Counseling Licensure in New York
New York only has one level of licensure for counseling which is known as the Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). New York has many of the usual requirements for state licensure such as education attained, supervised experience, examination and also includes a special emphasis on child abuse recognition training.
The steps to become licensed as a counselor with the title Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in New York is as follows:
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- Complete the necessary educational background of a Master of Counseling from a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited program.
- Complete a practicum or internship element.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Apply for a limited supervised experience permit with the Office.
- Complete the required supervised experience element.
- Apply with the state board to sit for your NMHCE.
- Take the National Mental Health Counselor Examination (NMHCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
- Apply for your LMHC license.
New York has the following educational requirements for licensure.
- You will first need to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Counseling or a relevant Behavioral Science field such as Psychology, Social Work or Human Services. Counseling degrees are preferred.
- 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 or Council on Counseling Rehabilitation (CORE in the case of rehabilitation counselors) program.
- Your graduate program must include a 600 hour practicum or internship.
You must now accumulate the required supervised experience.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Apply for a limited permit to practice which allows you to work at one site per permit.
- You can find the form here: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/mhp/mhcforms.htm
- You need to attain 3000 hours of supervised practice.
- This must include 1500 hours of direct client care which can include client related activities such as case work, research and analysis of client cases.
- You must receive guidance and oversight four hours per month from your supervisor in one-on-one supervision.
- Your permit period is for 2 years, but can be renewed if your request is met. 3 years is the maximum allotted time to complete your supervised experience.
Apply for and Take Your LMHC Exam
You are now ready to apply for and take your LMHC exam.
- Apply with the New York Office of the Professions to take your National Mental Health Counselor Examination (NMHCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
- Pass the NMHCE with a score acceptable under New York law.
Complete a Child Abuse Training Class
New York law requires that you complete a class on Child Abuse before you are able to attain your license. These classes can be taken through one of the following educators: http://www.op.nysed.gov/training/caproviders.htm
Apply for Your LMHC License
You are finally ready to complete your application and receive your LMHC title.
- Apply with the New York Office of the Professions to receive your LMHC title
- You can find the appropriate forms here:
License Renewal and Continuing Education
New York law states that you must renew your license every 3 years. There are currently now Continuing Education requirements in New York for LMHC’s.
You will always want to stay abreast of changes by taking the time to visit the regulatory website a couple of times a year. You can do that by visiting the New York Office of the Professions website: