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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 53 Pa.B. 3392 (June 24, 2023).

49 Pa. Code § 41.1. Definitions.


§ 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.

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

   CPA—Canadian Psychological Association.

   Child abuse—A term meaning any of the following:

     (i)   A recent act or failure to act by a perpetrator which causes nonaccidental serious physical injury to a child under 18 years of age.

     (ii)   An act or failure to act by a perpetrator which causes nonaccidental serious mental injury to or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child under 18 years of age.

     (iii)   A recent act, failure to act or series of acts or failures to act by a perpetrator which creates an imminent risk of serious physical injury to or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child under 18 years of age.

     (iv)   Serious physical neglect by a perpetrator constituting prolonged or repeated lack of supervision or the failure to provide the essentials of life, including adequate medical care, which endangers a child’s life or development or impairs the child’s functioning.

   ChildLine—An organizational unit of the Department of Public Welfare 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.

   Individual residing in the same home as the child—An individual who is 14 years of age or older and who resides in the same home as the child.

   Jurisdiction—A state, territory or country.

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

   Perpetrator—A person who has committed child abuse and is a parent of the child, a person responsible for the welfare of a child, an individual residing in the same home as a child or a paramour of a child’s parent.

   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. The term does not include a person who is employed by or provides services or programs in a public or private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical school.

   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 clients/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.

   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 acts or omissions—Acts or omissions committed within 2 years of the date of the report to the Department of Public Welfare 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 injury—An injury that causes a child severe pain or significantly impairs a child’s physical functioning, either temporarily or permanently.

   Sexual abuse or exploitation—The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion of a child to engage in or assist another person to engage in sexually explicit conduct or a simulation of sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction, including photographing, videotaping, computer depicting or filming, of sexually explicit conduct or the rape, sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, molestation, incest, indecent exposure, prostitution, statutory sexual assault or other form of sexual exploitation of children.

   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.


   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), 6(a)(2) and 1208(a)(6)); the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa.C.S. §  6383(b)(2); and 63 Pa.C.S. §  3111.


   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. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (349696) to (349700).

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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