Following is a summary of requirements for those who hold a valid license as a professional clinical counselor, which allows the applicant to independently provide clinical mental health services in another jurisdiction of the United States. There are two sets of requirements, one for those who apply by December 31, 2015 and one for those who apply on or after January 1, 2016.
Education that is substantially equivalent to California’s requirement for LPCCs:
A 48-semester-unit master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited or approved institution, which is counseling or psychotherapy in content, includes 6 semester units of supervised practicum or fieldwork study, and contains at least 3 semester units of coursework in 7 the following 9 core content areas. All 9 core areas must be completed before licensure or intern registration. Licensed counselors from other states may remediate deficiencies at the board’s discretion.
Because the Board has this discretion, applicants with degrees from other states may make up more than two or three courses outside their degree, as well as credits, as long as the degree contains 6 credits of practicum/fieldwork and the counselor gained that education while residing outside California. This does not apply to those who took the grandparenting path, those who earn their degrees in California or those who earn out-of-state or online degrees, while residing in California.
Those with degrees from out-of-state must submit syllabi for the following nine core content courses. If the applicant has attempted and failed to obtain syllabi from the university, course descriptions from the university catalog may be submitted. The Board will make the final determination on whether the course description is acceptable. Those with post-2001 degrees from a CACREP-accredited program do not need to submit syllabi. The university must complete the Out-of-State Degree Program Certification form found in the application.
Advanced Coursework: In addition to the course requirements described above, a minimum of 12 semester units of advanced coursework to develop knowledge of specific treatment issues, special populations, application of counseling constructs, assessment and treatment planning, clinical interventions, therapeutic relationships, psychopathology or other clinical topics.Additional Coursework: In addition to, or as part of the graduate degree, instruction in each of the following content areas must be completed prior to licensure.
Note that, other than the psychopharmacology course, these courses are continuing education hours.
Supervision that is substantially equivalent to that required in California.
California’s requirement for LPCCs: A minimum of 3,000 post-degree hours of supervised experience, by a LPC, LMFT, LCSW, licensed psychologist or licensed physician who is certified in psychiatry, over a period of not less than two years, including not less than 1,750 hours of direct counseling with individuals or groups in a clinical mental health counseling setting and 150 hours in a hospital or community mental health setting.
The BBS can accept supervised hours, that are substantially equivalent to California’s requirements, for counselors who have held a valid license in another state for at least two years. Counselors, who have not achieved licensure in another state, or counselors who have not been licensed for at least two years in another state, will be required to gain a minimum of 250 hours of supervised clinical experience in direct counseling within California, after registering with the Board as an Intern. The qualifying supervised experience gained out of state can be combined, if needed, with the experience gained in California to meet the 3,000-hour post-degree supervision requirement.
Requirements for those who apply on or after January 1, 2016
Out-of-state applicants who apply for LPCC or LMFT licensure on or after January 1, 2016 will need to meet the requirements that went into effect for California residents beginning graduate study on or after August 1, 2012. Although the requirements will increase, the law allows applicants to remediate specified coursework through continuing education while registered as an intern and it allows certain advantages to those who are licensed out-of-state.
The qualifying degree:
Examination requirements apply to those who apply pre-2016 and post-2016:
Once all education and experience are approved, the applicant will be eligible for the licensure examinations. The Board has adopted the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE) as the licensing exam for California LPCCs. A California Law and Ethics Examination will also be required. Applicants must attempt an examination at least once per year until all required examinations have been passed.