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The State Education Department and the State Board for Mental Health Practitioners have developed practice guidelines to provide you with important information on good and recommended practices in the mental health professions. While this information is not a substitute for an understanding of the law, rules and regulations governing the practice of the mental health professions in New York State, it is a useful supplement that reflects common professional practice issues and concerns. These practice guidelines can help licensed mental health practitioners to better understand what might lead to professional practice complaints and to take steps to eliminate or minimize those situations.

These practice guidelines reflect the collective experience of the members of the State Board for Mental Health Practitioners along with input from a variety of sources, including mental health organizations and practitioners, mental health educators, Office of the Professions' staff, and other State Boards for the Professions.

Relevant sections of Education Law are available on this Web site. Part 29 of the Rules of the Board of Regents on Unprofessional Conduct are also available. You may access all New York State Laws, such as Public Health Law, Civil Practice Law and Rule, and Insurance Law at

If in doubt about the appropriateness of specific practices, you should consult the actual laws, rules or regulations. You may direct any questions and comments to David Hamilton, Executive Secretary for the State Board for Mental Health Practitioners, at 518-474-3817 ext. 450, by e-mail at, or by fax to 518-486-2981.