Working under full-time supervision, it takes about 1.5 years to complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience. That means a minimum total investment of 7.5 years to become a full LMHC. The time it takes to become a counselor depends on a variety of factors. To obtain the license, it may take a minimum of three to five years, including the time it takes to obtain a master's degree, full internship hours, and hours of supervised graduate experience.
If you want to continue with school counseling, that may have different requirements than couples counseling. If you have a bachelor's degree and it's not related to counseling, you may need to take time to complete the prerequisites for a graduate program. Counselors can work with many different populations and develop expertise in specific areas, such as family therapy, psychotherapy and behavior modification. Take the time to learn about the many opportunities available in the field of counseling and choose the area that interests you most, as licensing requirements vary.
How long do you go to school to be a mental health counselor? Like many other health professions, mental health counseling requires a four-year college degree as a foundation. This degree is usually in counseling, psychology, or a related field. You must also complete a minimum of one year (600 working hours) of supervised internship or practice in mental health counseling. If you're considering counseling as a profession, it's important to note that licensing is mandatory and that the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) oversees many of these licensing processes, including Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC).
Before you become licensed in mental health counseling, you must gain practical experience through graduate and graduate internships under the supervision of licensed counselors. Mental health counseling helps individuals and communities address their emotional, behavioral, and mental health problems in a safe environment with licensed counselors and mental health professionals. It will help people struggling with mental health problems live healthier and more satisfying lives. For more resources to help you become a licensed mental health counselor specifically in Massachusetts, visit the Massachusetts Association of Health Counselors and visit Mass.
The NCMHCE evaluates your professional knowledge of mental health counseling through 10 different clinical scenarios. When you have met all the requirements, you can apply for your license through the Massachusetts Alliance Board of Mental Health and Human Services Professionals. To obtain your mental health counselor license, the National Board of Certified Counselors reports that your state will require you to complete a certain number of hours of supervised experience. Other positions that may interest you include health educators, community health workers, social workers, and school counselors.
Licensed professional counselors (LPCs) and licensed mental health counselors (LMHC) have essentially the same level of education and the same role when it comes to the work they do; the main difference is the state in which the counselor works, according to the National Board of Certified Counselors. To be eligible to be licensed as a mental health counselor in New York State, you must have a master's degree or a doctorate in counseling from a program that the NYSED recognizes as eligible for licensing. Many common counseling careers, such as licensed mental health counselors (LMHC) and licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFT), require a license issued by state agencies. Licensing and certification requirements for mental health counselors may include earning a master's degree in counseling, graduate clinical hours, and passing an exam.