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You must document the completion of three years of post-graduate full-time supervised clinical social work experience in diagnosis, psychotherapy, and assessment-based treatment plans, or the part-time equivalent, or combination of full-time and part-time supervised clinical social work in no more than six consecutive years.

Experience shall consist of not less than 2,000 client contact hours over the course of three years but not to exceed six calendar years. All experience must be obtained in a setting acceptable to the Department after completion of the professional education required for licensure.

Qualified Supervisor

The experience must be supervised by an individual who is licensed and registered to practice as a(n):

  • LCSW in New York State or the equivalent as determined by the Department; or
  • Psychologist who, at the time of supervision of the applicant, was licensed as a psychologist in the state where supervision occurred, was qualified in psychotherapy as determined by the Department based upon the Department's review of the psychologist's education and training, including but not limited to education and training in psychotherapy obtained through completion of a program in psychotherapy registered pursuant to Part 52 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education or a program in psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association; or
  • Physician who, at the time of supervision of the applicant, was a diplomate in psychiatry of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc. or had the equivalent training and experience as determined by the Department.

supervisor who is not licensed in New York State must submit an Approval of Qualifications to Supervise Psychotherapy (Form 4Q) to allow the Department to determine whether the supervisor is qualified in diagnosis, psychotherapy and assessment-based treatment planning.

A supervisor may not have a familial relationship with the applicant, as such dual relationships may constitute a charge of unprofessional conduct under the Education Law and Regents Rules.

Supervision Sessions

The supervision must consist of at least 100 hours of in-person individual or group clinical supervision distributed over the period of the supervised experience. During each supervision session:

  • your supervisor must provide the diagnosis and appropriate treatment for each client;
  • your cases must be discussed with your supervisor; and
  • your supervisor must provide you with oversight and guidance in diagnosis and treating clients.

The supervisor is legally and professionally responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of each client and must have access to all relevant information. It is the responsibility of your employer to provide appropriate supervision as an LMSW may only practice clinical social work under supervision. Any arrangements for third-party supervision must include a written agreement between the employer, third-party supervisor and the LMSW to specify the supervisor's access to clients and client records to ensure appropriate supervision of the LMSW. The client must be informed of how confidential information is handled in the case of third-party supervision and how to raise questions with the employer and/or third-party supervisor.

Setting for the Experience

All experience that is completed in New York State must be in a setting that is legally authorized to provide psychotherapy and clinical social work services.

An acceptable setting is:

  • A professional corporation, professional limited liability partnership or professional limited liability corporation that is authorized to provide services that include psychotherapy;
  • A professional service corporation, registered limited liability partnership, or professional service limited liability company authorized to provide services that are within the scope of practice of licensed clinical social work;
  • A sole proprietorship owned by a licensee who provides services that are within the scope of his or her profession and services that are within the scope of licensed clinical social work;
  • A program or service approved by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD),Office Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), Office of Children & Family Services (OCFS), Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), Department of Health (DOH), State Office for the Aging, or local social service or mental hygiene district (attach operating certificate);
  • A program or facility authorized under federal law, such as the Veterans’ Administration, to provide health services including psychotherapy;
  • A public elementary, middle or high school authorized by the Education Department to provide school social work services as defined in Part 80-2.3 of the Commissioner’s Regulations, including clinical social work;
  • An entity defined as exempt from the licensing requirements under New York Law or otherwise authorized under New York Law of the laws of the jurisdiction in which the entity is located to provide services, including psychotherapy.

In New York State, a general business corporation or not-for-profit corporation may not provide professional services or employ licensed professionals unless authorized under law. The certificate of incorporation should clarify the purpose of the entity and whether licensed professionals may be employed to provide services that are restricted under Title VIII of the Education Law.

It is your responsibility to practice only under a qualified supervisor and in an authorized setting. You should review the supervisor qualifications and acceptable experience with an employer before you accept a position practicing clinical social work.