Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions and
Profession-Specific Information on Limited Permits

These Questions and Answers are offered as a matter of general guidelines and do not carry the force of law. You should also review the actual statute and regulations. Application forms and instructions are available on this site; please see the links on the left. NOTE: The Department cannot determine whether or not applicants have the necessary qualifications for licensure over the phone or through e-mail. We will carefully review your qualifications only after we receive your application, fee, and all necessary documentation directly from the education program or supervisor.

General Questions | Profession-Specific Requirements

Important Notice

Chapter 485 of the Laws of 2013 extends to two years the duration of a limited permit in the professions of mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, creative arts therapy or psychoanalysis and allows the Department to renew a permit for up to two additional one-year periods, effective November 13, 2013. The limited permit allows an applicant for licensure to practice under a qualified supervisor while meeting the experience and/or education requirements for licensure. An individual who currently holds an initial one-year permit in marriage and family therapy, creative arts therapy or psychoanalysis do not need to take any action; each permit holder will receive a revised permit reflecting the additional year. Applicants who need to apply for an extension, should submit the permit application (Form 5) and the fee ($70) at least 60 days prior to the expiration of a permit so the application may be reviewed and approved before the existing permit or extension expires.

General Questions

  1. How can I qualify for a limited permit to practice under supervision?

    Effective January 1, 2006, an individual must be licensed, practicing in an exempt setting, exempt, or hold a limited permit to practice in New York in one of the four mental health professions. The Education Department may issue a limited permit to an applicant who:

    • has submitted the application (Form 1) and fee ($371) for licensure;
    • has been determined by the Department to meet the education requirements (Form 2) for licensure;
    • is at least 21 years of age;
    • and is of good moral character, as determined by the Department.

    Exempt settings are defined in Article 163 of the Education Law.

  2. When am I eligible to apply for a limited permit?

    You can apply for a limited permit at any time, but it may only be approved for you to practice in a specific setting after your application for licensure, moral character and your education have been approved by the Department (see #1, above). You must submit Form 5 and fee ($70) and indicate your employer and the address of the site at which you will be practicing under supervision. Your permit application must be signed by the supervisor who must attach a copy of his or her license to Form 5. Even if you graduated from an approved education program, you cannot practice until the limited permit has been issued. If you practice before receiving a limited permit the experience will not qualify for licensure and you could be charged with illegal practice, a class E felony.

  3. Can I apply for more than one limited permit?

    The limited permit is issued for a specific practice setting under a qualified supervisor, who has been determined by the Department to meet the requirements set forth in the regulations for the profession. An individual who practices in more than one setting or for more than one employer must have a separate limited permit for each site. There is no additional fee to add a setting, change an employer or supervisor, but you must submit a new Form 5 with the updated information. The permit must be displayed at your work site. Approved limited permits can be verified on this site.

  4. Does my supervisor have to be on-site when I am providing services?

    Although the law and regulations do not specify on-site, direct supervision of the permit holder, your supervisor must have access to your patients and their records. Therefore, the supervisor must be your employer, or be employed in the same agency or have the permission of your employer to meet with your patients to assess and evaluate them and recommend appropriate treatment.

    Since a permit holder is not authorized to practice the profession, except under supervision, the permit holder and supervisor share responsibility for the assessment and treatment of each patient. The supervisor cannot ensure appropriate services are provided to patients without access to patient-specific information. A supervisor may wish to conduct joint intake sessions with patients or joint treatment sessions with the permit holder and patient, rather than relying on verbal reports from the permit holder and review of the patient records.

  5. If my employer does not provide supervision can I get my own supervisor?

    Arrangements where an individual hires or contracts with a licensee to provide supervision are problematic and, as a general rule, unacceptable. Supervision of your practice under a limited permit requires the supervisor to independently direct your practice; this is not possible when the supervisor is employed by you or acts as a paid contractor to supervise the practice of an individual who can only practice under supervision. Additionally, you should not accept employment in any setting where you are not supervised by a qualified supervisor, as defined in law and regulations.

    The employer is responsible for the services provided to each client and these may only be provided by an individual licensed and authorized to practice the profession. If a prospective employer does not have a qualified supervisor on staff, it is their responsibility to hire a qualified supervisor who is responsible for the practice of a permit holder or other person who is only qualified to practice under supervision. In such cases we would suggest that there be a three-way agreement between you, the employer and the supervisor. The minimum information to be included in such a letter of agreement would include:

    • Acknowledgement that the supervisor will be employed to provide services and to supervise the permit holder to develop skills and abilities in the practice of the profession;
    • Acknowledgement that the supervisor will be provided with access to patient records and, if appropriate, to patients to conduct joint intake or treatment sessions;
    • Acknowledgement that the patient will be informed that the permit holder is authorized to practice only under supervision and that patient-specific information is shared with a third-party supervisor;
    • Acknowledgement that the patient will be informed of the supervisor's name and contact information or an agency contact to whom questions about the permit holder's practice may be addressed;
    • Assurance that supervision will be of the duration and frequency specified in regulations and continue until the permit holder is licensed or ceases practice; and
    • Arrangements for the employer or agency to employ the supervisor including billing for services that does not constitute fee-splitting or other arrangement that is prohibited by Education Law and Regents Rules. You cannot hire a licensee to supervise your practice. If you were to seek outside supervision on your own or share information about the agency's patients, including but not limited to patient records, assessment and treatment of the patient, you could be charged with unprofessional conduct under Part 29 of the Regents Rules.

    The State Board may request clarification of the relationship between the agency and the supervisor to ensure that the supervisor is responsible for the patients and directing you in the practice of the profession.

  6. What is the difference between a limited permit and a license?

    Only a licensed practitioner can practice independently within the scope of the licensed profession without supervision. A limited permit only authorizes the practice of the profession under supervision; a permit holder may not independently practice the profession. The permit holder and the supervisor are jointly responsible for the assessment, evaluation and treatment of the patient. When you are practicing under supervision the patient should be informed that confidential information is shared with your supervisor to help you develop skills for professional practice. It may be appropriate to inform the patient how to contact the supervisor to address questions or concerns that the patient may have about treatment.

  7. What if I am not licensed by the time the permit and any extension expire?

    If you have not met the requirements for licensure by the time the two-year permit and up to two additional one-year extension expire, you must cease practicing the profession. Once you have exhausted the permit and extensions, you are not eligible for a permit in any other setting. You may be eligible to practice in an exempt setting, as defined in the law, but you may not hold yourself out by any title to suggest that you are practicing a profession requiring licensure in New York.

  8. What type of experience do I need to qualify for a license?

    An applicant for licensure shall submit sufficient documentation of having completed a supervised experience practicing the profession in a setting acceptable to the department. For your experience to qualify, you must hold a limited permit which authorizes you to practice under supervision. You should review the specific activities in the profession-specific section.

  9. How should I sign my name or refer to myself if I hold a limited permit?

    The Education Law does not specify a title or abbreviations to be used by an individual with a limited permit. You may wish to indicate that you hold a "Limited Permit in Creative Arts Therapy" or as a "Permit Holder in Mental Health Counseling". While the Education Law authorizes you to practice the profession under supervision, you may not imply that you are licensed in the profession for which you hold a limited permit.

  10. How long is the permit valid and can it be extended?

    The limited permit is valid for the time period set in law and varies among the professions; see the specific time periods below. A limited permit may be extended for up to two additional 12-month periods at the discretion of the department if the department determines that the permit holder has made good faith efforts to successfully complete the examination and/or experience requirements but has not passed the licensing examination or completed the experience requirement, or has other good cause as determined by the department for not completing the examination and/or experience requirement during the first permit period.

    You may request an extension by submitting a new Form 5 and fee ($70) prior to the expiration of your permit. Even if you have submitted documentation of the required hours and have passed the examination, you must practice under supervision and the limited permit until you are licensed.

    A permit holder who has not met the requirements for licensure when the permit expires may not practice the profession, except in an exempt setting. Additional permits may not be issued for other settings or supervisors after the applicant has completed a permit and renewal.

  11. Who is a qualified supervisor?

    Commissioner's Regulations define a qualified supervisor for each profession as an individual who is licensed in a mental health profession and is competent in the practice of the profession. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure he or she is qualified to practice and to supervise a permit holder in accordance with the Commissioner's Regulations. A prospective supervisor should read Appendix A in the application materials to determine if he or she meets the requirements to supervise a limited permit holder in the practice of the profession. When the prospective supervisor signs Form 5, the supervisor is attesting to having met the qualifications and committing to provide supervision of the permit holder as detailed in the Commissioner's Regulations.

    An individual who supervises the practice of a profession knowing that he or she is not qualified could be charged with unprofessional conduct. A supervisor may not supervise more than five permit holders.


Profession-Specific Requirements

Creative Arts Therapy | Marriage and Family Therapy | Mental Health Counseling | Psychoanalysis

Creative Arts Therapy

Supervisor: The supervisor of the experience shall meet each of the following requirements:

  • The supervisor shall be licensed and registered in New York State to practice creative arts therapy, medicine, as a physician assistant, psychology, licensed clinical social work, or as a registered professional nurse or nurse practitioner, pursuant to Articles 163, 131, 131-b, 139, 153, or 154 of the Education Law, respectively, and be competent in creative arts therapy; or be an individual with equivalent qualifications as determined by the Department.

Supervision sessions: Supervision must be provided in full one-hour sessions that include contact between the applicant and the supervisor during which:

  • the applicant apprises the supervisor of the assessment and treatment of each client;
  • the applicant's cases are discussed with the supervisor;
  • the supervisor provides the applicant with oversight and guidance in developing skills as a creative arts therapist; and
  • the supervisor provides an average of one hour per week or two hours every other week of in-person individual or group supervision.

Acceptable experience: The Commissioner's Regulations define acceptable experience in the practice of creative arts therapy includes:

  • Completion of at least 1,500 clock hours providing supervised clinical experience in creative arts therapy in a setting acceptable to the Department.
  • At least 1,000 clock hours shall be direct, client contact; the remaining 500 clock hours may include related activities such as record-keeping, case management, supervision, and professional development.
  • The supervised experience must be obtained after the applicant completes the program required for licensure as a creative arts therapist.

Valid permit: The permit in creative arts therapy is valid for 24 months and may be extended for up to two additional 12-month periods, at the discretion of the Department. The total time authorized by a limited permit and subsequent extension shall not exceed 48 months total.


Marriage and Family Therapy

Supervisor: The supervisor of the experience shall meet each of the following requirements:

  • The supervisor shall be licensed and registered in New York State to practice marriage and family therapy, medicine, as a physician assistant, psychology, licensed clinical social work, or as a registered professional nurse or nurse practitioner, pursuant to Articles 163, 131, 131-b, 139, 153, or 154 of the Education Law, respectively, and be competent in marriage and family therapy; or be an individual with equivalent qualifications as determined by the Department.

Supervision sessions: Supervision must be provided in full one-hour sessions that include contact between the applicant and the supervisor during which:

  • the applicant apprises the supervisor of the assessment and treatment of each client;
  • the applicant's cases are discussed with the supervisor;
  • the supervisor provides the applicant with oversight and guidance in the application of marriage and family therapy theories, techniques and supervisory processes to assist the applicant in developing skills necessary to practice marriage and family therapy, which emphasizes the treatment of relational, systemic dynamics in therapy and focuses on special training and techniques required for treating more than one person in therapy; and
  • the supervisor provides an average of one hour per week or two hours every other week of in-person individual or group supervision.

Acceptable experience: The Commissioner's Regulations define acceptable experience in the practice of marriage and family therapy includes:

  • Completion of at least 1,500 client contact hours of supervised clinical experience in marriage and family therapy in a setting acceptable to the department.
  • That experience may include supervised client contact clock hours completed as part of the program in marriage and family therapy or after completing such program.
  • Only direct face-to-face sessions with clients count toward the 1,500 client contact hours of supervised clinical experience.

Valid permit: The permit in marriage and family therapy is valid for 24 months and may be extended for up to two additional 12-month periods, at the discretion of the Department. The total time authorized by a limited permit and subsequent extension shall not exceed 48 months total.


Mental Health Counseling

Supervisor: The supervisor of the experience shall meet each of the following requirements:

  • The supervisor shall be licensed and registered in New York State to practice mental health counseling, medicine, as a physician assistant, psychology, licensed clinical social work, or as a registered professional nurse or nurse practitioner, pursuant to Articles 163, 131, 131-b, 139, 153, or 154 of the Education Law, respectively, and be competent in mental health counseling; or be an individual with equivalent qualifications as determined by the Department.

Supervision sessions: Supervision must be provided in full one-hour sessions that include contact between the applicant and the supervisor during which:

  • the applicant apprises the supervisor of the assessment and treatment of each client;
  • the applicant's cases are discussed with the supervisor;
  • the supervisor provides the applicant with oversight and guidance in: assessment and evaluation, treatment planning, completing psychosocial histories and progress notes, individual counseling, group counseling, psychotherapy, and consultation; and
  • the supervisor provides an average of one hour per week or two hours every other week of in-person individual or group supervision.

Acceptable experience: The Commissioner's Regulations define acceptable experience in the practice of mental health counseling includes:

  • Completion of at least 3,000 clock hours of supervised clinical experience in mental health counseling in a setting acceptable to the Department.
  • At least one-half of the required 3,000 supervised hours in the practice of mental health counseling should be face-to-face with clients ("direct") and the remainder may be "indirect". Indirect activities would include supervision, record-keeping, professional development, research, and case management.
  • The supervised experience must be obtained after the applicant completes the program required for licensure as a mental health counselor.

Valid permit: The permit in mental health counseling is valid for 24 months and may be extended for up to two additional 12-month periods, at the discretion of the Department. The total time authorized by a limited permit and subsequent extension shall not exceed 48 months total.


Psychoanalysis

Supervisor: The supervisor of the experience shall meet each of the following requirements:

  • The supervisor shall be licensed and registered in New York State to practice psychoanalysis, medicine, as a physician assistant, psychology, licensed clinical social work, or as a registered professional nurse or nurse practitioner, pursuant to Articles 163, 131, 131-b, 139, 153, or 154 of the Education Law, respectively, and be competent in psychoanalysis; or be an individual with equivalent qualifications as determined by the Department.

Supervision sessions: Supervision must be provided in full one-hour sessions that include contact between the applicant and the supervisor during which:

  • the applicant apprises the supervisor of the treatment of each client;
  • the applicant's cases are discussed with the supervisor in conformity with federal and state laws regarding the confidentiality of patient-identifiable information;
  • the supervisor provides the applicant with oversight and guidance in developing skills as a psychoanalyst, including but not limited to, the analysis of resistance, transference, counter-transference, and unconscious processes in the practice of psychoanalysis; and
  • the supervisor provides an average of one hour per week or two hours every other week of in-person individual or group supervision. Supervision may be provided in formats other than in-person only with the approval of the Department.

Acceptable experience: The Commissioner's Regulations define acceptable experience in the practice of psychoanalysis includes:

  • Completion of at least 1,500 clock hours of supervised clinical experience in psychoanalysis in a setting acceptable to the department.
  • At least 50 percent (750) of the required 1,500 hours in the practice of psychoanalysis shall be face-to-face practice. The remaining hours may include indirect activities including supervision, introspection, personal analysis and professional development.
  • All or part of the supervised experience may be obtained within the education program required for licensure as a psychoanalyst.

Valid permit: The permit in psychoanalysis is valid for 24 months and may be extended for up to two additional 12-month periods, at the discretion of the Department. The total time authorized by a limited permit and subsequent extension shall not exceed 48 months total.

Last Updated: December 2, 2013