Mental Health Counseling Certification
To be licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in Florida you must have:
1. (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. [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
2. Two (2) years of post-master’s supervised experience under the supervision of licensed mental health counselor or the equivalent (64B4-31.007 F.A.C.) who is qualified as determined by the Board. The supervision experience must have consisted of at least 1, 500 hours providing psychotherapy face-to-face with clients for the profession for which licensure is sought, and shall be accrued in no less than 100 weeks. At least 100 hours of supervision per 1, 500 hours of psychotherapy face-to-face with clients provided by the intern; At least one (1) hour of supervision every two (2) weeks; at least one (1) hour of supervision per fifteen (15) hours of psychotherapy, with a minimum of one (1) hour of supervision every two (2) weeks. If the applicant obtained group supervision, each hour of group supervision must alternate with an hour of individual supervision. Individual supervision is defined as one supervisor supervising no more than two (2) interns and group supervision is defined as one supervisor supervising more than two (2) but a maximum of six (6) interns in the group
3. The applicant must pass the national clinical mental health counseling examination (NCMHCE) developed by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
4. Complete an eight-hour laws and rules course from an approved provider
5. Complete a two-hour prevention of medical errors course from an approved provider
6. Complete a three-hour course on human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome within six months of licensure
7. Complete a two hour domestic violence course from a board approved provider within six months of licensure
This license is available for licensure applicants who have already met the minimum requirement of 2 year’s of post-master’s supervised experience in another state but do not meet Florida’s licensure requirements. It allows you to practice under supervision (defined as one hour per month by a LCSW, LMFT or LMHC) while you meet any additional licensure requirements such as masters level coursework (CSW applicants must have completed 15 semester or 22 quarter hours of coursework; MFT applicants must have completed 10 of the course content areas and 6 semester or 9 quarter hours must be in marriage and family systems, theories, or techniques, MHC applicants must have completed 7 of the course content areas one of which must be in psychopathology or abnormal psychology) CE coursework or passing the national exam. The license is valid for 24 months and cannot be renewed.
Applicants with Health History
The Board reviews each applicant’s history to determine that the applicant is able to practice the profession with reasonable skill and competence. If you have a history of serious, chronic, or recent mental health problems or addiction to drugs, you must submit a current mental health status report. Mental health status reports must come from a licensed mental health professional, with which you have no personal or professional relationship.
The report should include: a description and summary of the diagnosis, onset, course of treatment, medications, inpatient treatments, outpatient treatments, group settings, factors which have triggered setbacks, compliance with treatment, prognosis, and recommendations for continued treatment.
Applicants with Discipline History
Applicants with prior disciplinary actions are required to submit the following:
Board Actions – Certified copies of document(s) relative to any disciplinary action taken against any license. The documents must come from the agency that took the disciplinary action and must be certified by that agency.
Self-Explanation - A detailed description of the circumstances surrounding your disciplinary action and a thorough description of the rehabilitative changes in your lifestyle since the time of the disciplinary action which would enable you to avoid future occurrences. It would be helpful to include factors in your life, which you feel may have contributed to your disciplinary action, what you have learned about yourself since that time, and the changes you have made that support your rehabilitation.
Applicants with Criminal History
Applicants with prior criminal convictions are required to submit the following:
Final Dispositions/Arrest Records - Final disposition records for offenses can be obtained at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. If the records are not available, you must have a letter on court letterhead sent from the clerk of the court attesting to their unavailability.
Completion of Probation/Parole/Sanctions - Probation and financial sanction records for offenses can be obtained at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. Parole records for offenses can be obtained from the Department of Corrections or at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. If the records are not available, you must have a letter on court letterhead sent from the clerk of the court attesting to their unavailability.
- Applicants who have listed offenses on the application must submit a letter in their own words describing the circumstances of the offense. Include in your letter the date of the original offense, the charge, and the jurisdiction where it occurred.