee of child-care services, a school or through a program, activity or service.

       (E)   An individual 14 years of age or older who resides in the same home as the child.

       (F)   An individual 18 years of age or older who does not reside in the same home as the child but is related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity by birth or adoption to the child.

       (G)   An individual 18 years of age or older who engages a child in severe forms of trafficking in persons or sex trafficking, as those terms are defined under section 103 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.

     (ii)   Only the following may be considered a perpetrator for failing to act, as provided in this section:

       (A)   A parent of the child.

       (B)   A spouse or former spouse of the child’s parent.

       (C)   A paramour or former paramour of the child’s parent.

       (D)   A person responsible for the child’s welfare who is 18 years of age or older.

       (E)   An individual 18 years of age or older who resides in the same home as the child.

   Person responsible for the child’s welfare—A person who provides permanent or temporary care, supervision, mental health diagnosis or treatment, training or control of a child in lieu of parental care, supervision and control.

   Primary supervisor—A currently licensed psychologist having primary responsibility for directing and supervising the psychology resident.

   Professional relationship—A therapeutic relationship which shall be deemed to exist for a period of time beginning with the first professional contact or consultation between a psychologist and a client/patient and continuing thereafter until the last date of a professional service. If a psychologist sees a client/patient on an intermittent basis, the professional relationship shall be deemed to start anew on each date that the psychologist provides a professional service to the client/patient.

   Professional setting—A public or private agency or institution or a private practice where the applicant for licensure is supervised as a psychology trainee for the purpose of preparing for the independent practice of psychology and which provides an opportunity for contact with other disciplines and for work with a broad range of client/patients. The agency, institution or private practice shall be responsible for the welfare of and the services to each client/patient of the applicant, for collecting fees for services and for providing easy and continuous access to the supervisor by both the applicant and the applicant’s clients/patients.

   Program, activity or service—Any of the following in which children participate and which is sponsored by a school or a public or private organization:

     (i)   A youth camp or program.

     (ii)   A recreational camp or program.

     (iii)   A sports or athletic program.

     (iv)   A community or social outreach program.

     (v)   An enrichment or educational program.

     (vi)   A troop, club or similar organization.

   Psychologist—A person who holds a license issued under the act to engage in the practice of psychology.

   Psychology intern—A student participating in an internship as part of a doctoral degree program in psychology or a field related to psychology.

   Psychology resident—An individual who has obtained a doctoral degree and is fulfilling the supervised experience requirement for licensure, or an applicant for licensure who is continuing training under §  41.31(4) (relating to educational qualifications).

   Psychology trainee—A psychology intern or psychology resident.

   Recent act or failure to act—An act or failure to act committed within 2 years of the date of the report to the Department of Human Services or county agency.

   Serious mental injury—A psychological condition, as diagnosed by a physician or licensed psychologist, including the refusal of appropriate treatment, that does one or more of the following:

     (i)   Renders a child chronically and severely anxious, agitated, depressed, socially withdrawn, psychotic or in reasonable fear that the child’s life or safety is threatened.

     (ii)   Seriously interferes with a child’s ability to accomplish age-appropriate developmental and social tasks.

   Serious physical neglect—Any of the following when committed by a perpetrator that endangers a child’s life or health, threatens a child’s well-being, causes bodily injury or impairs a child’s health, development or functioning:

     (i)   A repeated, prolonged or egregious failure to supervise a child in a manner that is appropriate considering the child’s developmental age and abilities.

     (ii)   The failure to provide a child with adequate essentials of life, including food, shelter or medical care.

   Sexual abuse or exploitation—Any of the following:

     (i)   The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion of a child to engage in or assist another individual to engage in sexually explicit conduct, which includes the following:

       (A)   Looking at sexual or other intimate parts of a child or another individual for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire in any individual.

       (B)   Participating in sexually explicit conversation either in person, by telephone, by computer or by a computer-aided device for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification of any individual.

       (C)   Actual or simulated sexual activity or nudity for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification of any individual.

       (D)   Actual or simulated sexual activity for the purpose of producing visual depiction, including photographing, videotaping, computer depicting or filming.

     (ii)   Any of the following offenses committed against a child:

       (A)   Rape as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §  3121 (relating to rape).

       (B)   Statutory sexual assault as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §  3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual assault).

       (C)   Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §  3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse).

       (D)   Sexual assault as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §  3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).

       (E)   Institutional sexual assault as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §  3124.2 (relating to institutional sexual assault).

       (F)   Aggravated indecent assault as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §  3125 (relating to aggravated indecent assault).

       (G)   Indecent assault as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §  3126 (relating to indecent assault).

       (H)   Indecent exposure as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §  3127 (relating to indecent exposure).

       (I)   Incest as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §  4302 (relating to incest).

       (J)   Prostitution as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §  5902 (relating to prostitution and related offenses).

       (K)   Sexual abuse as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §  6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children).

       (L)   Unlawful contact with a minor as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §  6318 (relating to unlawful contact with minor).

       (M)   Sexual exploitation as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §  6320 (relating to sexual exploitation of children).

     (iii)   For the purposes of subparagraph (i), the term does not include consensual activities between a child who is 14 years of age or older and another person who is 14 years of age or older and whose age is within 4 years of the child’s age.

   Sexual intimacies—Romantic, sexually suggestive, sexually demeaning or erotic behavior. Examples of this behavior include, but are not limited to, sexual intercourse, nontherapeutic verbal communication or inappropriate nonverbal communications of a sexual or romantic nature, sexual invitations, soliciting a date from a client/patient, masturbating in the presence of a client/patient (or encouraging a client/patient to masturbate in the presence of the psychologist), exposure, kissing or hugging, touching, physical contact or self-disclosure of a sexual or erotic nature.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  41.1 amended under section 3.2(1) and (2), 6(a)(2) and 8(a)(6) of the Professional Psychologists Practice Act (63 P.S. § §  1203.2(1) and (2), 1206(a)(2) and 1208(a)(6)); 23 Pa.C.S. §  6383(b)(2); and 63 Pa.C.S. §  3111.

Source

   The provisions of this §  41.1 adopted February 6, 1976, effective February 7, 1976, 6 Pa.B. 229; amended March 17, 1978, effective March 18, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 756; amended March 22, 1991, effective March 23, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 1171; amended November 8, 1996, effective November 9, 1996, 26 Pa.B. 5420; amended May 22, 1998, effective May 23, 1998, 28 Pa.B. 2412; amended May 26, 2000, effective May 27, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 2593; corrected December 21, 2001, effective August 1, 1998, 31 Pa.B. 6944; amended June 2, 2006, effective June 3, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 2680; amended June 4, 2010, effective June 5, 2010, 40 Pa.B. 2947; amended January 21, 2022, effective January 22, 2022, 52 Pa.B. 446; amended December 29, 2023, effective December 30, 2023, 53 Pa.B. 8229. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (408370) to (408374).

Notes of Decisions

   Competent Medical Evidence

   A psychologist’s testimony was not competent medical evidence upon which to base a conclusion that appellant’s application for disability benefits should be denied; the phrase ‘‘competent medical evidence’’ requires evidence provided by a licensed physician and not a licensed psychologist. Miller v. Bethlehem City Council, 760 A.2d 446 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2000).

Cross References

   This section cited in 49 Pa. Code §  41.31 (relating to educational qualifications); and 49 Pa. Code §  41.58 (relating to standards for the employment and supervision of unlicensed persons with graduate training in psychology).



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