Human Services Guide
       
 

Counseling Licensure in Missouri

Missouri features two levels of licensure the Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor (PLPC) and the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The PLPC is the starter license which allows you to accumulate the experience needed to become an LPC.

The following pre-requisites must be met to become a Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor (PLPC) and eventually a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Missouri:

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  1. The first step is to work on completing your education and earning your Graduate degree in Counseling from a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited school.
  2. Complete a practicum during your graduate studies.
  3. Pass a criminal background check.
  4. Apply with the Missouri Committee for Professional Counselors take your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) title.
  5. Pass the Missouri Jurisprudence Exam.
  6. Apply to the Missouri Committee for Professional Counselors to receive your Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor (PLPC) title.
  7. Accumulate the necessary hours to complete the supervised experience requirement.
  8. Apply to the Missouri Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy to receive your Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) title.

Educational Requirements

Missouri law states that you will need to fulfill the following educational requirements if you wish to become licensed in counseling.

  • You probably will want to begin by attaining your Bachelor’s degree in Counseling. You will find that the majority of Master of Counseling programs consider the Bachelor of Counseling to be the most favored degree for applicants. If you do not want to get a Bachelor of Counseling degree, then you will most certainly need to obtain a Bachelor’s in a highly related Behavioral Science discipline such as Psychology, Social Work or Human Services.
  • The next step is to apply to and get accepted into a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited Master of Counseling program.
  • You must complete a six semester hour practicum.

Apply for and Take Your NCE

Now you will need to apply with the Committee to sit for the NCE:

  • Apply to the Missouri Committee for Professional Counselors to take your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) if you.
  • Pass the NCE with a score acceptable to the Missouri Committee.
  • Pass the Missouri Jurisprudence Exam.

Apply for your PLPC Title

You will now need to apply for your PLPC Title.

  • Apply with the Missouri Committee for Professional Counselors for your PLPC Title.
  • You can find the form here: http://pr.mo.gov/boards/counselors/Registration_of_Supervision.pdf
  • Pass a criminal background check.

Supervised Experience

If you want to go on to earn your LPC title you will now need to accrue the following supervised experience requirements:

  • Submit to the Missouri Committee for Professional Counselors your plan for supervised experience which is included in your PLPC application (link above).
  • You will need to complete 3000 hours over a two year period.
  • You can take up to 5 years, completing a minimum of 15 hours of experience per week if you wish to work part-time during your Supervised Work experience period.
  • If you have your Ph.D. you may convert some hours to count towards your supervised experience. You will need to contact the Missouri Committee for Professional Counselors for conversion.
  • You are required to have one hour per week of supervision
    50% of your supervised hours must be one-on-one in person supervision.
  • You will need to be supervised by an LPC, Psychiatrist or Psychologist who have an active license with the state.

Apply for Your LPC Title

You are now eligible to apply to the Committee for your full LPC title.

  • Apply to the Missouri Committee for Professional Counselors for your LPC title.
  • You can find the appropriate form here:
  • For the LPC title you will also need to apply after meeting all the requirements for both PLPC and LPC.

Continuing Education and License Renewal

You must renew your license every two years. You must be able to show that you have earned Continuing Education credits.

  • You will need to complete 40 hours of continuing education credits.
  • 20 hours of the 40 must be in formal continuing education.

You will want to take the time to at least one per year review any changes to the licensure process and continuing education component by visiting the Missouri Committee for Professional Counselors website which you can find here: