Human Services Guide
       
 

Counseling Licensure in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has a number of pre-requisites that will need to be fulfilled by prospective counselors. The main components you will need to meet are: having a Master’s of Counseling degree, meeting supervised experience benchmarks and taking a national counseling exam. There is only one level of licensure in Oklahoma which is the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) title.

The following are the steps you will need to complete to attain the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) title in Oklahoma:

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  • Meet the education pre-requisite of having your Master of Counseling or doctorate degree.
  • Complete a practicum as part of your graduate studies.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Write the board with a plan for your supervised experience step and have it accepted.
  • Accrue all of the required hours of supervised experience to meet the state requirement.
  • Apply to take your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
  • Apply to the Oklahoma State Department of Behavioral Health to receive your Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) title.
  • Present them with three professional letters of reference.

Educational Requirements

Oklahoma law states that prospective Counselors will need to complete the following educational steps as part of the licensure process.

  • The first step is to earn your Bachelor’s degree in Counseling. This is considered the best option; if not counseling then you will want to earn a Bachelor’s in a highly related Social Science discipline such as Psychology, Social Work or Human Services.
  • The next step is to apply to and get accepted into a master’s or doctorate degree program in counseling offered at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Your graduate program must include a 300 hour practicum.

Supervised Experience

The next step towards licensure is to begin to gain sufficient supervised experience in a clinical setting.

  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Complete three years of supervised experience.
  • This can be reduced by one full year if you have 30 semester hours of post-graduate coursework in counseling. The maximum amount of post-graduate schooling that will be accepted is 60 hours which will reduce your supervised experience component by two years.
  • You will need to complete a full 3000 hours of supervised experience. 1000 hour is considered one full year of experience.
  • The maximum time your supervised work experience can take place within is five years.
  • You must complete all experience after graduation.
  • 350 of the 1000 hours per year must be in the form of direct client counseling.
  • If you do not have post graduate course work this equates to 1050 hours.
  • You must have a minimum of 45 minutes of the supervised for every 20 hours of time you accrue.
  • You will need two direct supervision periods during each six months of experience.
  • You will need to have a six-month evaluation during every six-month time period of your experience that will be submitted to that Oklahoma State Health Department.

Apply for and Take Your NCE

The next step is to apply for and take your exam:

  • Apply to the Oklahoma State Department of Behavioral Health 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 Oklahoma law.

Apply for Your LPC License

Once you have passed the NCE you may apply to the board for your full LPC title.

  • Apply to the Oklahoma State Department of Behavioral Health for your LPC title.
  • Present them with three professional letters of reference from Mental Health professionals.
    • You can find the appropriate form here:

Continuing Education

You will need to renew your license every two years and you will need to have completed your continuing education requirement that time.

  • Complete 20 hours of Continuing Education credits every two years.

You will want to stay ahead of any changes to Oklahoma law by visiting the Oklahoma State Department of Behavioral Health website every few months. You can find the website here:

       
 
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