The experience requirement for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor requires completion of a supervised experience of at least 3,000 clock hours providing Mental Health Counseling in a setting acceptable to the Department. The supervised experience must be obtained after completion of the professional education requirement for licensure. All experience must be documented on Form 4B.
The supervised experience and practice under a limited permit must meet the following supervision and setting requirements.
Supervision of Experience
The supervisor must be licensed and registered in New York State as a Mental Health Counselor, physician, physician assistant, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, or registered professional nurse or nurse practitioner and competent in Mental Health Counseling, or must have the equivalent qualifications as determined by the Department.
An applicant must obtain experience for licensure while under the general supervision of a qualified supervisor. General supervision means that a qualified supervisor is available for consultation, assessment and evaluation when professional services are being rendered by an applicant and the supervisor exercises the degree of supervision appropriate to the circumstances.
The supervisor must provide at least one hour per week or four hours per month of in-person individual or group supervision where the supervisor:
- reviews the applicant’s assessment, evaluation and treatment of each client under his or her general supervision; and
- provides oversight, guidance and direction to the applicant in developing skills as a Mental Health Counselor.
In addition, the supervisor is responsible for appropriate oversight of all services provided by a limited permit holder under his or her general supervision. No supervisor can supervise more than five limited permit holders.
Setting for Experience
An acceptable setting is defined in the Commissioner’s Regulations as:
- a professional corporation, registered limited liability partnership, or professional service limited liability company authorized to provide services that are within the scope of practice of Mental Health Counseling;
- 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 practice of Mental Health Counseling;
- a professional partnership owned by licensees who provide services that are within the scope of practice of Mental Health Counseling;
- a hospital or clinic authorized under Article 28 of the Public Health Law to provide services that are within the scope of practice of Mental Health Counseling;
- a program or facility authorized under the Mental Hygiene Law to provide services that are within the scope of practice of Mental Health Counseling;
- a program or facility authorized under Federal Law to provide services that are within the scope of practice of Mental Health Counseling;
- an entity defined as exempt from the licensing requirements or otherwise authorized under New York State law or the laws of the jurisdiction in which the entity is located to provide services that are within the scope of practice of Mental Health Counseling.
The setting where the experience is gained is responsible for the services provided by the individuals gaining experience for licensure. The setting is also responsible for providing adequate supervision to such individuals and for assigning a qualified supervisor, as defined in this section, to individuals gaining experience for licensure.
The practice of Mental Health Counseling is defined in Education Law as:
- the evaluation, assessment, amelioration, treatment, modification, or adjustment to a disability, problem, or disorder of behavior, character, development, emotion, personality or relationships by the use of verbal or behavioral methods with individuals, couples, families or groups in private practice, group, or organized settings; and
- the use of assessment instruments and Mental Health Counseling and psychotherapy to identify, evaluate and treat dysfunctions and disorders for purposes of providing appropriate Mental Health Counseling services.
Not less than 1,500 clock hours of such required experience, or one-half of the hours in any setting, shall consist of direct contact with clients. The remaining experience may consist of other activities that do not involve direct client contact, including but not limited to, recordkeeping, case management, research, supervision and professional development.