Counseling Licensure in Utah
The state of Utah only has two main levels of counseling licensure a full title, and a supervised experience designation. There is also a title for those with incomplete or inadequate coursework in an unrelated field known as the Associate Clinical Mental Health Counselor Extern. However, this article will not cover the Extern title as we recommend getting the correct education to streamline your licensure process. The title for full licensure is the Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC). The title that you have during your supervised work experience portion is the Associate Clinical Mental Health Counselor (ACMHC). Utah has the following set of pre-requisites for those seeking licensure to gain the LCMHC title:
- You will need to complete your graduate level education and obtain a Master of Counseling degree from a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited school.
- Complete a practicum and an internship.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Apply to the Board to become an Associate Clinical Mental Health Counselor (ACMHC)
- Accumulate the necessary hours to complete the supervised experience requirement.
- Apply with the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to sit for the National Mental Health Counselor Examination (NMHCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) for the Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) title.
- Obtain three letters of professional reference.
- Apply to the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to receive your Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) title.
Utah 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 apply to and get accepted into a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited Master of Counseling program.
- You will also need to complete a practicum that is at least three full semester hours.
- You will need to have a six semester hour internship that includes at least 900 hours of supervised clinical experience with 360 hours of direct client service in the form of therapy sessions.
Apply for and Take Your NMHCE Exam
You are now ready to apply for and take your NMHCE.
- Apply with the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to take your National Counselor Exam (NCE) or National Mental Health Counselor Examination (NMHCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
- Pass the NCE or NMHCE with a score acceptable under Utah law.
Apply for Your ACMHC Title
You will now need to apply for your ACMHC title to begin accumulating your supervised work experience.
- Apply with the Division for your ACMHC title by filling out this form: http://dopl.utah.gov/licensing/forms/applications/067_clinical_mental_health.pdf
- Pass a criminal background check.
Once you have your ACMHC title you can begin to accrue the required supervised experience.
- You need to attain 4000 hours of supervised clinical practice.
- You must accumulate a minimum of 1000 hours delivering mental health services to clients.
- You supervisor must be a currently licensed mental health professional with the state of Utah: Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Clinical Social Worker, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Specialist or Marriage and Family Therapist.
- This must be completed in a three year period.
Apply for Your LCMHC License
You are finally ready to complete your application and receive your LCMHC title.
- Apply with the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to receive your LCMHC title.
- You can find the appropriate form here:
License Renewal and Continuing Education
Utah law states that you must renew your license every 2 years. You may also be required present evidence of continuing education at that time.
- You must complete 40 hours per year of continuing education.
- Six hours must be in ethics or in law related to mental health counseling.
You will want to keep abreast of any potential changes to licensure law by periodically reviewing the state website which you can find here: http://dopl.utah.gov/licensing/professional_counseling.html