Human Services Guide
       
 
Ohio

Counseling Licensure in Ohio

Ohio has several levels of licensure, making it quite unusual compared to most states. These levels vary from supervised practice only levels of licensure into a high degree of specialization. The lowest level is known as the Counselor Trainee (CT) which is a required level of licensure in order to earn more advanced levels of licensure via supervised work experience. The next level is known as professional Counselor (PC). There are then two advanced levels of licensure the Professional Counselor – Clinical Resident (CR) which is a required distinction for those who wish to attain the highest level of licensure and its additional supervised experience requirement, the Professional Clinical Counselor (PCC).

You will need to accomplish the following steps in order to attain licensure:

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  1. Earn a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). If the program is not CACREP-accredited, the school must be accredited by an organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and when submitting your application you would need to follow the special instructions described here.
  2. During your graduate program you will want to apply for your Counselor Trainee (CT) title to have during your practicum or internship.
  3. Complete a practicum or internship during your graduate studies.
  4. Apply to take your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
  5. Pass an Ohio Laws and Rules examination.
  6. Apply to the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist Board to receive your Professional Counselor (PC) title.
  7. Pass a criminal background check.
  8. If you want to attain the PCC level you will need to apply with the board to become a Professional Counselor – Clinical Resident (CR)
  9. Accumulate the required hours for your supervised experience requirement.
  10. Apply to take your National Mental Health Counselor Examination (NMHCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
  11. Apply to the state board to receive your Professional Clinical Counselor (PCC) title in the state of Ohio.

Educational Requirements

Ohio has the following requirements to become a licensed counselor:

  • You will want to begin by attaining your Bachelor’s degree in Counseling. This is generally the most favored by graduate programs. If not, you will want to earn a highly related Social or Behavioral Science field such as Psychology, Social Work or Human Services.
  • Apply to a master’s program in clinical mental health counseling accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Non-CACREP accredited programs must hold institutional accreditation from an agency recognized by CHEA.

Practicum and Internship

During your Graduate studies you will be required to complete a practicum and internship as follows:

  • Apply with the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist Board to become a Counselor Trainee (CT).
  • You can find the form to become a CT here: http://cswmft.ohio.gov/pdfs/CTforms.pdf
  • Complete a Practicum that has a minimum of 100 hours of length. Of those 100 hours you must have 40 hours of direct service to clients on an individual client or a group of client basis.
  • You must then complete an Internship that is 600 hours in length with 240 direct service hours that include the evaluation, diagnoses and treatment of disorders.
  • You must have one hour of face to face contact with a supervisor for every 20 hours you accumulate.
  • Your supervisor must be board approved as a licensed Professional Counselor or Professional Clinical Counselor with the Supervisor distinction.

Apply for and Take Your NCE

  • Apply to the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist Board to take your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
  • Pass the NCE with a score acceptable under Ohio law.

Apply for your PC Title

In order to advance to the PCC level of licensure you will need to acquire additional supervised work experience. This must occur while you have the Professional Counselor title.

  • Apply to the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist Board for the PC title.
  • This will require that you provide proof of educational attainment as well as your NCE test score.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • You can find the form to become a PC here: http://cswmft.ohio.gov/pdfs/PC-inst.pdf

Supervised Experience

If you want to become a Professional Clinical Counselor you will need to fulfill these supervised work experience requirements:

  • You must complete two full years of supervised practice. Even if you complete the hour requirement early, you must complete a full two year term.
  • You must accrue 3000 hours of experience during the two years.
  • Of these 3000 hours 1500 must be direct therapy experience with clients.
  • These 1500 hours must include the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.
  • You must have 75 hours per year for a total of 150 hours of supervision group or individual.
  • If you have your doctorate you can substitute on year of supervised practice for a doctoral internship with a clinical focus.
  • Your supervisor must be a PCC with the additional Supervisor certification from the board known as a PCC-S.

Apply for and Take Your NMHCE

  • Apply to the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist Board to take your National Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
  • Pass the NMHCE with a score acceptable under Ohio law.

Apply for your PCC Title

You are now eligible to apply for the Professional Clinical Counselor (PCC) title.
Apply to the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist Board for your PCC title.
You can find the form here: http://cswmft.ohio.gov/pdfs/PCC-Inst.pdf

Continuing Education and License Renewal

Ohio requires Counselors to renew their license every two years. You will need to have completed continuing education requirements regardless of your licensure level.

  • You will need to have 30 hours of continuing education credits for every two year period of licensure.
  • You must have 3 credit hours in ethics.

You will want to take the time every few month to peruse the state board website to ensure you are up to date on current licensure laws. You can find the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist Board website here: http://cswmft.ohio.gov/FormsC.stm

       
 
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