Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
Provisional Mental Health Counselor
Complete the Education Worksheet for mental health counseling to determine if you have satisfied the coursework requirements for licensure. Transcripts must be sent in the official sealed envelope from the university or they will not be considered official.
(a) Minimum of an earned master’s degree from a mental health counseling program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) that consists of at least 60 semester hours or 80 quarter hours of clinical and didactic instruction, including a course in human sexuality and a course in substance abuse. Ensure your program is accredited in mental health counseling by visiting https://www.cacrep.org/. NOTE: CACREP accredited programs that are not mental health counseling programs do not meet this requirement, i.e., community counseling, school counseling, counselor education.
(b) Minimum of an earned master’s degree from a program related to the practice of mental health counseling that consists of at least 60 semester hours or 80 quarter hours and meets the following requirements:
- Minimum of 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours of graduate-level coursework in each of the following 12 content areas: counseling theories and practice, human growth and development, diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology, human sexuality, group theories and practice, individual evaluation and assessment, career and lifestyle assessment, research and program evaluation, social and cultural foundations, counseling in community settings, substance abuse, and legal, ethical, and professional standards issues. Courses in research, thesis or dissertation work, practicums, internships, or fieldwork may not be applied toward this requirement;
- The equivalent of at least 1,000 hours of university-sponsored supervised clinical practicum, internship, or field experience as required in the standards for CACREP accredited mental health counseling programs. This experience may not be used to satisfy the post-master’s clinical experience requirement.
FOREIGN EDUCATION: For the Board to consider education completed outside the U.S. or Canada, documentation must be received which verifies the institution at which the education was completed was equivalent to a regionally accredited U.S. institution and the coursework met the content and credit hour requirement for graduate level coursework in the U.S. It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain an evaluation from a recognized foreign equivalency determination service that documents the acceptability of the coursework. The board office must receive an original evaluation mailed directly from the educational evaluation service. For a list of approved Foreign Education Evaluators, please click here.
1,500 hours post-graduate supervision hours are required for licensure at the independent practice level
The National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) developed by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
You must have a master’s degree in mental health counseling or related to the practice of mental health counseling from a regionally accredited institution before you are permitted to take the examination.
Continuing Education and Renewal Requirements
25 hours in General hours, 2 hours in Domestic Violence and Medical Errors, 3 hours in Ethics and Boundaries, Laws and Rules and 4 hours in Qualified Supervisor Training
Clinical Supervisor Requirements
- A graduate level academic course in supervision or
- A continuing education course in supervisory training which meets the requirements of rule 64B4-6.0025 or
- An Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) by the Center for Credentialing and Education, Inc. (CCE) or
- An AAMFT Approved Supervisors or
- A post-graduate training course for field instructors in clinical social work and
- Five (5) years of clinical experience in mental health counseling, 2 years of which can be earned during a post-masters clinical internship.
**If you are not a LMHC, in order to supervise registered mental health counselor interns, you will also need to provide documentation (see page 4) that you have completed a three semester or four quarter hour graduate level course in three of the following six content areas: counseling theories, counseling practice, assessment, career counseling, substance abuse, or legal, ethical and professional standards from a clinical counseling program in an institution fully accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and/or the U.S. Department of Education. (Coursework from an accredited school of social work does not meet this requirement).
If you are licensed as a psychologist in Florida or in the state where the supervision took place and completed a minimum of three years of experience providing psychotherapy, consisting of a minimum of 750 hours of direct client contact per year.
Licensure by Reciprocity and Portability
An applicant for licensure by endorsement must meet the following requirements:
- Submits a completed application and appropriate fees;
- Holds an active valid license to practice and has actively practiced the profession for which licensure is applied in another state for 3 of the last 5 years immediately preceding licensure;
- License is in good standing and is not under investigation;
- Meets the current educational requirements for licensure;
- Has passed the licensure examination (NCMHCE);
- Completes an 8 hour laws and rules course from an approved provider; and
- Completes a 2 hour course on the prevention of medical errors from an approved provider.
Scope of Practice
“PRACTICE OF MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING” is defined as the use of scientific and applied behavioral science theories, methods, and techniques for the purpose of describing, preventing, and treating undesired behavior and enhancing mental health and human development and is based on the person-in-situation perspectives derived from research and theory in personality, family, group, and organizational dynamics and development, career planning, cultural diversity, human growth and development, human sexuality, normal and abnormal behavior, psychopathology, psychotherapy, and rehabilitation. The practice of mental health counseling includes methods of a psychological nature used to evaluate, assess, diagnose, and treat emotional and mental dysfunctions or disorders (whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral), behavioral disorders, interpersonal relationships, sexual dysfunction, alcoholism, and substance abuse. The practice of mental health counseling includes, but is not limited to, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and sex therapy. The practice of mental health counseling also includes counseling, behavior modification, consultation, client-centered advocacy, crisis intervention, and the provision of needed information and education to clients, when using methods of a psychological nature to evaluate, assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent emotional and mental disorders and dysfunctions (whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral), behavioral disorders, sexual dysfunction, alcoholism, or substance abuse. The practice of mental health counseling may also include clinical research into more effective psychotherapeutic modalities for the treatment and prevention of such conditions.
- Mental health counseling may be rendered to individuals, including individuals affected by the termination of marriage, and to couples, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
- The use of specific methods, techniques, or modalities within the practice of mental health counseling is restricted to mental health counselors appropriately trained in the use of such methods, techniques, or modalities.
- The terms "diagnose" and "treat," as used in this chapter, when considered in isolation or in conjunction with any provision of the rules of the board, shall not be construed to permit the performance of any act which mental health counselors are not educated and trained to perform, including, but not limited to, admitting persons to hospitals for treatment of the foregoing conditions, treating persons in hospitals without medical supervision, prescribing medicinal drugs as defined in chapter 465, authorizing clinical laboratory procedures pursuant to chapter 483, A49 or radiological procedures, or use of electroconvulsive therapy. In addition, this definition shall not be construed to permit any person licensed, provisionally licensed, registered, or certified pursuant to this chapter to describe or label any test, report, or procedure as "psychological," except to relate specifically to the definition of practice authorized in this subsection.
- The definition of "mental health counseling" contained in this subsection includes all services offered directly to the general public or through organizations, whether public or private, and applies whether payment is requested or received for services rendered.