I have a 60 semester hour masters degree and two years of documented post-graduate clinical experience. Exasperated, I communicated to the director that I had been unemployed for three months while following the instructions provided by the board to get my license transferred. In 2009 my WV counselor license expired. is one equivalent to Ohio’s LPC and LPCC?? In April 2011, when my partner and I knew we would be moving to a different state, I began reviewing the requirements for transferring my license to the new state. You can read more about the waiver process HERE. Also Bonnie, psychologists are able to have multi state licensing. Even when you meet all the requirements and submit the proper applications, signed paid for and sent signature required (because they openly admit they will lose your paperwork) they take 4 to 6 weeks to respond and if there is the slightest error will wait the full 6 weeks to kick it back. The reciprocity method requires the applicant to document that the license held in another state is equivalent to the standards required for Oregon licensure as a professional counselor or as a marriage and family therapist. Thank you for speaking boldly. It looks like now, so I can work, I have to take at least three of the four graduate courses–my argument is that Florida accepted them the first time–different course names–oh, now they changed the course names…omg!! It will explain what you will need to submit in order to qualify for licensure by reciprocity. All of my support to prevent others from immense suffering as so many of us have. I mention female dominated profession to suggest a clear discrimination based on gender, as this was true of teachers and nurses before they unionized. Hi Jane, I agree with you about licensing and you should know that every state now requires licensing for counselors, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers and psychologists. Then this year I wanted to get my New York license and took the NCMHCE and passed. Many states require 60 credit hours. The money is secondary, but worth noting my position is bachelors level – at least they pay me at the top of the pay grade for that job, but still. I had a great opportunity in the Pacific Northwest–got licensed in Washington that accepted Florida’s LMHC. I should add, I have met all the education requirements, passed BOTH the NCE and NCMHCE, am already an LPC and an LMHC. Others don’t. I won’t be attending MFT school, perhaps LCSW. This post is phenomenal and it is completely accurate. I don’t want to be too negative but my 10 years experience in the field has left me disillusioned, and now when you add the licensing issue, it is just sounds too ridiculous. The whole portability thing is a mess! At this point, I would not suggest to anyone to enter this field. As such, 20/20 is a milepost in the maturation of our profession. Yes I live in the requirement loving state of California and I am taking online classes at Grand Canyon University which is in Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve 17 year’s experience. On the letter, my name was incorrect. We cant, there is a residency requirement. We have been failed by improper oversight from the powers that be. I would also like to mention 2 points that I find important: 1. But of course, this witch will see the fax before her supervisor does. Licensure Waivers. You may have already taken one or both of the exams required in Illinois. Next step, sending a letter to the governor of the state to complain. As a long time mental health consumer, I strongly support the requirement and need for licensure. Counselors are trapped in their own states. Certainly, graduation from a CACREP accredited program might serve as prima facie evidence of an acceptable level of training. It is very sad that people have to think about coaching to get around licensure because of cumbersome and arbitrary nature of the counseling regulation. Failing t… The only unlicensed professionals you may see are interns who are under the supervision of a licensed professional who is qualified by their state board to supervise interns. to have LPCs in one state enter into the transfer state However, recently this past summer my wife had a great opportunity for her work in Florida. I just experienced something similar. Wow. I will say, if you can manage to stick it out and get your LPC in VA, the chances of getting your license in other states is better (but unfortunately, they really scrutinize licenses from other states). Sometimes I wish I had chosen nursing instead! Why is it crafted so that someone who is fresh out of grad school with only 3 years of experience is more qualified that I am, when I have over 25 years of varied counseling experience? Thanks. This is an old post and you probably wont get this. They report that 41% of poor, rural women self-report significant depression, in part because they often experience, quote ”low self-esteem, low perceptions of ability to set or achieve life or career goals, a lack of feeling of empowerment, and an external locus of control.” The researchers report that as a result, lower SES rural women, “frequently resort to negative coping behavior, notably substance abuse.” In response to these issues, Myers and Gill developed a multi-factor wellness model for counselors to use with rural women. Individuals who hold a professional counseling license in another state may qualify for licensure in California. Standardizing counselor licensing requirements across states is in the best interest of the 7.6 million Americans who move each year. I was shocked, totally shocked..I called the OMH, they said that there was definitely something unethical here and to fill out the forms they would send and there would be an investigation…well I am an older mother with 3 teens to raise and in my agency often employees are walked out the door and we never find out why, and I did not care to be one of them so I have not completed the forms yet….the discussed program director is very very good friends with the supervisor of my licensure hours….before I knew it my supervisor told me that she decided she will only sign for 1,500 hrs, not the 3,000 she stated she would…In Dec 2014 I would have had my permit for 2 yrs, was ready to take the licensure exam in Sept…due to I have almost the 3,000 hrs…needed. However clever, greedy, unethical “professionals” can easily get around those rules by changing what they call themselves. ACA’s career center offers support and guidance to members who are facing dilemmas just like this. Colleen, Some have two tiers. Now I have to take the courses!!! Until now, professional counseling has had multiple definitions of what it is that we do – if you look at five “Introduction to Counseling” textbooks you will find eight definitions of counseling. The response: “Sometime in July.” The person could not provide a date when the board would meet to sign my form. I think these issues lead to each state wanting to re do the supervised hours by a person recognized by the state . A third requires a videotape sample. Please let me hear from you. My schools curriculum was rigorous and is well respected in my home state. How can they get away with doing this????? Marc, I am so sorry for that. A voice mail greeted me, informing me the board had a high volume of applications and instructing me to leave a name and number, which I did. Secretaries of States of all US States in the Nation, or It feels for now as if this dream career and all that time, money(debt), and work is useless! My transcripts have been submitted. I am only in my graduate program at the moment, but know that I will be moving upon completion (after graduation, but before I accrue any supervision hours). And love lead to a proposal of marriage. I took a deep breath and decided to call the State of Hawai’i Licensing Division to ask questions. This person also told me that if the form was not received by July 15, I would have to wait until Aug. 15 for the counseling board to review my application. Some include consultation. I am originally from southern California but moved to Chicago for graduate school. And now the madness begins. I was grandfathered into the LPC when the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners created the license in 2004. I’m getting the bigger picture now and appreciate this information. Where are the proposed 20/20 standards outlined? I met the requirement and was Certified as a Professional Counselor. That would leave many professionals (currently practising) in limbo. Suffice to say, I’ve just worked three back to back 15 hr shifts & realize this little diatribe is far from eloquent, I suppose I’d just like to thank you for writing something that so perfectly described the disaster that is our current modus operandi. In three years, I completed the 4,000-hour clinical residency, which included 2,000 hours of direct client contact and 200 hours of supervision required for licensure in the state. A key step toward reciprocity is an interstate compact, where multiple states maintain their independent oversight of practitioners within their states but agree to follow consistent standards for licensure, and to recognize licenses granted by other states within the compact. It is the wild, wild west. If my education hasn’t prepared me to pass, so be it. I paid for the class – $1500 – with my credit card. People pay lip service to the importance of mental health, but as the saying goes the proof is in the pudding. I have 5 years as a federal employee assigned to federal real property ranging up to $30 million and also have 2 1/2 years as a PA Licensed Salesperson in Pennsylvania yet they calculated my years of experience as 0 years. Another advice I would give to you, as I have given to others, is to really think about the states you would like to work within. You see, I am literally 20 minutes south of the Ill/Wis border and have seen many promising job postings for counselors in Wisconsin. To my understanding there is no licensing board for counselors, social workers or marriage and family therapists that condones the practice of “coaching. The director said she could make the request but added that the board did not usually honor such requests. How is it that colleges and other sources are not informing new professionals of this career obstacle? The Board of Professional Counselors administers and enforces its statutory authority and monitors the needs of the consuming public. For years now I have been posting to this forum and I am continually surprised by the sheer lack of respect and regard for the client. Trust me it happens, more often than people know because clients have no recourse, or credibility so nothing is ever done. I am very sad to hear such terrible and sad stories. There are 31 organizations involved including AASCB, ACA and its divisions and regions, NBCC, CACREP, CORE, CRCC, NRCA, and CSI. that was very informative information, I am a new student that just heard a rumor that because im getting a degree on line I will not be able to work as a counselor or get a licenses because the state of pa will not except online degrees for psychology, I want to help people and do my part in this world, but do you know any thing about Pa not accepting a online degree in psychology for a drug and alchahole counselors licensing, thank you for all your time and info. I am a bit confused about the LPC and LPCA. If, however, the prize goes to the jurisdiction with the smallest number of supervised hours it is Puerto Rico with 500. As a counseling grad student, I am concerned as well. I’m not sure why – maybe they thought it was a doctoral dissertation. Once here, I checked into if I could get up to speed again with my LMHC licenses. Sandra, my advice to you would be to really think about what your intention and goals are. I have submitted course syllabi in two of the three areas and hope this will satisfy at least two of them, but even having to take just one more graduate level course is expensive and delays employment for me. or just CA?? But the good news is that many professional counselors – especially when compared with other mental health professions – seem to be rural types. All applicants must have the following items sent directly to the BBHT office from the issuing authority or institution: I almost wept when she expressed her willingness to help. Actually, there is nothing unique about the plight of MFTs and LPCs. Was recruited to join a small team to design and implement an outpatient substance abuse program for adolescents and their families. Licensure & Certification - State Professional Counselor Licensure Boards. In addition I am ABD completing dissertation. Appropriate and deserved recognition of ALL its members should be ACA’s number one priority. In Dec. of 2012 I received my provisional license for mental health counseling after asking my care coordination supervisor if she would be able to supervise me for my hours. I do find the different names of the licenses in each state and different test NCE vs NCMHCE extremely confusing. Do you know of any state that shares reciprocity with PA for an M.S.Ed LPC NCC? or their supervisor would ask me to give them tips, or my supervisor for my licensure hrs would say during supervision that I will just have to work with them by way of basically counseling them…I had put in for a position in my agency that required at least a LMHC-Permit and a masters degree in my field (mental health counseling) for the mental health counseling position that was under OMH here in WNY (actually was same job I did during my internship for 18 months in the agency so I was excited hoping I would get the job….two weeks went by and I asked about the position, called the program director, she told me that someone with years as a LMHC in the agency took the position and just moving from a differ site, I understood and time went on…after 3 weeks I found out that the person that got the position that required the right credentials and a masters degree…was just with her associates degree and was not qualified for the position, I asked the program director about why she lied to me about who got the position, and that this person was not eligible for the position she was given, the program director said she was “grooming” the young lady. See how this all fits together? All my family lives in another state so I can apparently never be licensed there or work in the field. How pitiful. Another, an essay exam. Call 800-347-6647 and ask for the career center. I told this person the check for the verification fee I had sent with the form had been cashed in June, but as of July, my new counseling board had not received the form. In May and June, the director explained, the board reviewed disciplinary issues that kept its members from approving licensure applications, and then the board was on recess through July and August, despite what the person at the counseling board had previously told me regarding the board’s meetings. The first state to implement a counselor license was Virginia in 1976 (Bloom et al., 1990), and the last was California in 2009. The school had originally turned me down because they do not allow a student to only register for the internship. My rejection has to do with the fact that my degree was not CACREP even though I meet the educational requirements listed for nonCACREP applicants in the code. I too agree that there needs to be some way to uniform requirements for all Masters level clinicians. The requirement for transferring a license is listed as either two years of practice as a licensed counselor or 2,000 hours of clinical professional counseling experience. The HHS report Rural Mental Health in America states, quote, “Groups at greater risk for mental disorder – the elderly, the chronically ill, the poor, and the dependent – are disproportionately represented in rural areas. We did intensive family therapy, and was so successful that then expanded to include a residential program, which was in operation for at least 20 years. Call 1-800-347-6647 x321, I am licensed at the doctorate level as an LPCC in Mn which is one of the highest standards set for counseling practice. I have the option to go on and complete my masters at the same school and supposedly they assist with licensure….in that state. I know all to well that without a license a person is free to do whatever they want. Is this an example of ageism, and if so, what can be done about it? I suspected something was up because upon asking many questions regarding these issues and others related to employability, etc, I didn’t get many straight answers from the several school in the SF Bay area where I am located. Professional Counselor Licensure by Reciprocity in West Virginia Applications for licensure by endorsement are accepted on a case-by-case basis and the requirements must be equal to or greater than those in West Virginia. Should I consider an online CACREP accredited program versus the Interamericana program here, which is not CACREP accredited? I read this as I search for information due to my current situation. Maybe I should just go back to grad school and get my MSW, and then my LCSW. practice under the LPC Compact Agreement by an Licensure verification from each state has been submitted. I have been told my audit is no longer valid, my Master Degree is no longer valid. In life we move from State to State, we proved our knowledge already by passing the graduate courses and licensing exams. You guys helped me make up my mind, I’ll go for the CT school. For example, if you’re looking at perhaps Virginia, New Jersey, and Florida (all examples), make sure you obtain at a minimum 4500 supervision hours (which is the NJ requirement) and a minimum of 1000 hours of internship within your current program (which is the Florida requirement). Wow. Please help us. Others don’t. Myers and Gill add rural women to the list. Fast forward to several years later, 2014. If our time together this morning has had any impact, then the old excuses about portability won’t apply – that you don’t trust other licensing boards enough to standardize requirements, that you will lose independence or that it is not your problem. Early on I contacted the ACA to inform them of the problems accompanying licensure, ie, that we ARE prisoners in our own states. 8. Summer 2019 update: The American Counseling Association has created a state-by-state guide with updated information on licensure requirements across the country. It is my understanding that legislation involving CACREP was adopted by approximately 27 states in the fall of 2013. All they do is attend an LPC board meeting once or twice a year to make an obsequious comment to the board members thanking them for their service. My masters plus the post-grad year I took for clinical certification meet the CACREP standards without the imprimatur. I have a spotless record, no complaints. Illinois currently requires a 48 semester hour degree in the … I read this article when it first appeared and happened upon it again, about 4 years later. so as they could utilize the same Nursing Compact Agreement Well, they said the law changed since I left and that I have to take the new NCMHCE exam. I don’t know if any lawsuits have transpired, but as someone who is seeking licensure in the state of Massachusetts, I might have to resort to that. between the state that holds the LPC license and the Here my question. So we moved. Each person comes on to this board and complains about the difficulties they are facing as a result of a career choice. It’s just to right! Sure. Don’t try to call them – most times their voicemail is full. Can’t that count for anything? Rinse and repeat. The reason I can’t be licensed here in Indiana? Let me read you a small portion from the section of the report titled, Minority Populations are Underserved in the Current Mental Health System: “Racial and ethnic minority Americans comprise a substantial and vibrant segment of the U.S. population, enriching our society with many unique strengths, cultural traditions, and important contributions. Karl, For years I have been calling the ACA about this problem and have been told about 20/20. This system that didn’t have enough respect for me to give her a meaningful punishment. Endorsement applicants must have an active, unrestricted license in good standing as a licensed professional counselor in another state for a minimum of two years directly prior to application. You will also – hopefully – be open to the plan to assist you that I will be talking about in a bit. Hello Jeffrey, Let me read to you from an op-ed that just came out in the January Counseling Today by Thomas Sherman, a licensed counselor and a clinical supervisor with the military OneSource program which provides counseling and support services to active duty, National Guard, and Reserve service members and their families. i dont want to have to retake the test or pay more in another state. Now that we have a firm foundation with the Statement of Principles and the consensus definition of counseling, the 31 organizations that represent the counseling profession are focusing their efforts on licensure portability. Now I have completed those courses, passed the NCE with flying colors, but my audit expired in 6/30/2015 just as I was finishing my last semester at Wilmington University. It’s been impossible to reach a human by phone at the Texas Dept of Health & Human Services. One requires 3,200 hours. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado and a few years ago it seemed I was possibly going to move to Arizona. i have been looking into working towards my MFT license, I am glad i stumbled onto this. I moved from Florida years ago that my LMHC licenses in Florida became null and void. When told the earliest I would hear whether my forms were correct would be October — another three months away — I asked how the board could justify the delay in responding given that a license is required to practice. You have invested time, dedication, sacrifice, and money to get where you are, and to get the shaft at this point is reprehensible. I have already turned in some paperwork to the board of Oregon for reciprocity. So, THANK YOU OREGON for welcoming professionals from out of state! What does it say to the public when there is a difference of 4,000 hours of required supervised experience across counseling licensure boards (and even if you want to discount the lowest number the range is still 3,500 hours)? Any suggestions on how to get transfer of license application started asap? Some licensing boards allow either the NCE or NCMHCE. It is a profession dominated by female hence perhaps why the pay is appalling, in many cases just above the minimum wage. I am hoping that you will take ownership of the problem because you are the ones with the power to solve it. I submit the Federal civil service title Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor would be great- covers all bases. I’m fed up. I reviewed my previous conversations with the director, indicating that someone at the board had confirmed my understanding of the state’s licensure requirements. OF COURSE you’re concerned about your career. How is it not noticed by the writers of criteria that substance abuse and mental health programs are frequently going out of business as funding sources and public support waxes and wanes? I understand the stigma associated with being in therapy but COME ON!?! As a person who suffered great damage at the hands of an unethical, incompetent, therapist who was unlicensed. Your concern is for yourself and your career not for the clients who are being mishandled. Are education requirements any better? I attempted to call my former licensing board again to determine if this lapse would affect the verification of my license because the board would not be reviewing it until July. Needless to say, I wrote an appeal to the WV Counselor Board and asked for a hearing and instead I agreed to attend an informal conference meeting first. In my book laws are enforced by the police and the court system not by a professional board. However, I would urge all of you that are frustrated with the system not to give up. Maybe NJ needs to find a therapist to treat their board. After graduation I found a job in Illinois and started working towards licensure here. I was denied my LCSW in Texas because my LCSW supervision was not done in Texas. I guess I was one of the lucky ones. There needs to be cored educational components in all accredited programs at a national level. In the state of Delaware like in most other states it is virtually impossible to practice without a license; I have a promotion and much needed pay raise awaiting me when I finally obtain my license. All counselors should have the same name whether its LPC, LCPC, LMHC or whatever. I am licensed in PA and have been battling NJ to attain my license. Thank you! They assured me it would be reviewed before the next board meeting….in mid July. My question is this: Is there research to support that a counselor is more effective when they have a university course in Addictions and a course in Family Counseling as opposed to other work experiences, CEUs in the same area, teaching the course, and so forth? I’m glad I came across this page and the comments. There is an assumption of professionalism, an assumption of licensure and adequate credentials, and an assumption that as professionals they work within their scope of practice. This raised a second concern for me. As time has gone by and I have developed my career (I’m 50 years old) it became apparent that if I want to survive I had better get a license. Then, through no fault of her own, she fell in love. I have spent the last 12 yrs of my life and $100,000 devoted to attaining my LPC ( BA, MA, then practice with supervision). Taking these two courses, Addictions, and Family Counseling will take time away from being a clinician and providing services to clients in rural Appalachia where there is a shortage of counselors. Others don’t. David, I really appreciate this article outlining so clearly why so much confusion exists in our profession. And here is where you come in. The Committees which regulate these laws concerning portability are NOT protecting the public. In my home state clinical psychologists have 1 year pre doctorate internship and 1 year post doctorate internship and they are ready for licensure. I sadly will need to put my permit on hold and look for a differ job….this has been very painful emotionally…my dream of being a licensed mental health counselor is being crushed…can you give me any helpful information on what to do, I would be very grateful, thank you The system just discourages a lot of good therapist. We have known about the shortage of rural mental health professionals for a long time. Do we have any current update on the status of national standards being adopted? CACREP’s website is not very clear about this either and I’ve devoted so much time into researching this along with my more-than-full-time job. I worked primarily in higher education counseling and I have operated a small private practice (6 years). I get especially angry with stories like yours, where counselors have years of experience yet are treated like inexperienced newbies due to the bureaucracy. It’s VERY likely that I’ll eventually move to another state – yet, I’m to be TRAPPED in the current state due to the restrictions?! My colleague accepted a competitive position paying 30K a year which required not only licensure, but 5 years post licensure experience. At 54, I think waiting for retirement is almost a better option, but I simply cannot stay here any longer unless I want to divorce and start over as a single person. I got a 4.0 in my masters program, completed my masters level internship, passed the state board and got my LPC, and I attended workshops to keep up my CEU’s in order to renew my license every two years and for what? I moved to Indiana after originally being licensed in Ohio and then DC. I graduated with 70 credit hours. It took me so long to obtain my license in NY including more coursework and an additional exam. They never answer the phone and I have yet to have a first email responded to, it usually takes two to three emails to get a response and you’re just wasting your time leaving a voice mail. Some require both. Single mom going for degree and it’s taken me since 2007 to get the bachelor’s. 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