Accreditation and Licensing for Therapists and Counselors

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In addition to obtaining a degree from a university or college, a therapist must also complete the necessary requirements to obtain professional licensing in the state where they plan to practice. We’ve listed some basic information on the various licenses and certifications, as well state board of examiners.

Accreditations, Certifications, and Licensure

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)

AAMFT is recognized as the professional association for marriage and family therapy. 

Learn more about American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

Association of Marital and Family Therapy Boards (AMFRB)

AMFRB is the association of state licensing boards governing licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs). They administer the MFT National Examination, a requirement to license candidates. They are a clearinghouse for information and research, producing and maintaining the national MFT exam.  AMFRB explores regulatory issues (telemental health, licensure portability) in order to assist regulators by offering suggestions and guidelines as they make important decisions about the marriage and family therapy profession. 

Learn more about Association of Marital and Family Therapy Boards (AMFRB).

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

CACREP is the organization that accredits master’s and doctoral counseling programs in the United States. 

Learn more about The Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs(CACREP).

National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC)

NBCC is the accreditation body for counselors, ensuring counselors achieve national board that administers the National Counselor Examination (NCE) counselors must pass for licensure. 

Learn more about National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).

National Provider Identifier (NPI)

Every healthcare provider must register for an NPI through the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES). “The Administrative Simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) mandated the adoption of standard unique identifiers for health care providers and health plans.”

Learn more about National Provider Identifier (NPI).

State Boards

Each state has a state board of examiners for behavioral/mental health that serves to protect the public by developing and enforcing regulations that govern the practice of behavioral health providers in their state. 

Academy of Clinical Social Workers (ACSW)

The Academy of Certified Social Workers qualifies social workers through its highly-recognized national accreditation process. Social workers with ACSW accreditation are considered qualified providers of social services. They have: 

  • A National Association of Social Workers membership
  • A master’s degree in social work from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Two years of postgraduate social work employment and professional supervision by an MSW credentialed supervisor
  • Provided professional evaluations of their social work abilities from an MSW supervisor and two colleagues,
  • Completed 20 hours of relevant continuing education,
  • Agreed to adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics

Academy of Dance Therapists Registered (ADTR)

The Academy of Certified Social Workers qualifies social workers through its highly-recognized national accreditation process. Social workers with ACSW accreditation are considered qualified providers of social services. They have: 

  • A National Association of Social Workers membership
  • A master’s degree in social work from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Two years of postgraduate social work employment and professional supervision by an MSW credentialed supervisor
  • Provided professional evaluations of their social work abilities from an MSW supervisor and two colleagues,
  • Completed 20 hours of relevant continuing education,
  • Agreed to adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics

Academy of Dance Therapists Registered (ADTR)

The American Dance Therapy Association has been approved through the NBCC to provide continuing education for ADTR and dance/movement therapy (DMT)

  • Master’s degree is required upon completion
  • Broad practice in dance styles, techniques, choreography, performance, and teaching is encouraged. 
  • Psychology, kinesiology, and anatomy course focus
  • Experience in working/volunteering with individuals in human service settings 

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses have completed advanced clinical and educational requirements to provide community-based services, including mental health services. APRN’s include: nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse-midwives

  • Must receive a Master of Nursing degree (MSN), along with clinical experience varying on specialty
  • Pass APRN certification exam
  • Receive licensure as an APRN
  • Complete continuing education requirements based on speciality

American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work (ABECSW)

The American Board of Examiners (ABE) serves as the national voice of the professionalism and provides certification for clinical social workers practicing mental health. Certification is recognized by healthcare professionals, insurance carriers, and court systems. 

  • Master of Social Work (MSW) from an accredited school 
  • Valid state licensure at the highest clinical level
  • 40 hours of clinical continuing education 
  • Minimum of five years of post-graduate clinical social work practice
  • Pass clinical peer evaluations

American Board of Professional Neuropsychology (ABPN)

The American Board of Professional Neuropsychology (ABN) credentialing process and continuing education require clinical neuropsychologists to undergo rigorous peer review encouraging excellence and competency. 

  • Minimum of 3 years of professional neuropsychology experience (1 year may be supervised)
  • Be currently licensed in good standing
  • Those who received their doctoral training must have attended a university that was accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). Those who completed their doctoral training prior to 2018 may demonstrate equivalency
  • Complete internship requirements
  • Foreign trained applicants are eligible to apply if they possess current
  • licensure/certification, in good standing to practice psychology in their state of practice and meet ABN equivalency standards are eligible to apply
  • Must complete system didactic and experiential training in neuropsychology meeting the knowledge based as outlined by the Houston Conference Guidelines

American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP)

The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) promotes quality psychological services through the examination and certification of professional psychologists engaged in specialty practice.

  • 15+ years of licensure as a psychologist at an independent doctoral level
  • Doctoral degree from an APA/CPA accredited or ASPPB/NR designated program
  • APA/CPA accredited internship or equivalent year of supervised experience

Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS)

Offered by the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders CAS credential is a clinical certification based upon experience providing treatment under the direction of a qualified clinical supervisor, specialized training, and a written examination. Specialization in the addictions resides within five categories of treatment activity: alcohol addiction, drug addiction, eating disorders, sex addiction, and disordered gambling.

Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC)

CACs are certified through the Academy for Addiction Professionals and are overseen by the Florida Certification Board. CACs are reciprocated through dozens of states under the title of Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC)

  • High School Diploma/GED

Learn more about Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC).

Certified Additions Professional (CAP)

CAPs are certified through the Academy for Addiction Professionals and are overseen by the Florida Certification Board. Focuses on counseling those who experience alcohol or substance abuse. 

  • 6,000 hours of work experience for bachelor’s candidates, 4,000 hours for master’s candidates
  • Passing score on exam

Learn more about Certified Addictions Professional (CAP).

Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Consultants (CADAC)

CADAC are non-clinical level and only recognized in the state of Indiana

Learn more about Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Consultants (CADAC).

Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC)

Vary by state (California, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, Oregon) CADCs will understand alcoholism and drug dependency, assess or diagnose in order to develop treatment goals and objectives for treatment planning, implementing and evaluation using treatment interventions. 

Certified Anger Management Facilitator (CAMF)

CAMF certification is for those interested in providing anger management/intelligence services to individuals. The curriculum offered by Anderson & Anderson Management is the only training approved by the state of California for the Department of Rehabilitation, Probation, Parole and Correctional Officers.

Certified Anger Resolution Therapist (CART)

Therapist trained in helping people control their anger impulses. 

Certified Bioenergetic Therapist (CBT)

Bioenergetic therapy is complementary psychotherapy that connects people’s emotions, character, body expression and muscle structure to release stiff or overstressed areas of the body by using movement, breathwork, touch and dialogue. 

  • Diploma or certification in bioenergetics
  • 150 hours of personal bioenergetic therapy
  • 50 hours of supervised practice

Certified Chemical Dependency Professional (CCDP)

CCDPs may be certified through graduate certificate programs to work with individuals who experience addition to mood or mind-altering substances. 

  • Undergraduate degree in social work, psychology or mental health counseling

Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist (CCH)

CCH is designated through the Society for Clinical Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH). 

  • License for independent practice
  • Attend approved workshop, then two years of clinical practice
  • Signed agreement with SCEH
  • Training through SCEH, ISH, ASCH or recognized affiliate within the last 5 years. 70 hours in total
  • Renewal of certification every 3 years

Learn more about Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist (CCH).

Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC)

Recognized by NBCC. CCMHC earns board certification to the highest standards of practice as they have met education, examination, supervision, experience, and ethical requirements. 

  • Must be a National Certified Counselor (NCC)
  • 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of graduate-level counseling from an institutionally accredited program
  • 100 hours of postgraduate clinical supervision
  • Endorsement from a professional colleague who holds a master’s degree or higher in the mental health field
  • 3,000 hours of postgraduate clinical client work experience
  • Adhere to NBCC’s ethical policies
  • Passing score on National Clinical Mental Health Examination (NCMHCE)
  • Recertification is every 5 years

Learn more about Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC).

Certified Eating Disorders Specialist (CEDS)

CEDS designation is certified through The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation (IAEDP). 

  • Completion of core courses
  • Work with an IAEDP-approved supervisor 
  • Passing score on certification exam
  • 3 letters of recommendation from providers familiar with applicants work
  • Case study
  • Recertification is every 2 years

Learn more about Certified Eating Disorders Specialist (CEDS).

Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP)

CEAPs provide counseling support to employees (and families) through employee assistance programs (EAP). Certification is through the International Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA). 

  • Legacy certification  (must be completed prior to 6/30/2022): CEAP exam, 1,000 and 1 year of EAP work experience, 20 hours of Masters Degree professional development hours (PDH) or 60 hours for all other candidates, and Elevating Ethical Awareness CEAP candidate specific ethics course completion. 
  • Signed letter of compilation of 1,000 hours and 1 year of experience in EA services setting
  • Copies of PDH requirements
  • Copy of Master’s degree
  • Passing score of CEAP exam
  • Pay fees
  • Addend chapter support

Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE)

CFLEs are sponsored by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR)  and is recognized in the U.S. and Canada. Shows individuals meet criteria to provide family life education. 

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Graduate from an CFLE-approved program
  • Pass the CFLE exam
  • Maintain annual fee
  • Recertification is every 5 years

Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP)

A CGP is a practitioner who practices ethical group psychotherapy. Certification is through the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA). 

  • Graduate degree
  • Highest state clinical licensure
  • 15 hours of group psychotherapy education
  • 300 hours of group psychotherapy experience as a leader or co-leader during graduate training
  • 75 hours of group psychotherapy supervision by approved group psychotherapy supervisor
  • 2 completed reference forms (supervisor, colleague)
  • Professional liability insurance

Learn more about Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP).

Certified Hypnotherapist (CHt)

CHts are certified through the Clinical Hypnosis Institute. 

  • Complete 120 hour course

Certified Reciprocal Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CRADC)

In Missouri, CRADCs assist clients in their recovery process from alcohol and drug use. CRADCs receive their credentials through the Missouri Credentialing Board (MCB). 

  • 300 supervised practicum hours in performance domains
  • Signed competency rating from MCB supervisor
  • 300 education hours (6 hours live ethics, 20 hours must be completed within 12 months of application)
  • Passing IC & RC International ACD exam score (if not upgrading from CADC)
  • Masters Degree Level: 
    • Applicable Masters Degree
    • 2000 hours applicable work experience in last 10 years
  • Bachelors Level
    • Applicable bachelor’s degree
    • 4000 hours work experience in last 10 years
  • Associates Level
    • Applicable associates degree
    • 5,000 hours work experience in last 10 years

Certified Social Worker (CSW)

See Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) 

Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC)

The credentialing requirements for CSACs vary by state. In Hawaii an individual can become a CSAC with a highschool diploma. In Virginia a bachelors is required. In North Carolina the credential is for individuals who do not meet the requirements to become a licensed clinical addiction specialist (LCAS) at any level of education (high school diploma, associates, bachelors, etc.)

Department of Transportation Substance Abuse Professional (DOT SAP)

DOT SAPs work with transportation professionals who have had drug or alcohol violations. They provide face-to-face assessments and recommend education, treatment, follow-up and continued care. 

  • Nationally certified alcohol/drug abuse counselor (NAADAC/NCC AP –  NCAC I, NCAC II, or MAC national credentials only; or International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) – ICADC or ICAADC national credentials only; or National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) – MAC national credential only), Licensed physician (Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy), Licensed or certified psychologist, Licensed or certified social worker, Licensed or certified employee assistance professional, Licensed or certified marriage and family therapist
  • 12 hours of professional development relevant to performing SAP functions during each three-year renewal period and pass a validated examination administered by a nationally recognized professional or training organization
  • Pass qualification exam

Learn more about Department of Transportation Substance Abuse Professional (DOT SAP).

Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (DCSW)

Through the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) highest designation for clinical social workers, who focus on mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being of individuals, couples, families and groups.

  • Current NASW membership in good standing
  • Master’s degree in social work from a graduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education showing 20 hours of clinical coursework
  • 4,500 hours and three years of additional clinical social work experience that has occurred within the past 10 years.
  • 30 contact hours of post-degree continuing professional education or professional development activity specific to clinical social work, obtained within the past two years
  • 2 references completed by an MSW or PhD level clinical social worker
  • Current state clinical social work license
  • Adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics, the NASW Standards for Continuing Professional Education, and the NASW Standards for the Practice of Clinical Social Work

Learn more about Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (DCSW).

Diplomate, American Psychotherapy Association (DAPA)

Designation through the American Psychotherapy Association (APA)

  • APA member in good standing for at least 2 years.
  • APA certification
  • 30 continuing education credits every 3 years
  • Must possess and maintain an excellent professional portfolio and demonstrate extensive education, experience, knowledge, skill, and training.
  • No felony conviction or ethical violations in the last ten (10) years, as well as not being under investigation by any legal or licensing board.

Licensed Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC)

In the state of Arkansas, holds a masters degree in the health or behavioral sciences field or another appropriate field from an accredited college or university.

Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC)

In Oklahoma, credentialed by the Oklahoma Board of Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors.

  • Master’s degree in substance abuse counseling or equivalent
  • 2,000 hours supervised experience after application is submitted to the board. 1,000 must be direct contact hours
  • Passing exam score
  • 180 CEUs before full licensure, 90 must be drug and alcohol specific

Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC)

In some states, counselors under supervision while they work toward licensure are known as Licensed Associate Counselors (LACs)

  • Master’s degree in counseling
  • Passing scores for state and national exams
  • Clinical experience hours
  • Continuing education required

Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (LAMFT)

In some states, LMFTs under supervision while they work toward licensure are known as Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (LAMFTs)

  • Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy
  • Passing scores for state and national exams
  • Clinical experience hours
  • Continuing education required

Licensed Associate Professional Counselor (LAPC)

In some states, counselors under supervision while they work toward licensure are known as Licensed Associate Professional Counselor (LAPC)

  • Master’s degree in counseling
  • Passing scores for state and national exams
  • Clinical experience hours
  • Continuing education required

Licensed Behavioral Practitioner (LBP)

A LBP is a professional, usually a physician, who provides mental health services. 

  • Master’s degree from a regionally accredited college/university in psychology

Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC)

In Texas, LCDCs help people who have substance disorders. 

  • Submit required application forms and fees to Texas Health and Human Services (HHSC)
  • Counselor Intern Registration
    • 18 years old
    • High school diploma or equivalent
    • 270 classroom hours of chemical dependency curricula or educational waiver
    • 300 hours of supervised field work practicum
    • Pass criminal history 
    • Sign application and ethical standards
    • Be worthy of public trust and confidence
  • Apply by Reciprocity
    • Copy of reciprocal license or certification
    • Fingerprints via FAST process
    • Recent full-faced photograph of applicant (2.5 x 3.5)
    • 2 letters of recommendation
    • Application fee
    • Licensure exam
    • Official transcript showing associate degree or more advanced degree

Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional (LCDP)

In Delaware,  LCDPs help people with substance use disorders.

  • Master of Science in Counseling and Human Services
  • Certification in alcohol and drug counseling
  • 3200 hours work experience

Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS)

In North Carolina, LCAS’s provide screening, assessment, engagement, treatment planning, collaboration, referral, counseling, and education; while being professional, and adhering to ethical responsibilities for clients whose presenting disorder is substance use disorder. 

  • 3 references from current LCAS’s or CADC’s with Master’s degrees. 
  • Criteria A
    • 4,000 hours (2 years) post Masters
    • 180 SUD education clock hours
    • Passing IC&RC exam score
  • Criteria B
    • Previous experience as CADC
    • Education completed as CADC
    • Passing IC&RC exam score
  • Criteria C
    • 2,000 hours (1 year) post Masters
    • Completed as part of degree
    • Passing IC&RC exam score
  • Criteria D
    • Education completed for national certification
    • Education completed for national certification
    • Passing national exam and IC&RC exam scores

Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist (LCMFT)

Some states have multiple tiers for LMFTs. Requirements vary by state. 

Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC)

In New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont are mental health counselors. Requirements vary by state. 

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)

LCPCs are authorized to provide independent clinical counseling in Illinois and Maryland. Requirements vary by state. 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

LCSWs focus on assessing, diagnosing, treatment and prevention of mental illness. 

  • Earn a Master’s degree in social work (MSW)
  • Complete clinical hours (varies by state)
  • Meet state requirements for licensure

Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT)

Credentialed through the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) in alignment with the American Art Therapy Association, LCATs utilize arts as a therapeutic approach in working with clients with mental, emotional, developmental and behavioral disorders. Requirements vary by state. 

Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW)

LGSW’s are licensed social workers in Minnesota, West Virginia, and Washington D.C. who have completed licensure to work in clinical and non-clinical settings beyond general and bachelor’s level social workers. Requirements vary by state.

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)

LICSWs are independent social workers who provide mental health therapy to clients

  • Masters in social work
  • Clinical supervision hours
  • Meet state licensing requirements

Licensed Independent Social Worker – Clinical Practice (LISW-CP)

In South Carolina, LISW-CP designation allows social workers to work independently to provide clinical services such as diagnosing and mental health therapy. 

  • Master’s or doctorate degree from an accredited program
  • 3,000 hours supervision, 100 face-to-face hours
  • 15 academic contact hours or 20 continuing education hours in ethics
  • Renewal is every two years

Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW)

In some states (Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina) and the District of Columbia, LISW is the designation for social workers. Requirements vary by state. 

  • Master’s degree from an accredited program
  • Meet supervised experience requirements for individual and group social work
  • Passing licensure exam score
  • Required continuing education 

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)

LMFTs are trained mental health marriage and family therapists who are licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders in marriage, couple and family systems. Requirements vary by state. 

  • Master’s degree or doctorate from an accredited program
  • Supervised clinical experience
  • Passing score on state and/or national licensing exam

Learn more about Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).

Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)

LMSW is professional licensure for practice clinically in some states. Requirements vary by state. 

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

See Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP)

An LMHP may be anyone licensed to practice mental health. Requirements vary by designation and state. 

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)

In California, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota and Ohio, LPCCs  are credentialed titles for counselors. Requirements vary by state. 

  • Master’s degree
  • Clinical supervision hours

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

LPC’s hold master’s degrees in mental health services. They are trained to work with individuals, groups and families in treating mental/behavioral health disorders. Requirements vary by state

  • Master’s degree from an accredited university
  • Clinical internship
  • Clinical supervision
  • Passing state and national exam scores
  • Continuing education 

Licensed Professional Counselor of Mental Health (LPCMH)

In Delaware, counselors may be a LPCMH. 

  • Master’s degree
  • Practicum/internship hours
  • Clinical Supervision
  • Passing National Counselor Exam (NCE) score

Licensed Psychoanalyst (LP)

In New York, LP is a newer designation which allows clinicians to receive certification to work as a psychoanalyst. 

  • Master’s degree in clinical work 
  • Completion of required coursework
  • 750 supervision hours 
  • 50 hours of individual supervision on one case
  • 100 hours of supervision with one or more cases with a different supervisor
  • 135 hours of group supervision
  • 300 hours of personal psychoanalytic psychotherapy at least twice weekly
  • Case presentation

Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA)

In some states (Texas, Kentucky, North Carolina), a LPA allows clinicians to practice psychology at a master’s level. Requirements vary by state

  • Master’s degree in psychology
  • Supervised clinical hours
  • Passing Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) score
  • Passing jurisprudence exam or oral exam
  • Continuing education

Licensed Psychological Examiner (LPE)

In Arkansas, LPEs have the training and knowledge required to assess the intellectual capabilities or an impairment of the adaptive behavior of an individual. 

  • Licensee supervision completion
  • Independent practice form
  • Sponsorship from Arkansas Psychology Board-approved supervising psychologist 

Licensed Social Worker (LSW)

LSWs are not clinical level social workers. 

Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker (LSCSW)

In Kansas, LSCSW is the only credential which allows a social worker to practice unsupervised. 

  • Master’s in social work from an accredited program 
  • 4,000 hours supervisory experience in 2-6 years: 1,500 hours be n psychotherapy and assessment. Maximum of 500 hours may be in direct clinical social work services
  • Passing score on ASWB clinical exam

Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner (LSATP)

In Virginia, LSATPs are master’s level substance abuse counselors

  • Master’s degree of at least 60 hours
  • 600 internship hours, 450 specific to substance abuse treatment; 240 hours must be direct hours, 200 of which must be in substance abuse. 
  • Passing Master Addiction Counselor (MAC) exam through the National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals (NCC AP)
  • 4,000 hours supervised experience

Learn more about Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner (LSATP).

Limited Licensed Psychologist (LLP)

In some states (Michigan and Florida) my only practice psychology under the supervision of a fully licensed psychologist. Varies by state 

  • Master’s degree in psychology from a regionally accredited university 
  • 2,000 hours (1 year) supervised experience
  • 500 hours practicum 

Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)

MFTs are trained mental health marriage and family therapists who are licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders in marriage, couple and family systems. Requirements vary by state. 

  • Master’s degree or doctorate from an accredited program
  • Supervised clinical experience
  • Passing score on state and/or national licensing exam

Marriage, Family, and Child Counselor (MFCC)

In California, the MFCC term has been replaced by MFT. See MFT


Master Addiction Counselor (MAC)

MAC certification is voluntary nationally and internationally for professionals working in substance use addictions and disorders. 

  • Master’s degree in substance use disorders/addiction or related from a regionally accredited university
  • Current credential or license in substance use disorders/addictions or professional counselor
  • 3 years full time or 6,000 supervised hours as substance use disorders/addictions counselor
  • 500 contact hours in training, 6 ethics training in last six years, 6 hours in HIV/pathogens training in last six years 
  • Passing MAC exam, NBCC, or IC & RC score
  • Renewal is every two years and requires 40 hours of CEUs

Music Therapist – Board Certified (MT-BC)

Certified through the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) MT-BCs demonstrate advanced clinical competence in using music to improve mental and physical health

  • Meet the music therapist requirements set by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) 
  • Bachelor’s degree in music therapy
  • Passing exam score

National Certified Counselor (NCC)

Through the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. (NBCC), NCCs meet examination-based professional certification. 

  • Master’s degree from a CACREP-accredited degree program or a counseling program from an institutionally accredited institute with a minimum requirement of 48 semester hours, or 72 quarter hours and 10 quarter hours of graduate degree-related supervision hours. 
  • 100 hours of post graduate counseling in a minimum of 24 month period, can be waived for CACREP graduates, or fully state-licensed professional counselors whose degrees are conferred from a regionally accredited doctoral program in counseling
  • Endorsement from a professional colleague who holes a mental health master’s degree
  • 3,000 hours of post graduate counseling in a minimum of 24 month period can be waived for CACREP graduates, or fully state-licensed professional counselors whose degrees are conferred from a regionally accredited doctoral program in counseling
  • Adhere to NBCC’s Code of Ethics
  • Passing NCE score or NCMHCE score

National Certified School Counselor (NCSC)

NCSCs meet the highest standards for school counselors and are certified through NBCC. 

  • Must currently hold NCC, meeting NCC requirements
  • Meet coursework requirements 
  • 100 supervision hours
  • Professional endorsement from college with master’s degree in mental health 
  • At least 2 academic years or 3,000 hours in at least 20 months of in school counseling experience

Learn more about National Certified School Counselor (NCSC)

Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP)

Certified through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), NCSPs must meet rigorous national standards. 

  • Master’s degree with 60 semester hours coursework or 90 quarter hours. 
  • 1,200 hours supervised internship experience in laboratory or field setting 
  • Passing Paxis Exam score of 147 on exam #5402 or 155 on exam #5403

Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor (PLPC)

In some states (Lousinna, Virginia) , PLPCs are given to those who are under board-approved supervision and may not practice independently. Requirements vary by state

  • Master’s degree from an accredited university
  • Clinical supervision internship in process

Provisionally LIcensed Mental Health Practitioner (PLMHP)

In Nebraska, PLMHPs have met the education requirements to become a practitioner, however they have not yet met the supervised clinical hours for full licensure. 

  • Master’s degree from an accredited university
  • Clinical supervision internship in process

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

PMHNPs provide mental health services: biopsychosocial assessments, diagnosing, treatment (medication, psychotherapeutic management) in inpatient facilities, emergency rooms and community-based facilities. 

  • Current RN
  • Master’s, postgraduate or doctoral degree in psychiatric-mental health nursing program from an accredited institution 
  • 500 faculty-supervision hours
  • Clinical training in a minimum of two psychotherapeutic modalities
  • Passing score on exam 

Learn more about Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).

Psychological Associate (PA)

PAs research, practice, and teach about how people think, feel, and behave. There are multiple pathways to becoming a PA depending on level of practice. 

Registered Addiction Specialist (RAS)

RAS are credentialed at entry-level to work as addiction professionals. Certification is through the Breining Institute

  • Associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree
  • Current license/certificate in healthcare profession
  • 2,000 hours (1 year) experience in healthcare
  • 155 formal education hours in alcohol and substance use and disorders
  • Passing score on Addiction Counselor Exam (ACE)

Learn more about Registered Addiction Specialist (RAS).

Registered Art Therapist – Board Certified (ATR-BC)

Certified through the Art Therapy Credentials Board, Inc (ATCB), ATR-BC’s must keep current with evidence-based practices that include assessment, intervention, education, legal, statutory and regulatory issues. This is the highest distinction an art-therapist can receive. Certification is portable state-to-state through the National Commission on Certifying Agencies (NCCA)

  • Be a current registered art therapist (ATR)
  • Passing score on The Art Therapy Credentials Board Exam (ATCBE)
  • Adhere to ATCB’s code of ethics

Registered Art Therapist (ATR)

ATRs meet the standards as an art therapist as designated through the Art Therapy Credentials Board, Inc (ATCB).

  • Master’s degree
  • Clinical experience
  • Supervised clinical experience
  • Credentialed yearly (July 1 – June 30)

Registered Drama Therapist (RDT)

RDT’s provide psychotherapy for individuals who experience mental and/or behavioral health challenges through the use of drama and theater to promote wellness and healing. Credentialed through the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA). 

  • Master’s degree in drama therapy accredited by NADTA
  • 800 internship hours in two different populations, 300 direct contact hours – 150 hours must be group work
  • 30 supervision hours with RDT
  • Additional 470 internship hours (can be administrative)
  • 500 hours drama/theater experience
  • 1,000 hours as paid drama therapist
  • 500 additional training/work
  • 100 hours of personal psychotherapy within the last 5 years
  • Continuing education 

Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT)

REAT’s use drama, movement, visual art, music and other expressive art forms with counseling, psychotherapy, and other mental health approaches to treat individuals and groups. Certified through the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA). 

  • Category A
    • Master’s degree in expressive art therapy or equivalent creative arts therapy program
    • 500 hours practicum
    • 50 hours supervised clinical sessions or 100 hours of supervised group session or combined individual and group sessions
  • Category B
    • Master’s degree in psychology, educational psychology, counseling, social work, marriage and family therapy or related mental health discipline plus completion in IEATA program
    • 200 hours supervised practicum
    • 25 hours of individual supervisory sessions or 50 hours of group supervisory sessions or combination of individual and group
  • Category C
    • Master’s degree in fine arts completion in IEATA program
    • 500 hours practicum
    • 50 hours supervised clinical sessions or 100 hours of supervised group session or combined individual and group sessions
  • Category D
    • Doctoral degree in expressive art therapy or equivalency in a creative arts therapy program
    • 1,000 hours supervised practicum
    • 100 hours supervised clinical sessions or 200 hours of group supervised clinical sessions or combined individual and group sessions
  • Category E
    • Master’s degree
    • Have exceptional professional qualifications
    • 15 of expressive art therapy
    • 1,000 direct contact hours (20 hours per week in one 12 months) no longer than 48 months
    • 50 hours supervised clinical sessions or 100 hours of supervised group session or combined individual and group sessions

Learn more about Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT).

Registered Play Therapist (RPT)

A RPT is a counselor, psychologist, or other mental health professional who has completed additional training to work with children through play so they can work through problems and develop new behavioral skills. Certified through the Association for Play Therapy (APT). 

  • Master’s degree in clinical mental health
  • Currently licensed within state of practice
  • 150 hours of play therapy instruction in no less than 2 years and no more than 7 years
  • 350 hours direct play therapy experience
  • Renew annually, continuing education submitted every 3 years

Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S)

RPT-Supervisors serve as mentors to RPTs educating and guiding RPTs

  • 3,000 (3 years) clinical hours after receiving licensure
  • 500 direct contact hours as an RPT
  • Approved by state board to be supervisor
  • 30 hours clinical supervisor instruction, 6 hours play therapy specific
  • Continuing education 

Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)

See Department of Transportation Substance Abuse Professional (DOT SAP)

Temporary Limited License Psychologist (TLLP)

In Michigan, the TLLP designation is for master’s or doctoral students who are under supervision working toward full licensure allowing them to practice psychology

  • Master’s level
    • Enrolled in master’s degree in psychology program 
    • Confirmation of 500 hour supervision
  • Doctoral level
    • Enrolled in doctoral degree in psychology program 

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