Counseling Licensure in Texas
Texas has an entry level as well as a full level of licensure for a total of two levels of licensure. The two levels are the Licensed Professional Counselor Intern (LPC-I) and the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The LPC-I is the starter license which allows you to accumulate the experience needed to become an LPC.
You will need to meet the following benchmarks to become a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern (LPC-I) and eventually a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Texas:
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- The first step on your journey towards licensure is to work on completing your education and earning your Graduate degree in Counseling from a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited school.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Apply to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors to receive your Licensed Professional Counselor Intern (LPC-I) title.
- Pass the Texas Rules and Laws examination.
- Apply with the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors to sit for your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) title.
- Accumulate the necessary hours to complete the supervised experience requirement.
- Apply to the Texas Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy to receive your Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) title.
Texas law requires you to fulfill the following educational component to gain licensure as a counselor.
- You probably will want to begin by attaining your Bachelor’s degree in Counseling. Most Master of Counseling programs will give preference to those applicants who hold a Bachelor of Counseling degree. If you do not want or are unable to get a Bachelor of Counseling degree, then you will need to have a Bachelor’s in a relevant Social Science field such as Psychology, Social Work or Human Services.
- 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 program.
- Your studies must include some sort of practicum that gives you 300 hours supervised clinical experience with 100 hours of direct client counseling.
Apply for and Take Your NCE
Now you will need to apply with the Committee to sit for the NCE:
- Apply to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors to take your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) if you.
- Pass the NCE with a score acceptable to the Texas Committee.
- Pass the Texas Jurisprudence examination.
Apply for your LPC-I Title
You will now need to apply for your LPC-I Title in order to begin gaining experience towards your LPC title.
- Apply with the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors for your LPC-I Title.
- The application form is here:
- Pass a criminal background check.
If you want to go on to earn your full Licensed Professional Counselor title you will now need to accrue the following supervised experience requirements:
- You will need to complete 3000 hours over an 18 month to 5 year period.
- 1500 hours must be in the form of direct client care.
- You can earn up to 400 hours by converting any graduate level practicum or internship that exceeded the initial 300 hour requirement per the education section above.
- You are required to have one hour of direct supervision per week. At least half of your supervised hours must be face-to-face.
- Your supervisor will need to be approved by the Texas Board.
Apply for Your LPC Title
After completing the supervised clinical experience portion you will be eligible to apply to the Board for your full LPC title.
- Apply to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors for your LPC title.
- You will need to provide the Board with a professional disclosure statement at the time of your application for the LPC title.
- You can find the appropriate form here:
Continuing Education and License Renewal
You must renew your license every two years. You must be able to show that you have earned Continuing Education credits and also retake the Texas Jurisprudence examination.
- You will need to complete 24 hours of continuing education credits.
- You will need to retake the Texas Jurisprudence examination every renewal period.
Every few months it is a good idea to get up to date on any changes to counseling licensure laws by visiting the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors website which you can find here: