Human Services Guide
       
 
Rhode Island

Counseling Licensure in Rhode Island

Rhode Island only has one level of licensure for counseling and requires the usual graduate level education as well as work experience and passing a national counseling examination. Rhode Island’s counseling license title is known as the Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC).

The steps to become licensed as a counselor with the title Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) is as follows:

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  1. Complete a master’s or higher degree in counseling from a program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), or an equivalent accrediting agency approved by both the board and by the national or regional certifying authority.
  2. Complete a practicum as well as an internship element.
  3. Apply with the state board to sit for your NCE.
  4. Take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
  5. Apply for your LMHC license.

Educational Requirements

Rhode Island has the following educational requirements for licensure.

  • You will first need to acquire your Bachelor’s degree in Counseling or a highly related Social or Behavioral Science field such as Psychology, Social Work or Human Services. Counseling degrees are preferred.
  • The next step is to enroll in a master’s or higher degree program in counseling accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), or an equivalent accrediting agency approved by both the board and by the national or regional certifying authority.

Practicum and Internship

Rhode Island law requires you complete a practicum and internship during your graduate studies.

  • You must complete a 12 semester hour practicum during your graduate studies.
  • You will then need to complete a full year internship with a minimum of 20 hours per week of clinical experience.
  • The internship and practicum must be supervised by a board approved supervisor.

Supervised Experience

You must now accumulate the required supervised experience.

  • The supervised experience element in Rhode Island requires two years of supervised experience.
  • You need to accrue 2000 hours of supervised direct client care practice.
  • You will need at least 100 hours of direct supervision from a board approved supervisor.
  • Your supervisor must meet Rhode Island Board of Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists standards for qualification.

Apply for and Take Your NCMHCE

You are now ready to apply for and take the NCMHCE.

  • Apply with the Rhode Island Board of Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists to take your National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
  • Pass the NCMHCE with a score acceptable under Rhode Island law.

Apply for Your LMHC License

You are finally ready to complete your application and receive your LMHC title.

  • Apply with the Rhode Island Board of Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists to receive your LMHC title
    • You can find the appropriate form here:

License Renewal and Continuing Education

Rhode Island law states that you must renew your license every 2 years. You must also present evidence of continuing education at that time.

  • You must complete 20 hours per year of continuing education for a total of 40 per biennium.
  • This must include at least on20 hours from formal CE classes.

You will always want to stay abreast of changes by ensuring that every so often you visit the Rhode Island Board of Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists website:

       
 
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