Registering as a LPCC Intern is part of the Traditional Path to licensure. Following is an overview of the requirements for Professional Clinical Counselor Interns (PCCIs). See sections 4999.42 - 4999.48
in the LPCC Law for more detail.
- The LPCC license requires 3,000 hours of post-degree supervised experience as a registered Professional Clinical Counselor Intern (PCCI) with the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS). Pre-degree supervised hours do not count toward these 3,000 hours.
- Registration as a PCCI
requires completion of all of the LPCC education requirements, including all the core content courses and the additional
continuing education hours and the two semester-unit university credit
psychopharmacology course. Those who began graduate study August 1, 2012 and after will include some of these continuing education topics and the psychopharmacology course within their degrees.
- The 90-day rule: Recent graduates, who apply for an intern registration number within 90 days of the granting of the qualifying degree, can start counting post-degree supervised hours before they receive a registration number from the BBS. Under the 90-day rule, interns will have 12 months, from the date of their deficiency letter, to make up deficiencies. For those who do not come under the 90-day rule, hours begin to count from the date the BBS issues the intern registration number.
- The supervised experience must take place in a setting that lawfully
and regularly provides mental health counseling or psychotherapy and
provides oversight for the PCCI. A counselor cannot work in a private
practice until registered as an intern.
- The PCCI must be supervised by an Approved Supervisor, who has documented two years of clinical experience as a California LPCC, LMFT, LCSW, licensed clinical psychologist, or physician who is certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. The supervisor must have been licensed for at least two years in California, have received professional training in supervision and his or her license must be current and valid.
- Supervision must include at least one hour of direct supervisor contact in each week for which experience is credited in each work setting. An intern would not need an hour of supervisor contact in a week where he or she did not see clients, but only earned hours for professional enrichment activities (workshops, training sessions, etc.).
- A PCCI must be a employee or volunteer and not an independent contractor. PCCI's cannot accept any remuneration from clients and shall only be paid by their employers. Interns can have no proprietary interest in the employer's business.
- The 3,000 supervised hours shall be achieved in no less than two years and no more than six years.
- The LPCC supervision requirements include 150 hours of clinical experience in a hospital or community mental health setting.
- Counselors who would like to assess and treat couples and families or supervise Marriage and Family Therapist Interns (MFTIs) should include 500 hours of supervised practice with couples, families and children in their internship. In addition, LPCCs must have six units of marriage and family therapy theory and practice. See 4999.20 LPCC Scope of Practice in the LPCC Law. These hours must be under the supervision of a LMFT or a LPCC, who has met these extra requirements. See BBS Regulation 1820.5, page 156 (pdf). Note that this scope restriction only applies to work with couples and families. There is no restriction to working with children. The fact that supervised hours working with children can count toward the couple and family hours has caused confusion about the ability of PCCIs or LPCCs to work with children.
- "Client Centered Advocacy" hours include researching, identifying, and accessing resources, or other activities, related to obtaining or providing services and supports for clients or groups of clients receiving psychotherapy or counseling services.
- In settings other than private practice, an intern can have an off-site supervisor as long as there is a three-way agreement between the intern, the employer and the supervisor. See a sample agreement: http://www.bbs.ca.gov/pdf/forms/lpc/lpc_sample_letter_agreement.pdf