Counseling Licensure in Montana
Montana has its own set of rules and regulations of licensure for Counselor’s as administrated by the Board of Social Work Examiners and Professional Counselors. Montana requires that you meet certain educational, examination and work experience requirements in order to receive the title of Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC).
You have a number of steps you will need to complete to be conferred the title of a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Montana:
- Your first order of business is to finish your education and obtain a Master of Counseling degree from a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited school.
- Complete a practicum during your graduate studies.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Apply with the Montana Board of Social Work Examiners and Professional Counselors take your National Counselor Examination (NCE) or the National Mental Health Counselor Examination (NMHCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) for the Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) title.
- Accumulate the necessary hours to complete the supervised experience requirement.
- Obtain three letters of professional reference.
- Apply to the Montana Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy to receive your Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) title.
You will have to fulfill these educational components as part of the licensure process.
- The first step is to earn your Bachelor of Counseling. Most graduate programs will show preference to students who have a Bachelor of Counseling degree. If you already have your Bachelor’s or do not wish to get a Bachelor of Counseling degree, then you are going to need a highly related Social Science degree 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 practicum that includes a minimum of 200 hours of client contact with 80 of these hours in the form of Mental Health therapy.
- You will need 45 hours of small group supervision and 30 hours of individual one-on-one supervision during your practicum.
The next stage is for you to accumulate the following amounts of supervised experience:
- You will need to complete 3000 hours over a two year period.
- You may earn some hours doing volunteer work if they have the appropriate board approved supervision.
- You may also gain up to 1,500 hours during your graduate studies in the form of practicum, internship or field work if it is properly supervised at a rate of 15 hours of work to one hour of supervision, this graduate level supervision can be from a faculty member or a licensed professional as discussed below.
- A minimum of 1500 hours must be completed post-graduation with 1000 hours being direct client contact and service.
- You supervisor must have an active license in the state of Montana in one of the following disciplines: Psychiatrist, LCPC, Psychologist, Mental Health Professional or Social Worker.
- You will need one hour of individual face to face supervision for every twenty hours you accumulate post-graduation.You must obtain supervision meeting this requirement never going more than 80 hours without supervision.
Apply for and Take Your NCE
The next step on your journey towards licensure is to apply with the Board to sit for the NCE:
- Apply to the Montana Board of Social Work Examiners and 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 Montana Committee.
Apply for Your LCPC Title
You may now apply to the Montana Board of Social Work Examiners and Professional Counselors for your full LCPC title.
- Apply to the Montana Board of Social Work Examiners and Professional Counselors for your LCPC title.
- This will require three professional letters of reference.
- You can find the appropriate form here:
Continuing Education and License Renewal
You must renew your license every year. You must be able to show that you have earned Continuing Education credits.
- You will need to complete 20 hours of continuing education credits.
You will want to make sure you are current with state law around continuing education, licensure and other matters relating to counseling by visiting the Montana Board of Social Work Examiners and Professional Counselors website which you can find here: