Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches
Sexual Misconduct of Counselors
The Iowa legislature passed a law regarding this matter.

The Iowa legislature passed the following law addressing sexual exploitation of counselees by counselors and therapists. The law, which specifically applies to clergy, took effect July 1, 1991. Minnesota has enacted a similar law. It is likely that many other states will do so in the next few years.

709.15. Sexual Exploitation by a Counselor or Therapist

1. As used in this section:

a. "Counselor or therapist" means a physician, psychologist, nurse, professional counselor, social worker, marriage or family therapist, alcohol or drug counselor, member of the clergy, or any other person, whether or not licensed or registered by the state, who provides or purports to provide mental health services.

b. "Mental health service" means the treatment, assessment, or counseling of another person for a cognitive, behavioral, emotional, mental, or social dysfunction, including an intrapersonal or interpersonal dysfunction.

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Posted: July 1, 1992
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