Laurie Gill
Cabinet Secretary

DSS Mobile Logo Mobile Menu Button

Board of Examiners for Counselors & Marriage and Family Therapists

For more resources, visit the DSS COVID-19 Resources Page

COVID-19 Updates

National Examinations Updates

Due to COVID-19, the Prometric and Pearson VUE testing centers in the United States and Canada are limiting access to testing sites to help mitigate the spread of the virus. These closures are impacting access to the national examinations required for licensure. As a result, the Board will waive the requirement that the National Counselors Examination be passed before being approved for a plan of supervision for a professional counselor from now until September 1st. A candidate for a plan of supervision must submit an application and transcripts to be approved for a plan of supervision. Proof of passage of the national exam will be required prior to applying for licensure, if the applicant is approved for a plan of supervision during this period. Additionally, a plan of supervision application for a marriage and family therapist may be approved without passage of the National Examination in Marital and Family Therapy until September 1, 2020. A candidate for a marriage and family therapy plan of supervision must submit an application and transcripts to be approved for a plan of supervision. Proof of passage of the national exam will be required prior to applying for licensure, if the applicant is approved for a plan of supervision during this period.

The testing agencies are responsible for rescheduling examination dates and any changes that may be made as a result of COVID-19. Please visit AMFTRB and NBCC for additional examination updates to make arrangements for required testing.

If you have questions about the national examination requirements, please contact the Board’s office.

Direct Hours Required for Licensure – Electronic Sessions

There are a number of complexities surrounding providing counseling and therapy sessions due to the recommendations for social distancing to address COVID-19.  In light of those complexities, the Board is allowing certain supervision and direct client contact hours to be acquired through electronic means through September 1, 2020.

Applicants for licensure who are working under a Board approved plan of supervision to gain the necessary direct client contact and supervision hours, may acquire direct client contact hours by electronic means that are HIPAA compliant and acquired in compliance with the provisions of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics or the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Code of Ethics during this time.  Direct client contact hours can be acquired by electronic means and should be noted on the applicant’s required logs as “electronic hours.”  Supervision hours with the applicant’s board approved supervisor also may be acquired electronically during this period.  At least 50 of the hours with the applicant’s supervisor must be individual hours, not group hours, with the supervisor.

Board approved supervisors are reminded that the supervisor is responsible for the actions of the  supervisee.  Supervisors are encouraged to work with a supervisee to ensure the supervisee’s compliance with all applicable rules, laws and the appropriate code of ethics to ensure any services provided electronically are appropriate for the level of care needed and appropriately delivered.

Telehealth:  In light of CDC recommendations and state actions regarding social distancing, the Board is receiving a high volume of inquiries regarding the provision of counseling by electronic means.   The short answer is:  Providing counseling services via electronic means in South Dakota is allowed under South Dakota’s laws and administrative rules, if you meet the requirements to do so.

Normally, anyone providing counseling or therapy services from South Dakota or to a client located in South Dakota, is required to be licensed as a counselor or marriage and family therapist by the BoardThis includes counseling and therapy services provided by electronic means.  However, Executive Order 2020-07 has been issued to address COVID-19 in South Dakota.  This Executive Order temporarily recognizes licenses issued by another state authorizing an individual to perform counseling or therapy services.

South Dakota does allow for licensure by endorsement if you have been licensed in another state as a counselor or marriage and family therapist for at least 3 years and you have taken one of the national examinations required for licensure in South Dakota.  If you wish to become fully licensed in South Dakota to provide services in South Dakota beyond the effective date of the Executive order, you may do so by completing the appropriate application for licensure by endorsement. Due to the COVID-19 virus, the Board will allow your national examination scores to be verified by your licensing state or the national testing agency.  This exception to primary source verification of national examination scores will remain in effect until September 1st.

If you would like to explore licensure by endorsement, please review the application requirements for the specific license.

Licensed Professional Counselor Application by Endorsement
Licensed Professional Counselor - Mental Health Application by Endorsement
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Application by Endorsement

Counselors or marriage and family therapists providing counseling or therapy services by electronic means in South Dakota are required to meet all the HIPAA requirements to ensure confidentiality of session and meet all the requirements of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics or the American Association from Marriage and Family Therapy Code of Ethics.

Resources:  In an effort to keep informed about the changing circumstances of COVID-19, below are resources that are routinely updated:

The Board is working to assist you during this unprecedented time.  Please continue to check this website for additional updates. 
Please email or call if you have any questions
sdbce@midwestsolutionssd.com
605-224-1721

Jennifer Stalley
Executive Secretary
PO Box 340, 1351 N. Harrison Ave
Pierre, SD  57501
Phone: 605.224.1721
Fax: 1.888.425.3032
SDBCE@midwestsolutionssd.com

The mission of the South Dakota Board of Examiners for Counselors & Marriage and Family Therapists is to protect the South Dakota consumers of counseling and marriage and family therapy services by mandatory licensing of qualified counselor applicants.

  • Statute – SDCL 36-32 and 36-33
  • Administrative Rule – ARSD 20:68, 20:71 and 20:73

Board Members
Board members are appointed by the Governor to three-year terms. The board consists of nine members, three of whom shall be lay members, one of whom shall be a counselor educator, and five of whom shall be professionals actively engaged in professional counseling or marriage and family therapy and broadly representing a cross section of the licensed disciplines governed by this board. No member may serve more than three consecutive terms.

Lynell Rice Brinkworth, LMFT Therapist - President - Black Hawk
Tiffany Butler, LPC Counselor - Vice President - Lennox
Sherry Bartels, LPC-MH Counselor - Sioux Falls
Bobbi Brown - Lay Member - Rapid City
Cheryl Hartman - Lay Member - Sioux Falls
Roswitha Konz, LPC Counselor - Mitchell
Jay Trenhaile, LPC Counselor Educator - Brookings
Sherwood Schrenk, LPC-MH Counselor - Aberdeen
Jeff Wangen - Lay Member - Rapid City

Additional Information
View upcoming board meetings and meeting minutes on the Boards and Commissions portal.

View archived meeting minutes prior to 2014.