Human Services Guide
       
 
New Mexico

Counseling Licensure in New Mexico

New Mexico requires that counselors meet a number of benchmarks that must be met in order to obtain licensure as a counselor. There are two levels of licensure, the Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) which is the title required to complete your supervised work experience and the full licensed the Licensed Professional Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LPCMHC). You will want to review New Mexico’s Counseling and Therapy Practice Board website which you can find here:

The order of operations to get your license to practice Counseling in New Mexico is as follows:

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  • Earn your Master’s degree in Counseling from an accredited program.
  • Complete an internship during your Master’s program.
  • Apply for and take your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
  • Apply to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC).
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Complete the supervised experience portion.
  • Apply for and take your National Mental Health Counselor Examination (NMHCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
  • Apply for your Licensed Professional Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LPCMHC) title.

Educational Requirements

New Mexico law requires you meet the following requirements:

  • Earn your Bachelor’s degree in Counseling or a related behavioral science such as Social Work, Human Services, Marriage and Family Therapy or Psychology.
  • Enroll in a master's or doctoral degree in counseling or a counseling-related field from an accredited institution. If the degree is in a related-field but not counseling specifically, you must submit a syllabus and course descriptions from the course catalog.

Apply for and Take Your NCE

In order to become a LMHC you must now complete the exam portion of the requirements.

  • You must apply with the New Mexico Counseling and Therapy Practice Board to take your exam.
  • You must take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) and pass with a score acceptable to the Board.

Apply for the Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) Title

In order to begin accumulating supervised work experience, you will need to apply for your title.

  • Apply with the New Mexico Counseling and Therapy Practice Board to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC).
  • Pass a criminal background check.
    • You can find the form here:

Supervised Experience

You will need to complete a few thousand hours of supervised professional experience.

  • You will need to complete 3000 hours of supervised experience over a two year period.
  • You will need 100 hours of face-to-face supervision.
  • You will need one hour of supervision for each hour of direct client care.
  • Your supervisor must be a mental health professional with a current license in New Mexico from one of the following disciplines: LPCMHC, Social Worker, Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist, Psychiatrist or Independent Social Worker.

Apply for and Take Your Exam

After completing your supervised professional experience portion, you must now complete the exam portion to become an LPCMHC.

  • You must apply with the New Mexico Counseling and Therapy Practice Board to take your exam.
  • You must take the National Mental Health Counselors Exam (NMHCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) and pass with a score acceptable to the Board.

Apply for Your License

After completing all of the above steps you are now ready to apply for your full license.

  • You must apply with the New Mexico Counseling and Therapy Practice Board for your title Licensed Professional Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LPCMHC).
  • You must include all the relevant materials and verifications.
  • You must read and certify that you understand the state ethics guidelines.
    • You can find the form here:

Continuing Education and License Renewal

Once you have your LPCMHC title, you will need to complete continuing education credits in order to maintain licensure. You will need to renew your license every two years.

  • You must complete 40 hours of continuing education every two years.

You will want to stay up to date and current on licensure law by taking the time to periodically review the New Mexico Counseling and Therapy Practice Board website which you can find here:

       
 
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